Spiritual Psychology & The CPO

Written by Tim Edmundson

Being a successful leader in product development means having a few key characteristics — an eye for detail, an understanding of the big picture, nonlinear thinking, and the ability to keep pushing forward despite the challenges that lay ahead. You need to have the technical know-how to lead the charge. You need to have grit, determination, and the ability to inspire those around you to have the same. Needless to say, it isn’t for the faint of heart.

Not many people would argue with you about that. You may get a few head scratches, however, if you mention something non-traditional. For example, most people don’t immediately equate a masters in spiritual psychology with strong product leadership, but SteelHouse CPO Marwan Soghaier has something to say about that.

Marwan was recently featured in Forbes where he discussed why his training in this particular vein of psychology has helped him in his role as CPO. “[The training] had a profound impact on my own ability to understand where others are coming from, what judgements trigger people’s behavior, and how being present and listening to others is sometimes the most productive way to help them get through their own issues,” said Marwan. “Designing and building a great software product for people in so many ways is really just understanding their life, day to day — understanding what causes them pain and empathizing. In a way, my final product is the best expression of empathy I can provide in my daily professional life. That makes me feel accomplished.”

We sat down with Marwan to further explore his thoughts on why empathy, understanding, and the ability to see what people need are keys to effective product management and leadership, and are proud to kickoff our SteelHouse Profiles series with his insight.