Are you locked in an uncomfortable power struggle with a HiPPO (hilarious acronym for “highest paid person in the office”) over your product roadmap? Have you been taking the heat from your team for letting the HiPPOs take over? Is your HiPPO full of legitimately bad ideas?

Although I’m a big fan of the “just say no” ethos, and an even bigger proponent of using every opportunity to reference your product roadmap, neither of those applies when the person looking to throw a wrench in your plans also approves your paycheck.

HiPPOs require a different kind of finessing and after a few years of struggling myself, I discovered a fairly elegant way to protect my teams and my product roadmap from those unwanted top-down proclamations. Here’s what will help you take back control and look good doing it: Get your teams to collectively decline with you.

The little process I’m about to share with you falls squarely under product leadership, and serves as a strong reminder to everyone around you that you will only respond to data-driven arguments, not arbitrary power grabs. Let’s get that HiPPO weight off your shoulders.

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