The Lisa Mo Wagner Hypothesis: Build a Diverse Team to Better Build for a Diverse Audience

Lisa Mo Wagner is a product person with a strong focus on inclusive and empowering product management. She believes the most effective product leaders excel at strategic skills like empathy, listening, and facilitation. Put your team first and trust they will put your customer first.

In this episode of the Product Science Podcast, we discuss what inclusive product management is and how you can accomplish it in your organization.

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Resources

Questions We Explore in This Episode

The Lisa Mo Wagner Hypothesis: Build a Diverse Team to Better Build for a Diverse AudienceHow did Lisa get into product accidentally? How did she turn a suggestion for how to improve her own work into a product role? Why is it so much harder for big organizations to move fast? Why do you have to do so much more education at large organizations? Why is it so important to be transparent about how you work and why? How do you overcome inertia in large organizations?

How do you conduct research when your customers don’t speak the same language that you do? How do you share notes and get an accurate read on research subjects? What processes do they use to share information?

What is inclusive product management? How does this incorporate broader diversity, equity, and inclusion work (DEI)? How does this extend to including different roles on the team and pushing things to be more cross-functional? How do you make sure all people are included in both hiring and in the day-to-day work? How do you get comfortable with getting uncomfortable?

How does inclusion make it’s way into the product? How did Lisa’s team design with accessibility in mind from the start? What tools and techniques does she use to check accessibility?

What does Lisa look for in a job description? What kind of questions should you ask in an interview? What can a company’s value statement tell you, and how do you read between the lines? Why does Lisa ask about diversity numbers from the start? What does Lisa know now that she wishes she knew when she was first starting out?

Quotes From This Episode

In product because we're building for a diverse group of people, the team should be diverse as well. Click To Tweet Listen to what's happening around you, listen to the teams you work with, and listen to your customers. And don't listen to reply, listen to understand. Click To Tweet

