Excerpted from Ben Foster:
Some types are (a lot) better suited for Product Management than others.
Since most people are familiar with Myers-Briggs and it offers a more robust profile than most other personality assessments I’ve seen, I’ll use that standard. If you’re not familiar with the Myers-Briggs type indicators, you should be. Having worked with literally hundreds of different Product Managers, I’ve also pulled together some observations about what works and what doesn’t for each spectrum.
- Extrovert vs. Introvert: Get someone who is somewhere near the middle. Product Managers need to be comfortable working alone at a whiteboard for 3 hours and equally cofortable chatting it up in the hallway.
- Sensing vs. Intuiting: This is a no-brainer: N (intution) is better than S (sensing).
- Thinking vs. Feeling: Thinking is more important than feeling.
- Judging vs. Perceiving: Product Managers need a balance between the two.
(So) if I were forced to hire based on Myers-Briggs alone, I would hire my first Product Manager as an INTJ.
Here’s how strongly correlated Product Management and Myers-Briggs assessments can be. Around early 2005, eBay did a Myers-Briggs analysis of the entire Product Management team (over 100 people), and the results were staggering: Entire U.S. population: only 2.1% is INTJ. eBay Product Management: INTJ accounted for over 50%.