The Modern Manager: Create and Lead Successful TeamsManagement

The Modern Manager: Create and Lead Successful Teams

The Modern Manager

175: A Manager’s Guide to Social Media with Bianca Lager

Tue, 19 Oct 2021

The rise of social media has allowed employers and managers to gain access to their people’s private lives in ways never before possible. While it may seem like a gift to be able to instantly gain insight into who someone “really” is, the question every manager must answer is, “is it worth it?” 


Today's guest is Bianca Lager. Bianca is a business manager, consultant and public speaker whose specialties include organizational development, career growth, and online reputation management. Bianca is also the President of Social Intelligence, a consumer reporting agency focused on online risk for human resources.


Bianca and I talk about social media and work - what’s appropriate behavior and what’s not, social media and hiring, and more.


Get a sample social media policy provided by Bianca when you join the Modern Manager community. Check out membership levels at - and get 20% off any level if you work for a government or nonprofit agency.


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Read the related blog article: Is It OK To Check My Employees’ Social Media? 





Key Takeaways:

  • Checking on our team members’ social media accounts hampers our productivity and may result in a false narrative about the person. 

  • Ethically and legally, checking can be a violation of the person’s protected class info.

  • Checking for hate group affiliation is often too complicated, as these groups use benign names. Seeing political affiliations may not be constructive for building relationships. 

  • Assess the level of threat of possibly problematic posts, acknowledge the narrative you created, and decide on a course of action with your HR partner.

  • If an employee is using social media during the work day, don’t react in the moment. It may just be a quick break. Don’t over police people’s behavior. Address it later as part of your regular feedback process if the behavior becomes problematic. 

  • Create a Social Media Policy. Outline expected behaviors, rules, legal standards, documentation procedures, and any punitive actions. 

  • Give e

174: Managing a Remote or Hybrid Team

Tue, 12 Oct 2021

While much of leading a team is the same regardless of whether you’re co-located or geographically disbursed, leading from a distance can feel significantly harder. Even after 18+ months of working remotely, we still haven’t figured out how to optimize our virtual teamwork.


This episode tackles the critical elements that managers need to focus on when managing remotely. 


The full episode guide to building trust and culture in a remote environment when you join the Modern Manager community. Or purchase the full guide at  


Get the free mini-guide at


Read the related blog article: The Four Essential Elements To Managing Virtually


Key Takeaways:

  • The secret ingredient to successful remote teams is trust. 

  • Trust is made up of familiarity, reliability, and communication. 

  • Because we can’t connect easily in organic ways, we need to actively pursue ways to connect virtually on a casual, personal level. 

  • Remote work means less physical oversight and collaboration. Set clear expectations, deadlines, check ins, and goals. 

  • Because all of your team’s communication happens through technology, it’s even more important to make communication clear and simple. Discuss how and when to use each communication tool.

  • Meetings are an essential communication tool to both build relationships and get work done.

  • If you don’t build a virtual culture, a default culture will happen. 

  • Culture is what we celebrate. Give credit to teammates who are reinforcing the team’s norms and expectations.

  • Consider how to celebrate and include the diverse values and ideas that each team member brings to the table. 


Additional Resources:

173: How to Engineer Success with Dr. Ron Friedman

Tue, 05 Oct 2021

Hard work, timing, talent, intuition...there are many ingredients that are often cited as critical to success. One often overlooked strategy is finding what works and replicating a winning process. When teams are able to use effective processes, they are able to succeed again and again, whether that be in how they lead meetings, develop new products, gain new clients, or anything else.


Today’s guest is Dr. Ron Friedman. Ron is an award-winning psychologist who has served on the faculty of the University of Rochester, and has consulted for political leaders, nonprofits, and many of the world’s most recognized brands. Popular accounts of his research have appeared in major newspapers, including the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Boston Globe, the Globe and Mail, the Guardian, as well as magazines such as Harvard Business Review and Psychology Today. Ron is the author of Decoding Greatness: How the Best in the World Reverse Engineer Success


Ron and I talk about the principles from his book and how we can apply them to all kinds of activities, and how managers can incorporate the lessons into their teamwork. 


Members of the Modern Manager community can get 1 of 5 copies of Ron’s book Decoding Greatness: How the Best in the World Reverse Engineer Success as a guest bonus. To get your copy, join the Modern Manager community at If you work for a government or nonprofit agency, get 20% off any membership level.