Transcription

Holly Hester-Reilly: Hi, and welcome to the Product Science podcast, where we’re helping startup founders and product leaders build high growth products, teams, and companies through real conversations with people who’ve tried it and aren’t afraid to share lessons learned from their failures along the way. I’m your host, Holly Hester-Reilly, founder and CEO of H2R Product Science.
This week on the Product Science podcast, I’m happy to share a conversation with Lisa Mo Wagner. Lisa is a product person with a strong focus on inclusive and empowering product management. She believes the most effective product leaders excel at strategic skills like empathy and listening and facilitation. Put your team first and trust they will put your customer first.
Lisa, welcome to the podcast.
Lisa Mo Wagner: Thank you for having me. Hi.
Holly Hester-Reilly: I’m so excited to have you here. I always like to begin with a bit of a background, so how did you become a product person?
Lisa Mo Wagner: Yeah, accidentally, like probably most of us, I was straight out of uni, started at a startup in the role of head of support. So I was working on a marketplace, had some customers and was tasked with helping our B2B clients to put their products up on the platform.
While I was writing a document for them to explain how it works, I figured it’s really complicated and I have to write a lot. I think this can be easier. So I reached to my boss, to the founder, and said, “Hey, I have an idea.” And then went into PowerPoint and just kind of played around with it and made some suggestions. And my boss was very happy about it.
And so I started working with the developer and I didn’t even know that it was a job until a couple of years later when I was looking for a new role and then found out it’s an actual, real job that you can do. And I have been a product ever since, and I love it.
Holly Hester-Reilly: That’s wonderful. It makes sense that you’re so focused on listening and empathy and empowerment, if you came from the customer support area, where you’re really focused on those customers. What does your first job where that was actually the title look like?
Lisa Mo Wagner: In my very first official product manager role, I was working with an internal tool for social media campaigns. And so I actually had all of my users sit right next door and it made it very, very easy to talk to them a lot and really understand how they work and just sit beside them and see how they use the tool and where they struggle, and where they found work around so that they never told us about.
That was very interesting. On the other hand, that also meant that as soon as something didn’t work, someone would stand right by my desk and be like, “Hey, this does not work. What did you do?”
Holly Hester-Reilly: That’s awesome. How big was that company that you worked at?
Lisa Mo Wagner: They were 100 people at the time, mostly account managers doing the social media campaigns and a fairly small product team with around 15 to 20 people.
Holly Hester-Reilly: What did you think of working at that size company in that stage?
Lisa Mo Wagner: I think it’s really, really fun because you’re a bit further than early stage startup where there’s still a lot of uncertainty and then it doesn’t work out. In that size, you already have a bit more established, but you’re still very flexible and you can still move fast. I’ve also worked in a corporate environment, and moving fast is not really a thing there.
Holly Hester-Reilly: You don’t say. Tell us a little bit more about that. So you’ve been on the other end of the spectrum as well. What did that look like?
Lisa Mo Wagner: Yeah. I was working at a big telco. They have been around for a hundred years. I think they have 40,000 people around the globe, but I was working within a digital team. So we were 400 people to help the rest of the organization kind of move forward with the digital transformation, and not have every department built their own little websites all over the place. They just had one reference architecture and just kind of unite everybody and at the same time educate them on how does product management actually work? What’s Agile? How does that work? What can this do for us?
Holly Hester-Reilly: And what did they understand about it when you first started with them? And what was it like teaching them?
Lisa Mo Wagner: Yeah. It was a process, definitely. So everybody has kind of heard about Agile and everyone has their own ideas about it, and product management especially in that setting. We were product owners because they already have product managers as the people who are responsible for mobile phones within the corporation. We were already product managers, so it was kind of like, “Okay, what’s the difference between those people and us? What do we do? How do we work?” Especially slicing something and then the small steps so that you can improve over time and not just launch one giant new thing, was something that they felt very uncomfortable with.
But I think working very transparently and just kind of making them part of that whole process helped because they did allow us to do that and it actually worked really well.
Holly Hester-Reilly: Oh, that’s really good. What do you think made it uncomfortable for them in the first place?
Lisa Mo Wagner: I think it’s because it’s new, so they’re just not used to it. So you’ll have to kind of trust somebody that you also don’t know really well. So there’s a new person coming in saying, “Hey, I have an idea. This is how we do things. How about it? Do you want to do it?”
