PM Performance: Business Growth vs. Personal Growth

When product managers think about performance, there’s a tendency to think about how your efforts impact company growth. In other words, being responsible for launching a quality product or feature is how you gauge personal success. However, as I learned at Uber, making an impact on your company’s growth doesn’t tell the whole story.

Simply put, you need to focus on personal growth much more than contributing to the bottom line. Said differently, you need to find ways to “2x yourself” in addition to driving business results. If your performance capacity isn’t growing at the same rate as your company, then you’re not scaling your talents at an optimal rate.

Ultimately, your personal growth will unlock opportunities to advance your career. While business results are clearly an important indicator for merit increases, it’s only one part of the equation. I learned this lesson at Uber following the introduction of a new feature that I thought would virtually guarantee a new promotion.

If you started using Uber in the early days, you’ll remember that booking your final destination was a bit cumbersome.

Just as you would with standard cabs, customers had to get into the car first and tell the driver where they wanted to go. I’m proud to say that I worked on the team that introduced a feature that is very easy to take for granted today. That feature is the ability to enter your final destination prior to getting in the car.

As a result, the customer experience improved exponentially – both for passengers and drivers alike. For example, customers have confidence that their drivers know exactly where they want to go. In addition, drivers receive turn-by-turn directions before the customer gets into the car. Plus, if there’s a language barrier between the passenger and driver, the customer still gets to where they want to go. Simply put, the driver has turn-by-turn directions in their preferred language and the customer knows that they are going to the right destination.

In the end, I thought my performance in bringing this new feature to market had guaranteed a promotion. However, my manager pushed me for more instead of giving me a promotion. For example, they asked me about the future and how this feature affected our road map. Clearly, I was equal parts disappointed and confused.

With this, I set out to create a framework for product managers to set up their career for upward success. Stay tuned for a summary of how to measure your performance as a product manager.

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About the Video:
Speaker: Shalin Mantri

About the speaker
Shalin Mantri Member
About the host
Boone Spooner

Boone Spooner is a customer obsessed Principal Product Manager at Caavo - a device designed to simplify and unify your home entertainment system. Previously he built products at TuneIn where millions of users listened to live music, sports and talk radio shows, podcasts and audiobooks. In another life he worked as a music producer and engineer in San Francisco where he managed the largest recording studio in San Francisco, before building and launching his own. There he worked with Apple, Google, and KFOG and musicians Steve Earle, Alanis Morissette, Death Angel, Third Eye Blind and many others.

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