The Modern Manager

Cover image for The Modern Manager

The Modern Manager is for managers (with or without formal titles) who need to re-imagine the way they work in a shifting world with exciting and complex new demands for leaders at any level. It begins with the simple truth that being a manager is not one thing, but many, shining a light on five essential roles that every manager and leader must master now.

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Program Overview

Management, especially now, is not something that can be learned in a book. Real management happens through a series of moments, interactions and conversations that shape the relationship and determine outcomes for all involved.

Sometimes you're a supervisor. Sometimes a coach. Sometimes a mediator. Sometimes an inspirational speaker. Often a decision-maker. But each of these roles is also changing with our new normal—there’s been a shift in what it means to supervise, coach, comfort, and learn in today’s context.

Key Questions

How can we support our employees as whole human beings?

How can communicating with honesty, transparency, and vulnerability affect our ability to lead?

How can we coach our team as a whole alongside individual employees?

How do we make decisions when we don’t feel like we have the answers?

How can learning help us pivot our organizations in times of uncertainty?

Field Manuals

The Modern Manager Program is made up of 5 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.

  • The Supervisor

    In a world deeply changed by hybrid and remote work, managers must adapt. We have to begin by embracing our work as supervisors. This work is less about enforcing productivity than it is enabling performance. Instead of asking whether our teams punched the clock, we need to be asking whether our people are able to pay attention to what matters.

  • The Communicator

    As the world of work becomes more—or even fully—digital, the way we communicate as managers must undergo a similar shift. We have to reimagine the way we communicate with our people. Less formal, more frequent. Fewer presentations, more conversations. Less talking, more listening. Getting better at it requires making a habit out of practicing and adapting the way we deliver our messages.

  • The Coach

    The most important thing a manager does is enable the people around them to do their best work. That's what coaching is. But the shifting nature of the way we work requires a different approach. Less formal. More continuous. Bidirectional. Coaching is also not only about the individual—working today is a team sport.

  • The Decision Maker

    Making decisions is one of the most fundamental responsibilities that managers have. But just because we have to do it doesn’t mean that we’ll automatically be good at it, of course. In fact, sometimes the best way to make decisions is by freeing ourselves of the pressure to make them at all.

  • The Learner

    Nobody knows what's going to happen next. Whatever happens, prizes will go to the teams that learn the fastest. And teams that learn quickly have managers committed to learning. That means a commitment to transparency and humility, to questions and feedback, and to celebrating honest mistakes.

Featured Voices
  • Belinda Liu

    Former Senior Vice President Global Learning Solutions for Schneider Electric

  • Matt Burr

    Co-founder and CEO of Nomadic Learning

  • Amanda Thurston

    Partner, Prophet

  • Dr. Cindy Pace

    Global Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer at MetLife

An excerpt from the Program

As work has changed over time, so has the role of the manager-as-supervisor. Watch the animation below to learn about one of the biggest adjustments we need to make to how we supervise: from enforcing how work happens to enabling our team to get it done.