Yeah, you’ll have some hesitation and you just think, “Okay, I’m not really sure if this works because I’ve never done it before.” So the trust and the success of this wasn’t very large. And at the same time, they’ve had their ways that worked for them. So they had learned that the other way worked, why should they change?
Holly Hester-Reilly: And do you think it worked for them, the other way?
Lisa Mo Wagner: In the sense. I mean, even if you launched like a really, really large project, you still get it out the door at some point. But we all kind of know Agile got invented because you usually kind of either have to change the scope or you go way over budget and way over time.
Yeah, with the project we worked on together, we actually had small little steps that we put out there that they didn’t believe would work, but they did give me this trust advance and said, “Okay, we’ll try it. You’ve talked so excitedly about it, fine, we’ll try it out. We’ll trust you on this.” And well, it worked. That was great, because it doesn’t always work., right? In this case, it did. And then they kept on trusting us more and more with these kinds of things.
Holly Hester-Reilly: And how many other product people were there in that organization?
Lisa Mo Wagner: That’s a good question. We were a lot of product people. It was 400 people altogether and it was really just like cross functional teams. It was 400 people in cross-functional teams supporting all the different areas of the greater business. I was in the small business solutions section and working on e-commerce for mobile phones, but literally every other area that you could think of within a telco had someone supporting them.
Holly Hester-Reilly: That sounds awesome, that there were so many cross functional teams. What are some other experiences you’ve had in product maybe in between or since then?
Lisa Mo Wagner: At the moment, I’m working at a FinTech startup and we’ve launched an MVP last May. We’ve just really put something small out there. Try to be as fast as possible. That kind of never really works completely. Even if you kind of go by the book, there’s always things creeping in where it’s just like, “Oh, do we really need that?” Well, I guess we have it now.
It was a really great experience and quite different because we’re not early stage but still quite small. We’re around 50 people. It’s an actual product company that revolves around the product and not the company that also has product. So the approach is quite different and there’s a lot more focus on it. So it’s not an afterthought, but it’s what leads the organization, which is awesome.
It’s very different to just launching MVP into a market that I didn’t know before either, we’re in the Polish market. I don’t even speak Polish. Luckily, I have an awesome designer to work with. She does a lot of interviews and some other colleagues do, so that I can still have like a sense of my users. And then I find occasionally people that are happy to speak to me in English.
Holly Hester-Reilly: That sounds challenging. What are some of the ways that you get around that when your customers don’t speak the same language as you?
Lisa Mo Wagner: Yeah. So what we do is that I work closely with a junior UX designer and we kind of create the interview outlines together. And so that we’re both really part of the process of creating it and really feel it because it… I found it works a lot better than me just giving her a bunch of questions that I would like to have asked.
And so I always try to at least find a few people that I can speak to in English. And then she will do some more interviews and take… Well, she’ll take notes in English and then share those. An idea that we recently had, we haven’t tested it out yet, but YouTube actually has subtitles with automatic translations, so we’re thinking to try that out. Because even if you look at the person, you don’t understand them, you still get a bit of a feel, but then if you would have subtitles, that would actually be really cool.
Holly Hester-Reilly: That would be really cool. In fact, that sounds like something I should try, because I occasionally come across this as well. And I’m usually relying on other people to tell me what they thought was most important from that interview. That’s a really good idea.
One of the things that had drawn my attention to you is that you talk so much about inclusive product management. Tell me more about what that means to you?
Lisa Mo Wagner: I look at it in two way, so there’s diversity and inclusion or like DEI work in general that goes across gender, race, background in all kinds of ways. That is one thing that is super, super important in product because we’re building for a diverse group of people, the team should be diverse as well.
Diversity only actually works and it gives you all those benefits that people talk about, like not overseeing something like, “Oh, our facial recognition can actually recognize black people.” So you also have to be inclusive if you have a diverse team and help each other out to surface bias, for example, in interviews, but also at building the product.
I think that helps to just bring a lot more perspectives that we miss out on otherwise. I often pair it with empowering and this kind of the other half of it is also being inclusive of the different roles in your team.