Subscribe to my newsletter to get episodes, articles and free mini-guides delivered to your inbox. 


Read the related blog article: Teach Your Team To Reverse Engineer Success


Key Takeaways:

  • Reverse engineering is the third crucial element along with talent and practice to achieve success. 

  • Reverse engineering is observing and analyzing what other successful people do and using that information to create your own product. 

  • The steps to reverse engineering are Curate, Analyze, Templatize.

  • Curating is finding the best examples of success, such as great emails or meetings. Create digital “collections” to organize your findings. 

  • Analyzing or “reverse outlining” is working backwards to figure out what ingredients made the product, experience or accomplishment a success. 

  • Turn the information into a template to use as a structure for building your own product or experience. 

  • Make sure that your final product is authentic to you. It’s inspired by others' succes

172: Change Behavior and Build Better Habits with Parneet Pal

Tue, 28 Sep 2021

So often we *know* we should change and even *commit* to changing, yet when the time comes to follow through, we fall back into old habits. We all have behaviors we’d like to change, but as managers, we’re also responsible for supporting our team members to develop the behaviors that will help them be most successful. If changing ourselves is so hard, how are we ever going to succeed in helping others change?


Today’s guest is Parneet Pal. Parneet is a Harvard- and Columbia-trained physician working at the intersection of lifestyle medicine, technology and behavior change. An educator and science communicator, she applies her subject matter expertise to optimize human health and its impact on business leadership and planetary wellbeing. As Chief Science Officer at Wisdom Labs, she focuses on solving for stress, burnout and loneliness in the workplace.


Parneet and I talk about behavior change. We get into the brain science, motivation, and lots of tips for how to follow through on new behaviors or habits even when it feels so hard. And of course we talk about what you can do as a manager to help your team members change their behavior.


Members of The Modern Manager get my “lessons learned” document on behavior change and habit formation. These are my personal notes that I capture as I’m reading articles or books and listening to podcasts. Get it when you join the Modern Manager community at


Subscribe to my newsletter to get episodes, articles and free mini-guides delivered to your inbox. 


Read the related blog article: The Secret To Making Changes That Stick




Key Takeaways:

  • We are creatures of habit. Only 10% of our daily actions are conscious decisions. 

  • To encourage change, we need to align our subconscious and conscious thoughts, teach necessary skills, and create a supportive environment.  

  • Incentives of safety, connection, reward, and/or self-identity will motivate our brains to try new behaviors. We need to remind ourselves of the deeper motivations. 

  • Consider what incentives you have for your team changing and ask what motivates your team to change.

  • Mindfulness is another tool to align subconscious and conscious thoughts. In a stressful moment, become aware of your breath, body, emotions, and thoughts. Then consider how to react in a way that will benefit everyone. 

  • Burnout

171: Tap Into the Power of Sparketypes with Jonathan Fields

Tue, 21 Sep 2021

Do you ever wonder why some people love a complex challenge while others find it exhausting? Or maybe you’ve discovered that certain activities put you into a state of flow in which you’re completely immersed and lose track of time. When we understand the motivations and activities that we are innately wired for, we are able to use that information to design our lives in ways that make us more fulfilled and productive. This “DNA-level wiring” is called your Sparketype.


Today’s guest is Jonathan Fields. Jonathan hosts one of the top-ranked podcasts in the world, Good Life Project®, where he shares powerful stories, conversations, and resources, on a mission to help listeners live more meaningful and inspired lives. The podcast has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, O Magazine, Apple’s iconic annual product event and more. Jonathan is also the founder and CEO of Spark Endeavors, a research initiative focused on helping individuals and organizations reclaim work as a source of purpose, energy, meaning, and possibility. His book, SPARKED: Discover Your Unique Imprint for Work That Makes You Come Alive was just released and the book delivers an important message in a time when many people are emerging from the pandemic and seeking out new work that will both challenge and fulfill them.


Jonathan and I talk about what the various Sparketypes are and how knowing yours, or your team members, can help make work, and life, more fulfilling. 


Members of the Modern Manager get my guide to talking about Sparketypes with your team. Get it when you join at


Subscribe to my newsletter to get episodes, articles and free mini-guides delivered to your inbox. 


Read the related blog article: The 10 Sparketypes That Every Manager Needs to Support



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Key Takeaways:

  • “Sparketypes” are the “DNA-level drivers” of action that set us on fire by most deeply fulfilling and energizing us. There are ten different Sparkatypes.

  • A Maven ge

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