"Mastering the Art of Reading and Earning Respect as a Product Manager"

Aviral Vaid

Aviral Vaid

Feb 23, 20243 min read


"Mastering the Art of Reading and Earning Respect as a Product Manager"


Reading is a powerful tool that can enhance our knowledge, broaden our perspectives, and help us grow as individuals. However, with the vast amount of content available today, it is essential to have a strong filter to ensure we are consuming valuable information. In this article, we will explore practical tips on how to read effectively and also discuss actionable advice on earning respect as a product manager.

The Importance of Selective Reading:

Renowned investor Charlie Munger once said, "Most books I don't read past the first chapter. I'm not burdened by bad books." This statement underscores the significance of having a discerning approach to reading. It is better to have a low bar in selecting books and only pursue those that genuinely capture our interest. Even the faintest spark of curiosity should be sufficient to make the cut. With the availability of Kindle samples, we have the opportunity to explore various books without any financial commitment. If a book fails to captivate us within the first ten minutes, it is advisable to close it and move on to the next.

Unleashing the Power of a Beginner's Mindset:

Starting a new role as a product manager with no prior experience in a specific domain can be incredibly beneficial. By lacking preconceived notions about how the industry "should" behave, one can utilize this lack of knowledge strategically. Embracing a beginner's mindset allows us to approach problems and challenges with fresh eyes, unencumbered by existing biases. This unique perspective can lead to innovative solutions and enable us to make significant strides in our chosen field.

Striking a Balance between Flexibility and Assertiveness:

As a product manager, it is crucial to strike a balance between being agreeable, patient, and open to different opinions while also asserting oneself when necessary. Shopify, a leading e-commerce platform, follows the principle of "Get Shit Done" (GSD). This philosophy emphasizes the importance of taking decisive action and delivering results. By adopting a similar mindset, product managers can earn the respect of their colleagues and stakeholders. However, it is equally important to listen actively, consider multiple perspectives, and collaborate effectively to make informed decisions.

Actionable Advice:

  • 1. Develop a Reading Routine: Set aside dedicated time each day or week for reading. By incorporating reading into your schedule, you prioritize knowledge acquisition and ensure consistent growth. Whether it's early in the morning or before bed, find a time that works best for you and commit to it.
  • 2. Engage in Active Reading: Instead of passively scanning through the text, actively engage with the material. Take notes, highlight key points, and reflect on the ideas presented. This approach promotes deeper understanding and helps retain information better.
  • 3. Seek Diverse Perspectives: Expand your reading list to include a variety of genres, authors, and subjects. By exposing yourself to diverse perspectives, you cultivate a well-rounded understanding of the world and enhance your critical thinking skills.


Reading is a lifelong journey that offers endless opportunities for personal and professional growth. By honing our ability to filter and select valuable content, we can make the most of our reading experiences. Additionally, as product managers, earning respect requires a delicate balance between flexibility and assertiveness. By embracing a beginner's mindset, actively engaging with stakeholders, and adopting a "Get Shit Done" mentality, we can establish ourselves as effective leaders in our field. So, pick up that book, start reading, and seize the opportunities that lie ahead.


  1. "How to Read: Lots of Inputs and a Strong Filter", https://collabfund.com/blog/how-to-read-lots-of-inputs-and-a-strong-filter/ (Glasp)
  2. "Practical Ways to Earn Respect as a Product Manager - Department of Product", https://www.departmentofproduct.com/blog/practical-ways-to-earn-respect-as-a-product-manager/ (Glasp)

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