Basically, I don’t know, just saying, “Oh, the developers, they don’t want to do anything but write code all day, it’s fine. They don’t want to be a part of user research, that’s boring.” Or, “They rather want to just put some output out there or some features. They don’t care about the numbers afterwards.” Which most of the time is actually not true.
And also you’ll build something that is a lot better if everybody on the team really understands the user and cares about them. And once you’ve kind of met your user, you care about them more. I think that’s like the other half of that inclusion and empowerment part.
Holly Hester-Reilly: Oh, that’s interesting. You’re saying that the inclusion is both of sort of the typical DEI type of race and gender and orientation and different things like that. Feeling included in being a part of the team, but it’s also about the different roles on the team, being included and integrated into the work with each other.
Have you seen these things interplay at all? Are there challenges you see in the way that goals are given out or the way that people move forward in their careers in product?
Lisa Mo Wagner: Product is probably one of those roles within a cross functional team that sees better numbers diversity, like DEI diversity-wise. There’s quite a few women by now, you do see people of color, but everyone’s still a bit underrepresented. Tech is still a very white male dominated field.
I mean, I’m a white woman, so I already have a lot of privilege over other people. I mean, at least I’m a woman, right? I think the more you get into the tech specific roles, the developers, the more you see that it’s mostly male, white. I don’t know. I don’t have any numbers on it. This is just from my personal experience, so it’s more anecdotal than it is actual data. But yeah, I’ve definitely mostly worked with men throughout my whole career.
Holly Hester-Reilly: Yeah. What are some of the ways that you found are helpful to make sure that all people are being included, whether it’s in the process of bringing new people onto a team or actually in the day-to-day work?
Lisa Mo Wagner: I haven’t done a lot of hiring, but I have been involved in some hiring when it was for my team. And the way I review people in the first stages of the process, where I just look at their resumes, already seem to be quite different from my line managers, for example. And he would look at different things. Also, role specific things that would be slightly different, that I think are more important than he thought were important. For example, we were looking for a senior designer and I was looking a lot for like, oh, have they led other people before? What about coaching and mentoring? Is there some kind of interest that I can already see? How are they talking about the problems that they’re solving and the case studies and the portfolio?
Well, he didn’t really look into those things so much, so I think we have a different view. I might actually be slightly biased towards women when I look at resumes, but it kind of counteracts the other biases that might be there.
I think if you want to hire more diverse people, you should also have more diverse people helping with the process. That’s definitely one thing. And then once you actually are already in there, I think it’s important for any kind of manager to just be aware of these things. Just be aware of your own biases as well as just seeing that, for example, if there’s only one female engineer on the whole team of engineers that’s like 20 people, just kind of maybe be a bit more mindful about that and ask yourself, “Am I giving her the same kind of opportunities that I’m giving everybody else?”
And it’s uncomfortable to think about these things, right? It’s just like you don’t want to think about yourself as the person that actually discriminates someone because everybody thinks of themselves as a good person.
Holly Hester-Reilly: Right? Yeah, absolutely. Do you have any tricks for dealing with things that are uncomfortable?
Lisa Mo Wagner: It can be really hard. Sometimes you just have to kind of clench your teeth and just keep going. I think that that’s one of those things. When you’re within a group setting, I think either it’s a topic that you address as the whole group if it’s something you just generally want to address together, because you’re all kind of aware of it. That can be really helpful and then you don’t feel so alone in it.
And the other thing is probably to just kind of, if you see something, say something. I’ve been in situations before where I just said, “Wow, this felt really wrong,” but I would actually almost gaslight myself into thinking that I probably understood this incorrectly. Like that did not just happen.
So actually just seek out other people to talk to them and share what had happened to understand, get some feedback on it, if it was me maybe getting it wrong. Or if there was actually something there. Yeah.
And then also escalate. Really, if somebody is making weird comments that make you feel uncomfortable with just like a different kind of uncomfortable than if you just think about things for yourself and address your privilege. But if that happens and you see this kind of behavior on somebody else, there’s no, “Oh, I don’t want to be rude or anything,” like make that person uncomfortable.
