Client Testimonials

Product Leadership Coaching with Ken Norton

I’m passionate about the craft of product management and dedicated to helping other product leaders achieve success through the power of coaching.

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I was growing in my product leadership career but was running into challenges scaling. I had areas where I was doing well but also blindspots and places where I was struggling. I needed someone who had been there and done that who could help me work on me.

After working with Ken, I’m better at seeing around corners and getting in touch with the root of any issue. I’m better able to articulate who I am as a leader and who I want to be and what it means to show up and lead authentically, what my values are and how to build a culture around core values.

Ken’s coaching is transforming me as a human and as a professional and I am forever grateful.

His coaching is helping me be more in touch with my inner values, purpose, and vision. It is challenging me to question long-held beliefs and assumptions in how I operate. And it’s opening my eyes to the underlying beliefs and values driving how other people and organizations operate as well. Thank you.

Ken is incredibly well respected in the product management community. I would put him up there with the top five minds and thought leaders around product management. He was incredibly helpful as I was forming our evolved strategy for the entire company. Helping me get more dialed in on like what I’m uniquely here to do at the company, energizing the team, around the direction we’re headed, and ‘What does success look like to us?’

Ken has been really great at keeping me from getting into the weeds of the details and asking these higher-level questions about what five years from now looks like, imagining what my CPO role is at a bigger scale, high-level questions that really get me looking at the bigger picture rather than the day to day.

Before I started coaching, I was our de-facto product leader informally. I knew I was going to grow into the role but had a lot of imposter syndrome, and doubt, and wasn’t sure how to really operate carrying a team. I’ve managed before but not a team this large and not of Product Managers. So, for me, I had to think about everything really for the first time. Coaching gave me someone to lean on and sort through this with.

I’m more confident. I’m in touch with my values as a leader. I’m finding new ways to lead my team and manage more effectively. I’ve had specific feedback from my leadership and peers who have noticed a marked change and it’s been backed up by my own team who speak very highly of me as their leader.

My CEO told me recently: ’Your team loves you. You have the best retention of any department. It’s night and day from where you were a few years ago. I don’t know exactly what your secret is these last 12 months, but I know you have a great coach and it’s showing.’

I have learned more from my coaching over the last six months than from any manager in my career. It helped me think more intentionally about my product skills, areas for development, and long-term career path.

I highly recommend that other product managers and leaders seek coaching from someone with deep product experience like Ken. I can’t imagine getting the same benefits from someone who didn’t understand the role of product and unique challenges associated with the role.

I was a fairly senior/experienced IC PM, having advanced rapidly earlier in my career, but now feeling stuck and unsure as how to continue to grow into a product leadership role. I was feeling stuck in a cycle of ever increasing scope with no additional leverage, feeling like I didn’t have the time to do work that was up to my standards, or able to do the more longer-term, strategic work being asked of me.

I gained clarity into my core values and personal leadership style. I now feel more confident leaning into my values and strengths, instead of trying to work around them. I also learned to identify instances where I’m standing in my own way, and can more easily overcome my inner critic. Finally, I’ve found ways to scale and gain leverage by being more intentional about where and how to spend my time, while remaining authentic to my values and strengths.

Product Management can be a lonely job, so having a seasoned product leader like Ken in your corner is like having a superpower. Ken helped me better articulate my core values, lean into my authentic leadership side, and uncover ways to create leverage as my scope expands. If you’ve ever wondered if coaching might be for you, I’d highly encourage you to work with Ken.

Coaching helped me answer fundamental career questions I did not even know I had. It helped me gain clarity on creating my own ladder instead of looking to climb existing PM ladders. Ken also helped me expect to hear the inner critic, and helped bring out the leader within. Additionally, it was helpful to be coached to change the perspective through which I was approaching some of my challenges at work.

Ken challenged my perspectives on growing as a leader. He coached me to answer fundamental career growth questions, helping me gain clarity on creating my own career ladder instead of following existing PM ladders.

I had recently become a manager of PMs and Designers both through hiring and through a merger, and needed a coach to help me manage that transition.

Ken has years of experience as a product manager, product leader, and coach. There’s no one better to have by your side as you navigate the challenges of being a product leader at a growing organization. He has examples, resources, mental models, and frameworks that you can apply to see immediate impact at work, and he’s always available to help.

