The Paradox of Self-Improvement in the Role of a Product Manager


Hatched by Glasp

Sep 23, 2023

3 min read


The Paradox of Self-Improvement in the Role of a Product Manager


In the modern world, self-improvement has become a popular concept for individuals looking to enhance their personal and professional lives. However, the approach to self-improvement is often focused on exertion and determination. In contrast, author Anna Katharina Schaffner argues in her book, "The Art of Self Improvement," that true self-improvement is achieved through yielding, accepting, and giving up resistance. This paradoxical approach can also be applied to the role of a product manager, whose purpose is to increase customer satisfaction and maximize profits for the company. By exploring the common points between these two concepts, we can gain valuable insights into how product managers can excel in their work.

The Role of a Product Manager:

A product manager is responsible for various tasks, including creating roadmaps, developing new products, and analyzing market data. Their ultimate goal is to increase customer satisfaction and generate maximum profits for the company. Similarly, the essence of self-improvement lies in letting go of our preoccupation with ourselves and focusing on external causes or people we love. This idea is supported by the concept of self-transcendence, as advocated by psychologist Viktor Frankl. By dedicating ourselves to something beyond our own needs, we can achieve self-actualization as a side-effect.

The Need for Understanding and Analysis:

To excel as a product manager, one must possess essential skills such as comprehension and analytical thinking. This requirement aligns with the idea that self-improvement starts with problem-solving. Being able to challenge assumptions and think outside the box is crucial for both self-improvement and effective product management. This unique insight allows us to view the role of a product manager as a means of personal growth and development.

Building Strong Relationships:

In order to deepen relationships with stakeholders, it is crucial for product managers to create management plans that instill confidence and trust. This can be achieved by developing a reputation for reliability and competence from the early stages of a startup. Similarly, in the pursuit of self-improvement, we must recognize that our actions and contributions may seem insignificant in the grand scheme of the universe. However, it is still essential to actively engage in meaningful endeavors and encounters with others. By doing so, we can experience a sense of relief and realize the weight we were unknowingly carrying.

Actionable Advice:

  • 1. Embrace the Paradox: Recognize that true self-improvement does not always come from exerting effort and determination. Instead, learn to yield, accept, and give up resistance. Apply this mindset to product management by focusing on self-transcendence and dedicating yourself to external causes or the people you serve.
  • 2. Foster Analytical Thinking: Develop your comprehension and analytical skills to challenge assumptions and think creatively. This will enable you to find innovative solutions to problems and contribute effectively as a product manager.
  • 3. Build Trust and Confidence: Create a management plan from the early stages of your career that showcases your reliability and competence. This will help deepen relationships with stakeholders and establish a strong foundation for success.


In conclusion, the role of a product manager and the concept of self-improvement share common points and can provide valuable insights for professionals in both fields. By embracing the paradox of self-improvement and focusing on external causes, product managers can enhance their ability to increase customer satisfaction and generate maximum profits. Furthermore, by fostering analytical thinking and building trust and confidence, product managers can excel in their roles and contribute meaningfully to their organizations. Remember, whatever you do in life may seem insignificant, but it is still essential that you do it.

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