A very easy thing is if somebody says something though, you just kind of like, “Well, that’s a bit problematic.” It obviously depends on the relationship you have with the person, but just ask them to explain it to you and be like, “I’m not sure I totally got what you were trying to say there.”
It always depends on the situation. I don’t think that always works, but it can be a… If you have a good relationship with the person, it can be an almost playful way of like, “Hey, maybe you should ask yourself why you’re saying these things. I’m not going to call you out and make it extremely uncomfortable, but I do need you to get a little uncomfortable about this.”
Holly Hester-Reilly: Yeah. Sometimes people need to get uncomfortable to learn, right?
Are you able to share any specifics from like one of these times when you weren’t sure if you had misunderstood or if it was really what you’d thought you’d seen?
Lisa Mo Wagner: Yeah, I can share a story. I had this colleague that I worked with and he would be very dismissive of a lot of things I would do. He was a pre-sales kind of, or sales. I’m not super sure anymore, but around that. And we would have regular meetings with customer success and sales just to kind of get their take on things, get requests from them if they had anything. And I had changed the process up and he used to be the one in charge of the process. And I took over.
I tried to work with him while taking him over these things and improve them, go from an Excel sheet to… I don’t know. I think we used like a next gen JIRA board or something. Just made it a bit more accessible for everybody and not just like one Excel sheet. I don’t think he wasn’t very happy about that.
Whenever we had meetings with other people, he would kind of say things to me and preface them with, “I love this new board. This is really, really helpful, but,” and I just kind of say things, I was just like, “I don’t think you’re actually criticizing the board or telling me how to improve it to make it work better for the team, you’re just kind of telling me I’m an idiot in a way, in different ways actually.”
And then at some other occasion, he talked about, I think, the customer success team and they were all women, and he referred to them as a bunch of chickens, which really did not sit very well with me-
Holly Hester-Reilly: Oh, kind of strange.
Lisa Mo Wagner: It’s a bit of an expression in German, so it wasn’t extremely strange, but still kind of strange because he just never would do… Like it’s not appropriate for a workplace.
And maybe one of them had referred to themselves as that. The expression in German kind of means like when people are just kind of like flustered, and maybe that had happened and somebody had referred to themselves as that. I mean, you can do that. You can refer to yourself in every way you want to, but it wasn’t his place. And I actually asked him and I said, “It makes me a little uncomfortable and feels a bit demeaning to refer in that way to this team. I would ask you to maybe just stop that in the future. And this really makes me a bit uncomfortable when you do that to me.”
And he then explained to me how he is totally allowed to say that because they had said it before, and I shouldn’t worry about these things because if they say it, he can say it, so that’s not a problem, I’m making up problems.
And this kind of situation kept happening and I went to HR and they literally said to me, “Well, maybe you got that wrong. Because those are some serious allegations, and I think that’s probably just like some miscommunication. Maybe you just need to talk to each other.”
Holly Hester-Reilly: What happened after that?
Lisa Mo Wagner: I left.
Holly Hester-Reilly: Yeah. That sounds about right. That’s unfortunately is sometimes what happens in the workplace today, right? Sometimes HR is helpful and responsive and a person who’s being inappropriate is asked to leave, and other times they’re not, they’re just allowed to keep going.
What are things that you would recommend people do if they find themselves in that situation?
Lisa Mo Wagner: I think still coming forward. I would still do all the same things. I would still come forward. I would not just be quiet about it. I am in the comfortable position to just leave. So I was already quite senior, so it wasn’t hard for me to find another job.
I do understand that not everybody has that option. Find allies within that company. If you can, bring it up to your line manager, to HR, and see where it goes. I mean, luckily, also this was a case that was uncomfortable and not rape, but also not the worst out there. So I think I probably could have found a way to work with him and just have conversations, like give feedback and maybe try to find a way to not work with this specific person anymore, if that is possible. Try to find a solution together with your manager, hopefully they’re on your side. If that is not the case, find allies to kind of just at least back you up a little bit and you can kind of support each other in meetings.
Holly Hester-Reilly: Yeah. Yeah. I’ve been in some situations like that too. One of the things that I learned one of the companies that I worked at, at one point, I sort of felt kind of like what you were saying there, where it’s like is it… I felt unsure about whether what I was experiencing raised to the level of I should talk to HR about this, or whether it was just sort of like an acceptable level of uncomfortable, sexist behavior.
