Dog Training + Product Management

We spend a lot of time training our dog, Gunner.  He's a 3-year-old Olde English Bulldogge and we got him from Doubletake Bulldogges in Massachusetts.  We work with the Pawsitive Dog in Boston and couldn't be happier.  He has his CGC Certification and is training to compete in Rally.  Needless to say, we're a bit obsessed with him.

I bring this up because he's an important part of my life, and helps me with product management.  My office is dog friendly and having Gunner in the office really helps me out.  Product Management was new to the company I am currently working for, and people were a little wary of me and my role.  Bringing Gunner to the office encouraged people to come to my desk and start conversations.  Even if it wasn't work related, it was great to talk to people and get to know my new coworkers.  Gunner was the welcoming party in the morning and a breath of fresh air during a long meeting (he snores, uncontrollably).  As people have gotten more comfortable with me and with product management, they're more willing to come over to say hi to Gunner.  Some of the greatest ideas have come out of quick conversations that I've had when someone comes to say 'hi' to the dog.

A big part of my life is training him to be a well-balanced, adjustable dog - and I try to embody the same elements in product management.  I want to be well-respected and approachable, and Gunner's presence and energy have helped accomplish that goal.  Product managers need to be politicians for their own cause, and Gunner has definitely helped me win over some of my biggest competitors.

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