Traits of an Exceptional Product Manager

Are you interested in becoming a Product Manager? Learn about the essential traits that will help you stand out!

Co.Lab Team
March 22, 2023

Traits of an Exceptional Product Manager

An exceptional product manager is a rare gem in the world of product development. These individuals possess unique traits that set them apart from the rest and make them valuable assets to any organization.

In this article, we will explore the top five traits of an exceptional product manager and how they contribute to the success of a product.

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1. Product Intuition

An exceptional product manager has a deep understanding of their industry and a natural intuition for what will work and what won't. They not only use data to inform their decisions but also have the confidence to make decisions based on their gut feeling when necessary. This intuition is a combination of years of experience in the field, continuous learning, and a knack for thinking creatively and outside the box.

It's also important to note that a good product manager can synthesize their data, interpret it accurately, and make decisions based on the evidence. They are also highly adept at understanding customer needs, anticipating trends, and staying one step ahead of the competition.

2. Small Egos

Exceptional product managers put the product's success first and foremost, understanding that the best way to get the correct answer is to have open, honest conversations with the team and stakeholders. They are not driven by ego or afraid to admit when they are wrong. Instead, they strive to make the best product decisions, not for personal gain.

They understand that by involving their team and stakeholders, they can benefit from different perspectives and come up with the best solutions. Ultimately, they prioritize the success of the product and are willing to take constructive criticism, even if it means admitting they were wrong.

woman in pink dress using laptop on table

3. Impromptu Decision Making

An exceptional PM is a quick thinker who understands and articulates complex concepts in real-time. They possess the emotional intelligence to empathize with an unhappy customer and then make decisions with the customer's best interest and the product in mind.

Furthermore, they can explain their rationale during executive meetings and communicate their thought process clearly and concisely, demonstrating their capability to make decisions in a timely fashion.

4. Facilitates a Collaboration-first Culture

An exceptional product manager is a leader who knows how to bring out the best in their team. They strive to create an environment where everyone is able to express themselves, feel appreciated and have their ideas heard. By encouraging a culture of collaboration, the product manager allows for new and innovative ideas to emerge from all directions, rather than just from the PM's perspective.

This results in a wider range of opinions and solutions for the product, leading to a more successful result. In addition, the team benefits from a sense of camaraderie and a greater understanding of each other's strengths and weaknesses, which leads to improved team cohesion and increased productivity.

Ultimately, a great product manager understands the importance of creating an atmosphere of trust, respect and collaboration within the team, allowing for the best ideas to be shared and the product to be improved.

four people sitting beside wooden table

5. Takes Responsibility

Despite their extensive knowledge and expertise, exceptional product managers know that products can sometimes fail for reasons beyond their control. However, this does not deter them from taking responsibility for their decisions, as they strive to learn from the failure and move forward. They realize that success and failure are two sides of the same coin, and they constantly look for ways to refine their products, even in the face of adversity.

To that end, they actively seek feedback from customers, industry experts, and other stakeholders to gain insights and use them to inform their decisions. Moreover, they use post-mortem analysis to identify the root causes of any failure and develop a strategy to address them. This helps them improve the product and create a more resilient team and process.


An exceptional product manager combines intuition, humility, quick thinking, collaboration skills, and a strong sense of responsibility. These traits contribute to their ability to lead their team and make successful products. If you are looking to develop your Product Management skills, strive to embody these traits, and you will surely make a positive impact on your organization.

Want to start the long way to becoming an exceptional product manager? Short your way by contacting Co.Lab today. Co.Lab's Program Management is the perfect place for you! Check out our resources and join us on Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn so you can stay up-to-date with what we have going on!

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