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The Anatomy of the Modern-Day Manager


The Ultimate Prescription to Achieve a Clean Bill of Management Health 

What does it take to be a successful manager in 2018?  We partnered with Aptitude Research Partners to answer that very question, by examining the results of two surveys: The HR Impact Survey 2018, and the Hire, Engage, Retain Survey 2018.  From the data, several themes emerged, and we have compiled them into The Anatomy of the Modern-Day Manager. 

Success as a manager is an interaction of many factors that work together. In fact, the evolution of the manager has in many ways mirrored the way the human race has evolved for survival. Without the five major systems the human body has developed to keep us safe, strong, and able to respond to the daily challenges of our environment, we would not be able to survive the regular challenges of human life. Likewise, as a manager today, you need a similar set of systems to keep your sanity safe, your energy strong, and your resilience-focused to respond to the challenges that we face every day.   

So, whether you're a new manager, a seasoned vet, or even an individual contributor contemplating a career move into management, our white paper will help you assess the strength of each of your systems and give you a framework to help you continuously improve as a manager.  

Read on for a preview, or download the full white paper below. 


We tend to think of managers in the context of other people. A good manager has good people, and we measure a manager both by the output of their team and by their ability to grow and retain their team. But so very often a manager has no control over the circumstances that drive employees to leave. People tend to say that employees don’t leave companies, they leave managers. And they do leave managers, but not necessarily because of them. People get offered their dream jobs or significant pay increases, or they get tired of their commute. The modern-day manager needs to be adaptable and resilient to get the most out of whatever team is in front of them every day. 


Being a great manager requires you to look at yourself and your organization and to ensure that your own internal systems are prepared to get you through the challenges that lay ahead. Just as your body must sense and respond to the challenges you face in the world every day, managers need to maintain foundational systems as well. This report will look at five key body systems as a metaphor for the skills and behaviors that you, as a modern-day manager, require. 

The Five Systems 


  • Musculoskeletal - the foundational system and framework on which all other systems are built. In the body, this comprises the bones and tendons that form the core shape of a human. In a manager, this is the motivation and energy that you bring as a foundation for all of your interactions.
  • Circulatory - the system of pathways that keep nutrients, oxygen, water, and other essential elements moving throughout the body. In the body, the blood keeps all of these pieces moving, but for a manager, the ability to communicate and set expectations is the lifeblood of your success.
  • Immune - the system that protects your body from foreign substances, cells, and tissues. This is a system that works constantly and automatically to keep your body safe and free from infection. For a manager to stay safe and avoid toxic teams, you need to balance understanding and executing company policy and regulatory compliance with your intuition as to where problems may be lurking.
  • Nervous - the system that senses and responds to stimuli of all types. Managers are faced with different personality types, communication styles, and the tensions that arise from human beings sharing space and responsibilities. Developing a strong sense of emotional intelligence (EQ) and resilience allows managers to respond in a caring way, while also not letting these interactions consume them.
  • Respiratory - the system that brings essential oxygen that powers our ability to think, move, and grow, the most basic activities of life. For managers, the ability to be self-aware, and to use that self-awareness to build trust, is the oxygen that keeps teams strong.

And not everyone can or will enjoy meeting the trials of management. But for any leader feeling challenged, the goal of this white paper is to offer some insights to help diagnose where you may have issues, as well as to provide exercises and resources to help you build your capabilities in each area. 

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