How To Succeed In Product Management | Jeffrey Shulman, Red Russak & Soumeya Benghanem

50: Why is Managing Up Critical to a PM’s Success?

June 8, 2022

In this episode of the How to Succeed in Product Management Podcast, marketing professor Jeff Shulman and The Product Management Center advisory board member Red Russak and Soumeya Benghanem welcome Sandeep Patnaik (Microsoft) and Bala Sahitya (Meta) to talk about managing up as a critical skill for PMs. As a PM, especially if you’re new to the role, how can you excel in your job? The most important foundation you need to work on is to manage up so you can build solid and helpful relationships, gain significant experiences for career growth, and extend the coverage of your role in preparation to level up. 


Support for How to Succeed in Product Management is brought to you by Apptentive, which enables product managers to measure shifts in customer emotion and gather actionable feedback across the mobile customer journey. To learn more, go to


What to Listen For:

  • 00:00 Intro
  • 01:16 Why do aspiring PMs need to know how to manage up?
  • 03:59 Managing up versus managing stakeholders
  • 08:54 The best practices for how you could manage up
  • 19:11 What does success look like as it relates to managing up? 
  • 24:05 It’s not the data value, it’s how you present it
  • 29:23 When should you escalate?
  • 37:48 Controversial opinion: The PM is the CEO of the product
  • 42:10 Are product managers really necessary?
  • 48:08 Our concluding thoughts