Management I: Fundamentals

Cover image for Management I: Fundamentals

Nobody ever became a great manager by accident. Like any other skill, it’s something we all have to continuously work at. But here’s the good news: no matter how experienced (or not!) we are with managing people, getting better is just a matter of making conscious effort. But in a world that is constantly changing, that’s not easy. This Program focuses on the fundamental management skills and practices needed to keep up. It is the first of three Programs in our Management series.

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Program Overview

Being a great manager isn’t just about doing what other great managers have done or copying their “best practices.” Instead, great managers are always adapting to the constantly shifting, complex environment of modern business.

After all, it requires a lot: the self-awareness to identify our own strengths and weaknesses, the discipline to regularly work on our own development, and the flexibility to provide what our people need from us in the moment, even as it changes from one day to the next. Managers are uniquely responsible for orchestrating effective collaboration and harmonizing our teams’ working styles—no small task. But here’s the good news: when we focus on empowering our people to do everything they’re capable of, the rest will follow.

This Program is the first of three Programs in our Management series. There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to being a good manager, but this Program focuses on some of the fundamental ingredients of effective management that no manager can afford to ignore, including trust, delegation, and influence.

Key Questions

What are some common traps that many managers fall into?

What new authority comes with being a manager?

Why is trust so fundamental to effective management and how is that trust changing in the digital world?

How should you decide what tasks to delegate, and to whom?

When should you not delegate?

What are some practical strategies to gain influence?

Field Manuals

The Management I Program is made up of 4 Field Manuals (our version of an online module). Each one contains a variety of types of content and social exercises culminating in a mini-project, reflection, or debate. Each Field Manual will take you between 30-45 minutes to complete but you can jump on and off at your own pace, as often as you’d like. The deeper learning happens in the discussions with your fellow learners so be sure to check in on the conversations regularly.

  • Management

    Mastering the art of management is a lifelong pursuit. This Field Manual looks at what it means to be a good manager in a global, digital economy. It explores some common pitfalls that plague managers at all levels and helps you reflect on your own philosophy of management—whether this is your first transition into a new management role or your tenth.

  • Trust

    If your people don’t trust you and each other, nothing gets done. This Field Manual focuses on how to build (and maintain) trust, and the unique challenges of doing it in an era where overall levels of trust are diminishing

  • Delegation

    The who, what, when, why, and how of delegation. This Field Manual looks at the history of delegation as a way to rethink our own delegation practices. It repositions delegation as a way to empower team members rather than bury them in grunt work.

  • Influence

    If you want to have an impact even when you don’t have power, this Field Manual is for you. It defines the concept of influence, explores its difference from power, and offers practical tips for understanding and wielding influence from any level within any organization.

Featured Voices
  • Reza Moussavian

    SVP Digital & Innovation (HR), Deutsche Telekom

  • Amanda Thurston

    Marketing Leader, IBM

  • Rich Kaplan

    General Manager of Employee Experience and HR Services and Strategic Advisory of the Microsoft Alumni Network

  • Matt Burr

    CEO and Co-Founder, Nomadic Learning

An excerpt from the Program

This animation, featured in the Management I Program, explains four unexpected behavior traps we run the risk of falling into as managers and what we might do to avoid them.