Ronke Majekodunmi thinks about people a lot: how to meet them, how to lead them, how to help them. It comes through in everything she does as a senior product manager at PayPal. There, she likes to focus on democratizing financial services and modeling empathetic and inspirational leadership. Among the “soft skills” that allow her to do this are cultivating relationships, which she does with particular focus and intent.
“I think those soft skills matter, and the reason why they matter overall, is people want to know you care about them,” Ronke says. “People want to be seen, they want to be validated, they want to be heard. We all do. If we can do that, then it’s a win-win. We build people, and then we build products.”
She gives credit to others who have helped to build her, particularly a group of women who have been her mentors for many years, which drives her passion for mentoring others. She’s got tried and true methods for mentor relationships, and it goes back to cultivation:
“You have to cultivate [the mentor] relationship, because they don’t need you, you need them,” she says. “You need what’s in their head because you want to be a better PM, you want to be a better leader, so you have to cultivate that relationship.”
Hear more of Ronke’s thoughts and guidance for meaningful product leadership — as well as for creating and nurturing successful mentor relationships — on this episode of This Is Product Management.