Before starting the day, Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius used to dedicate a few minutes every morning to recollect the troublesome people he is going to meet that day. And then go on to remind himself that his sole purpose was to cooperate with and bring the best out of others. Doesn’t that sound like a healthy dose of Daily Standup meetings?
Product Management is one of the most interesting roles in all of IT Product Development. In most part due to the outrageous challenge built into the nature of the role: To influence people with/without authority. This can sometime lead to chaotic situations with multiple stakeholders pulling you in different direction. It can even be demanding for some. But the 2000 year old Greco-Roman wisdom of Stoicism has the answers. Arius Didymus the famous Stoic philosopher (Served as advisor to the first Roman emperor Augustus) is reported to have said: Wisdom is the knowledge of what must be done and what must not be done. In modern day Product terminology, it would sound something like this: Pay careful attention to what you pull in and out of the Sprint from the Product Backlog. The great Epictetus claimed: We don’t control external events; but only our thoughts, opinions & beliefs. Every Product Manager today can use that philosophy to stay balanced in the face of toxic management, difficult stakeholders or unruly team members.