One thing that happened for me was when I left in those last two weeks where everyone knew I was leaving, so many women came forward to me and said, “Holly, are you leaving because of this problem?” And I was like, “What do you mean? Tell me more.” And then I learned all these other things that had been said in other conversations in rooms at times when other people had experienced this. And so that was really eyeopening for me.
That’s also something that I think about nowadays is like, if you’re the person who stands up and says, “This makes me uncomfortable,” you might be actually tapping into something that other people are experiencing too and they’re not feeling empowered to speak up about it.
There is that element as well that we have to keep in mind. And if you can find those allies preferably before you’ve given your two weeks notice, that’s probably the best way to do it, right?
Lisa Mo Wagner: Yeah. Yeah, definitely.
Holly Hester-Reilly: Yeah. What have your experiences been with how these things make it into a product, or what are the things that are on your mind about that? When you’re having a team that’s representative, you might create a better product that’s made for the spectrum of people that are the customers.
Lisa Mo Wagner: I think one super interesting experience I’ve had with that was accessibility. I knew about accessibility and I knew there was [inaudible] out there, but I never actually had detailed information. Somehow, for me, it was always more of an afterthought, which is obviously not great, but we had an amazing advocate for accessibility at the telco where I was working. His role was to support all of these 400 people, making sure that accessibility is not an afterthought, but it’s already when you start ideating, you already implement, like thinking about these things.
Design was aware. The design system was built on the way that we made sure the contrast is everywhere high enough. We don’t use colors that are hard to differentiate from each other in those kinds of things. And things are screen reader accessible, and you made sure that all of our images had all texts. And it’s like it’s not even that hard. It’s not even that hard, and still a lot of the time we forget about it, but because I’ve learned so much from him, like in other roles, just now where I started, the first thing that I noticed was that we have some very small print of extra information in some places, and it’s a fairly light gray on white. So it’s like, “I don’t think this is accessible. We should probably check that and change that.”
Holly Hester-Reilly: And do what are the techniques that you expect to be used to check that?
Lisa Mo Wagner: We’ve used a lot of lighthouse. They have an accessibility score that will already kind of surface a lot of those things. Other than that, there’s also tools where I can just literally upload a screenshot and it will tell you kind of, “Oh, all of these colors, this is good enough for this kind of standard, and no standard at all.” This one or that one, there’s different kinds of standards for visual accessible.
Holly Hester-Reilly: Awesome. What are some ways that you might recommend people look for an inclusive environment? Let’s say we’ve got some listeners who are coming from a place where they do have some of these problems and they want their next job to be a more inclusive place, what do you look for?
Lisa Mo Wagner: It’s a little bit already often in the job description, just the way people describe their jobs and how they may be encourage people. There are studies out there that women, I think, will only apply if they match at least 80%, usually more of the requirements in a job description.
And most of the time job descriptions are actually just like, this is my wishlist. If I could have everything, that would be great. But if I get half, I’m still super happy. And then men will apply when they match around 40%. And it was like, “Yeah, I got this. No problem. I’ll apply.”
So finding encouraging language already in the job description would be something that you could look for in the way the skills are described. I don’t have a really specific example, but when you read it, you kind of already feel if there’s more of an inclusive culture or not. Look at the company values, they don’t always… People don’t always live them, but that already gives you a first idea as well.
I will ask in the interviews then kind of questions to get a feeling about these things. I will ask about like, “Give me some numbers on diversity.” And I’ve had positions where I said, “That doesn’t sound good enough for me. And I don’t want to be the first one fighting for this. I’ve done this before. And right now I’m looking for somewhere where there’s already a bit of diversity.”
Oftentimes when you ask for diversity, they will tell you, “Oh, we have people from 12 different nations.” But here in Europe, that’s all Western European then. Maybe some Eastern European but that’s it. It’s like, “Yeah, that’s not really diverse, is it?” Like different languages, yes, but the cultures are still very similar.
So yeah, just be a bit mindful about that. And just asking people what they love about working somewhere, and if they bring up how there’s an open feedback culture and where people really support each other and they love their teammates, and they talk about their teammates and you can hear there’s different kinds of people that they work with, that’s definitely something where I would be like, “Oh, okay. That sounds good.”
Holly Hester-Reilly: Yeah. That makes sense. Is there anything that when you look back on your career so far, you wish you had known when you were first starting?
