Someone asked me about the importance of product management in my prior tech businesses. My answer was blunt. Great product managers see beyond customer requirements to the often unspoken needs, and they move organizational mountains to fill those needs.

If you’ve ever worked around, for or with a great product manager, you know this to be true. I’ve worked with a few who live up to this lofty description. Without them, there would have been less success. Maybe no success.

For those of you who aspire to follow in their very big footsteps, you need to think bigger about your role…about your cause. Learn to lead across boundaries…quit staring at your competitors so much and climb into the businesses of your customers, until you can feel their stress and pain and see their opportunities. And then do something about it.

A great product manager is a difference maker.