I was in a meeting with my Chief Business Officer at a previous startup. He was essentially the number 2 there. For half an hour he shouted at me because he felt I was not pushing my developers enough. When I explained that the changes he wanted were not possible in the timeline he desired, his reply was “Naach na jaane aangan tedha”. It was super easy for me to throw my team under the bus. Let them do all-nighters for weeks till we achieved the output we wanted. If we missed, I could have always blamed their inefficiency. Or called them incompetent. But it would have also meant me not doing one of my core jobs as a PM: speaking on behalf of the missing person in the room. So I stuck my ground.

The missing person, represented by the empty chair in the room, could have been your dev, designer, researcher, or your customer. As a PM you should always know that just because the chair is empty, you do not ignore that person.