I felt stuck in my career before I met Ken. I had worked with many good executive coaches in the past, but despite being excellent coaches, they didn’t understand the dynamic of tech companies or product management very well.

Ken, with his deep knowledge in product management and tech companies, brought very unique perspectives to our coaching relationship. Ken helped me get beyond the analytical framework and tapped inside emotions and feelings to help me make decisions. Ken is down-to-earth and to-the-point. He helped me gain extreme clarity.

I absolutely recommend Ken to other PMs. It’s a worthwhile investment in your career. Every good company has a good board of directors to help guide the leadership team through important decisions. I benefited tremendously by having Ken as part of my career board during the career transition!

One of the defining moments in my life has been working with Ken as my executive coach. I can’t stress how valuable it has been to do the inner work of both identifying and understanding what my values are. It’s empowering to know that it’s perfectly OK to operate with your values front and center. It’s what makes you uniquely you!

Thanks to Ken’s coaching I’ve changed my mindset to confront and dismiss my inner saboteur while working to apply my values both personally and professionally. This process has enabled me to operate more creatively from a place of purpose and vision verses constantly reacting to everything.

Thanks to Ken’s coaching I’ve changed my mindset to confront and dismiss my inner saboteur while working to apply my values both personally and professionally. This process has enabled me to operate more creatively from a place of purpose and vision verses constantly reacting to everything.

When I came to Ken I was trying to figure out my longer term career goals. Ken really pushed me to think through my core values (helping me come to some key realizations along the way), where I want to be and what I enjoy doing, and how I can take steps towards my goals. Throughout, he focused on helping me figure out what was best for me and thinking critically about it rather than defaulting to the standard product path.

I was able to think critically about what I enjoy working on, my values, what to focus on, and how to move beyond comparing myself to other folks and towards focusing on what I really want.

My confidence increased substantially during our time working together. While I may have had the basic skill set for this new role, I hadn’t yet applied it in this way, and I struggled in the early days to find the confidence to bring my skills to the role. Having someone to turn to, to check my thinking, or even at times the things I heard from others, was critical in developing confidence in my answers.

I started so intimidated by Ken and his experience (OK, I honestly still am), and I was worried that I was just too new to this to work with someone so advanced. But, Ken never made me feel that way and was so great at making me feel comfortable with my experience from day one. He met me where I was, and did a great job helping me think about what I needed to when I needed to. He enabled me to get a bit farther faster and with more confidence.

I had followed and learned a lot from Ken’s writing for years, but to be honest, I was a little skeptical of whether that would translate to coaching since they are different skills. However, I’ve been pleasantly surprised by how much I have learned from working with Ken as a coach and how his years of product leadership experience bring additional color and perspective, but never in a dominating way.

He listens well, provides a safe space for my external processing, and synthesizes ideas into easy-to-remember concepts and principles that I have been able to bring into my work and growth. Particularly as a mid-career product manager, it can be hard to figure out concrete steps for personal growth and development, so it’s really helpful to work with a professional coach who also knows the ins and outs of product management.

Ken has totally transformed my relationship with myself and my work. Sharing his wealth of product experience and deep understanding of what makes brilliant product leaders, he is the best coach I’ve ever worked with. From helping navigate the most difficult decisions by helping me understand them through my own values to holding me accountable to my commitments, he has helped me grow an incredible amount in the months we’ve worked together.

If you’re looking to grow as a leader and to deepen your self-awareness, I cannot recommend working with Ken enough.

It has been truly transformative to meet with Ken, who has the rare combination of product mastery paired with the intuitive empathy of personalized coaching. Regardless of whether you’re looking to make a career move, or if you want to accelerate your career at your current company, Ken will help you formulate (and continuously re-examine) your thesis for your career to help you live and grow into your most authentic life.

From working with Ken, I have stronger conviction in my capabilities as a product leader. I know my own leadership values, which makes it easier to understand why certain people or situations trip me up. I feel completely still myself but more grounded and secure in my own decisions.

There are many executive coaches in the world, but Ken is unique in that he is also a highly experienced product leader. He understands the specific challenges of the role, and what’s required for success. He’s smart and thoughtful of course, but also caring, witty, and a pleasure to meet with. Every single session was highly valuable — Ken made sure of it. You should do it.