Why should we be better that we are?

Posted on September 19, 2013 by ThePMJournal

Today, my wife showed me a inspirational movie. The idea behind was ​​the power of example: a child see his colleague fallen and he helps him getting up, a boy sees the gesture, remains impressed and when he get the opportunity he helps a stranger, others see the gesture, remain impressed, and they, in turn, help others… finally, starting with initial gesture of the first child, a lot of people are helping others for free, unconditional, inspired by example. Brilliant!

-Who made ​​the video? I asked my wife trying to find out what was the company has promoted the viral.

-No one! she replied.

-What do you mean no one? Certainly is a commercial message at the end of the movie: “Nike, Just do it!” or “Apple. Think different!”, I replied surprised. “Who the hell is doing advertising nowadays without a commercial purpose? Do you know how much to advertise on a bus? ”

-Literally no one! she confirmed.

I am not the only one asked himself: Why someone would do this? What is the purpose? Should be something hidden! Then I have asked myself: Would be possible, our perception to be so distorted, we cannot conceive there are also free stuff? It is possible all our society taught us: “In world, nothing is for free…” to be a wrong concept?

The idea of the movie has highlight the power of example. If everyone would make a free and unconditional gesture, probably the world we live in would be better.

We forgot to be children…

The concept of “free” has different connotations for adults and child:

About free stuff, an adult would say: -I do not have time, time is money, money are earn with effort, effort is not for free.

A child: -I have time, time does not mean money, I don’t know what it mean to earn money, the effort is for free!

The gesture to offer for free, is naturally found in humans. When we were children, we offered for free. So, when we do not offer for free, means we forgot to be children…

Project Management says “No” to free stuff

In project management, the theory says is a bad practice to to free stuff. According to PMBoK to do more than we were asked can be disastrous for a project budget and to organization (Gold Plating concept). Obviously for a manager to work more than is required is damaging, because an extra work for free means a inefficient use of resources.

Product Management says: I do more, because I can…

How would look our world, if no one try to do more than he was asked? Probably no one would learn anything; even in travel planning, we wouldn’t have today computers, technology, inventions, space travel, we wouldn’t have a XIX century of physics and of medical discoveries have saved millions of lives, etc. Fortunately, there are still people are doing free things just because they want to create, they want to become better, they want to evolve or sometime for fun. These people are like children!

The great products were born with few moneys, eventually in a garage or in an obscure laboratory in a university. Probable those extraordinary people, could have survive doing nothing all their life, but they prefer to do more than it was required.

We can ask ourselves: What exactly I lose if I do more than required? I can lose in the worst case “time”, but if time for us means “investment”, then do more mean to gain. As long as time means investment, it always we will find resources to do more than expected.

To be better than we are means to do more than you can and it is a mandatory requirement for a Product Manager. To do more than you can, assumes: burning passion, outrunning yourself, imposing new standards, creating things to inspire people; it is the power of example itself. In this context, here is how the vision of a Product Manager could look like:

-I am like a flame. I live to give everything! My senses burn, my thinking burn. While I can, I will burn like a large flame!

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