Thursday night – the whole family watches Germany’s Next Top Model. Do we like the good looking women? Sure – they are fantastic, they look great – but this is not the reason, why we really like watching it.
What you see every week is ridiculously honest and very hard casting. They present themselves as an every day woman who gives everything. They grow and they try to meet the standards of the Ultimate Product Owner: Heidi Klum!
She knows the job, she knows the business, and she gives advice, she cheers their team all the time, but then there is the review. Then the last test … the judgment is hard, honest and is based on an extremely high quality standard but also clear, precise, fair and spoken with a huge respect for the women who did all she could.
She does not destroy the people who did the casting although she destroys their dreams.
We can learn a lot form Heidi’s version of a Product Owner:
- Create a dream, communicate it and talk about it;
- Know the domain;
- Demand what you think is possible knowing what is possible;
- Be honest and fair;
- Give feedback early but be hard on your decision;
- Do not compromise your quality standard (see also Twyla Tharp);
- Treat the team with respect;
- Work with your team, but only if it is necessary – request their own engagement and their motivation.
Heidi Klum cast for a job and she knows what she looks for.
Sir Ernest Shackleton – also knew what he was looking for.
“The personnel of an expedition of the character I proposed is a factor on which success depends to a very large extent. The men selected must be qualified for the work, and they must also have the special qualifications required to meet polar conditions. They must be able to live together in harmony for a long period without outside communication, and it must be remembered that the men whose desires lead them to the untrodden paths of the world have generally marked individuality” — Shackleton, the leader of one of the famoust expeditions of the mankind.
These experts know what they need to do the job. They know that the people you choose, will determine the outcome.