Coach the Coaches
“I look at all the people who’ve worked for me or who I’ve helped in some way and I count up how many are great leaders now. That’s how I measure success.” — Bill Campbell
Many of us at SVPG have been fortunate to have been mentored in our careers by truly exceptional coaches—people who cared about our careers and had a deep understanding of the nature of product development. Someone that understood that it’s not about following some process, but rather about doing the daily work of discovery and delivery. Someone truly dedicated to helping us reach our potential.
We are looking for those people. But not to hire. Just to help them help others.
Announcing Marty Cagan’s Coach the Coaches Session – NYC
In May of 2022, Marty Cagan and his SVPG partners conducted the first Coach the Coaches session in London. SVPG has decided to follow that up with one other session, this time in New York City. While the London session was just for coaches living in the EU and UK region, this session is open to coaches living anywhere else in the world.
On Dec 13-14, in New York City, SVPG will be hosting an intensive 2-day session, open to product and discovery coaches and trainers from across North and South America, as well as Australia, New Zealand, and Asia.
As with the London session, there will be absolutely no charge for this session, and there are absolutely no strings attached. The people we select will just need to get themselves to New York, and find themselves a place to stay.
Attendees won’t be asked to commit to anything. They won’t be asked to pay for any form of certification, or any form of license fees, or royalties, or kickbacks of any sort.
They don’t even need to commit to passing along what they learn. We know the onus is on us to convince the attendees that the techniques and methods are valuable.
As we’ve long argued, we don’t believe there is any single process or method behind strong companies. We instead focus on the principles, the techniques and the mindset.
Who will be invited to attend?
We have an application process that is open to anyone, and we are also encouraging those coaches and product leaders we already know and trust to refer people they think have the necessary potential.
We are looking for people with hands-on experience in product management, product design, engineering, and/or product leadership, that want to make a career out of helping others to reach their potential, and create world-class tech-powered products.
Please note that this is not a session for actual practitioners (e.g. the current head of product at a company) or for in-house company coaches. This is for those people that help coach and teach many practitioners at many companies.
We will limit the attendees to 50 because we want to get to know each and every one of the people that attend personally. This is also why we believe this is an important session to do in-person rather than virtually.
What if I am a coach and trainer, but just for the people inside my own company?
This session is for those that are independent coaches, or those working at small consultancies. We had considered offering this session to internal product coaches on a “for fee” basis but have decided to have it remain for independent coaches that are helping multiple clients.
What if I am an Agile coach and trainer?
Being able to coach on Agile methods is fine, but this session is about coaching on product, so the experience we are looking for is experience with product discovery and normally that means several years of experience either as a product manager or a product designer.
Where do I show up for the session?
We will provide logistics info to those that are selected to attend. The session itself will be in Manhattan, and will start at 9 am both days, and finish by 6 pm, but the discussions will likely continue informally into the evening.
Why are we doing this?
We hope to help enable attendees to provide coaching and training of the caliber necessary to create truly strong teams and companies, even for people that have not been fortunate enough to experience working at a strong product company.
Our goal is to have many more coaches and trainers advocating the practices of the best companies, and we want to expand the set of people we consider qualified for us to refer companies to.
What if I’m based in the UK or EU, and I didn’t make it into the London session?
We appreciate your desire to attend, but this session is trying to identify and develop product coaches based in other locations.
What if I’m currently the head of product at a product company, but I’m intending to leave soon to become an independent product coach?
You need to have already informed your current company of your plans to leave and change careers. Please feel free to apply, and be sure to share your plans and reasons for your career change.
What are the differences between the London and the NYC sessions?
The main difference of course is that the London session was for coaches based in the UK and EU, and the NYC session is for people based everywhere else.
The two parts of the London session that were considered most useful by the attendees were the sessions on “Successful Transformation” and also the session on “The Business of Coaching.” Therefore, in this upcoming session, we’ve decided to focus on those two parts.
Will we be able to use SVPG materials after this session?
No, that’s not the purpose or intention of this session. Obviously we hope you’ll become an advocate for many of the ideas and principles that we also advocate, but only if you believe that is the right thing for your client.
Will we receive some sort of certification from SVPG?
No, there is no certification, and we don’t believe in certifications in the product space.
Will SVPG provide my firm any type of support or services after this session?
While we are always happy to try to answer whatever product-related questions you or anyone in the product community has, beyond that, no, we are not set up to provide support to other people or firms.
How do I apply?
You can find the application here. The deadline to apply is August 1, 2022.
When will I know if I’ve been selected?
We will have selected and notified the attendees by September 1, 2022.
explore other services
The SVPG partners are available for a variety of speaking engagements, both virtual and in-person. The typical format is a 45 minute presentation followed by 15-30 minutes of Q&A.