Lisa Mo Wagner: Well, when I was first starting, that’s like almost nine years ago now, even if it wasn’t officially a product, so a lot of the DEI things were not actually known. I wish I had known more about these things at the time, because I would actually kind of play into these things. I would think it’s the great compliment if my all male team would tell me, “You’re one of the guys.”
For me, back then, I was just like, “Yeah, awesome. That’s great.” That means they accept me and they respect me. But I would have rather learned about these things earlier. I think that is definitely something. But other than that, in any regards to product itself, I’ve had awesome people from the beginning help me and support me and teach me things. So in that sense, I was very lucky that I could learn a lot really fast.
Holly Hester-Reilly: Yeah. Do you have any guidance for people who are looking for that kind of mentorship in their jobs? What should they be looking for to find that great product guidance?
Lisa Mo Wagner: Look for other people that care regardless of role. The first person that really taught me so, so much was a QA engineer. Obviously, QA always will have a special place in my heart, which is, I think kind of rare for product from my experience after that. Like he taught me so much. He taught me all about Agile methodology. He was just like, “Hey, I see you’re doing these and those things, that’s actually something that is part of scrum.”
When I first started working in that job, they didn’t do scrum, or kind of, but not really. And he was like, “I think you should look into that. I think you’d be interested.” And then he was just always there for me because he also cared about how we worked.
So you need to find the person that cares about how you work and learn from them or get just some ideas from them even. Because then I went on and started reading things and started reading blogs and found all these books and got more and more into other topics that were adjacent and kind of grew my product knowledge, starting from just working together well using scrum.
Holly Hester-Reilly: That’s awesome. Finding those people that care and that know more than you do is really critical, but not always that easy.
Lisa Mo Wagner: No. There’s also always a bit of luck. I like this idea or this thought that a lot of people run around, they’re just like, “Oh, you just have to work really, really hard, and then it’ll all fall into place.” It’s just like, “Yeah, you have to work really hard. If you don’t do it, it won’t happen.” But you also have to be lucky.
I just consider myself really lucky that I had this person on my team at that time. That really helped me. And I think also as product managers or at least I’ve seen a few who tend to think they are more important than the people that they work with. There’s a lot of ego on product or can be. I’m not saying everybody, but I’ve seen it quite a bit. And that stops you from learning, because you don’t look in the places where you should be looking, where those people are that care.
I think I’ve learned most from not product managers in my career. Like senior engineers, senior designer. There’s a lot of like different areas of product that I learned from the adjacent roles within it, so like my technology actually came from the developers. And my design and UX knowledge came from the designers I’ve worked with. And business and others comes from working with the managing directors in one company, the marketing people in another. Yeah. Find the people that can teach you stuff outside of product, to learn more about product in a way.
Holly Hester-Reilly: Yeah. Well, product is so cross-disciplinary, so you do need to learn about all these disciplines.
Lisa Mo Wagner: Yeah.
Holly Hester-Reilly: Yeah. That makes lots of sense. Do you have any final thoughts or things that you would want to share with other people who are trying to follow the same path as you?
Lisa Mo Wagner: I think one of the most underrated skills is listening, and I can just recommend to everyone. I’m not always good at it either. Sometimes you just have an idea and you just you don’t listen to what’s happening around you. But I can only recommend, no matter where you’re at in your career, if you’re already a product manager or not, listen to what’s happening around you, listen to the teams you work with, and listen to your customers. And don’t listen to reply, listen to understand.
If you catch yourself just waiting for the other person to stop so you can give you a reply, that’s not the kind of listening I mean. I mean the one where you maybe ask some more questions to really understand, and that actually gets you ahead of so many other people.
Holly Hester-Reilly: Yeah, absolutely. It’s so critical and helpful with empathizing with your customers and emphasizing with your team and go so far. So where can people find you if they want to learn more?
Lisa Mo Wagner: They can find me on LinkedIn, Lisa Mo Wagner. You can find me on Twitter @LisaMoWagner. And those are probably the two easiest ones. And on Medium. I write some longer articles there as well. Again, Lisa Mo Wagner.
Holly Hester-Reilly: Awesome. Well, thank you so much, Lisa, it’s been a pleasure to talk to you today.
Lisa Mo Wagner: Thank you so much for having me. This was really fun.
Holly Hester-Reilly: Yeah, it was.
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