If you want to be a bad product manager, highlight your individual accomplishments. Make sure everyone knows about your brilliant ideas, the great work that you did, and the decisions that you made. You did a lot of work and you should get credit for it. You are responsible for the product, after all, and you do “manage” it. How are people going to know about all of the work you did otherwise?
If you want to be a good product manager, attribute product accomplishments to the entire team, not just yourself. Unless you did all of the analysis, created the design, wrote the specifications, completed the engineering and development, ran all the testing, and developed the marketing materials all by yourself (highly unlikely even in the smallest companies), your product is the result of work by a group of people. To play on the old saying, there is no I in product management.
The product belongs to the entire team, not the Product Manager. Because the Product Manager might be the most visible member of the team (getting quoted in the industry magazines and giving presentations to the Board, etc.), the Product Manager has a responsibility to promote the team as well as the product. She must highlight their herculean efforts and amazing results, give credit and praise early and often, deal with team conflicts and problems in a respectful, private manner, and not hang the team out to dry when bad news is coming down the pike.
Taking individual credit for product accomplishments is unnecessary — if your product is doing well, people will make the connection and see that you are doing a good job. Likewise, if your product is not doing well, no matter how much you try to deflect the blame, people will make the connection and see that you are having problems.Giving credit where credit is due is easy to do and free, but neglecting to do so can be extremely costly. Never forget that a product manager is nothing without the hard work and support of a product development team.