Effective Remote Leaders Practice the 10 Principles of the Future Manager

Your team has probably been working remotely for most of the last year now, and even as discussions about “opening up” begin to become more prevalent, it’s likely that remote work will continue in some form for the foreseeable future.

That’s the question Google is tacking with a new set of policies recently rolled out by the company’s CEO. They center around just three words:

Flexibility and Choice.

What may have been quick emergency actions like having the basic tools and defining remote processes is now moving toward a new normal.

To make it through the current crisis and return to that new normal, you and your team will need to be resilient. The good news is that leaders can help create the conditions that make this possible.

As Bryan Miles, CEO and cofounder of BELAY, a leading U.S.-based, virtual solutions company says:

“Productivity comes from people completing their tasks in a timely, professional, adult manner, not from daily attendance in a sea of cubicles and offices.”

How will you lead your team through both this changing tide and likely new normal?

THE QUICK SUMMARY – The Future of Work by Jacob Morgan

Throughout the history of business employees had to adapt to managers and managers had to adapt to organizations. In the future this is reversed with managers and organizations adapting to employees. This means that in order to succeed and thrive organizations must rethink and challenge everything they know about work.

The demographics of employees are changing and so are employee expectations, values, attitudes, and styles of working. Conventional management models must be replaced with leadership approaches adapted to the future employee. Organizations must also rethink their traditional structure, how they empower employees, and what they need to do to remain competitive in a rapidly changing world.  

This is a book about how employees of the future will work, how managers will lead, and what organizations of the future will look like.  


Like so many other things in the leader’s life, leading and managing your team has changed a great deal over the past few years. With exponential changes in technology driving new ways to “work,” it seems as change was the only constant.

Leaders may have refused these changes, or grudgingly accepted them, or even welcomed them. 

And then came COVID-19, and those changes which leaders may have resisted became the only way to move forward.

The future is here.

Managers of the future are going to have to challenge the traditional ideas of management and push back against the many business practices that are outdated and no longer relevant. they will have to adapt to the future employee, which means new ways of working and thinking about work. 

Jacob Morgan

Today with the advances in technology around the way we work, many employees can work from anywhere, anytime, and on any device. With the arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting “social distancing” requirements enacted by various levels of government, this was put into practice on a scale larger than ever before – and in a very short amount of time.

The technological framework may have been there, but where many are struggling is around the strategic approach to empower this change. The notion of working 9 to 5 in a cubicle and commuting to an office is dead.

In order to adapt, the future manager must understand and practice the following 10 principles:

  • Be a leader.
  • Follow from the front.
  • Understand technology.
  • Lead by example.
  • Embrace vulnerability.
  • Believe in sharing and collective intelligence.
  • Challenge convention and be a fire starter.
  • Practice real-time recognition and feedback.
  • Be conscious of personal boundaries.
  • Adapt to the future employee.

Jacob Morgan, The Future of Work


How are you exhibiting the ten principles listed above as a leader of remote teams?

Set aside at least one hour to reflect on the list above, using the following thoughts by author Jacob Morgan:

Be a leader.

Do you exert control and manage work or inspire, engage, challenge, and lead your team? Why?

Follow from the front.

Do you work at removing roadblocks from the paths of employees to help them succeed, or do you lead from the top of your organization? Why?

Understand technology.

Do you try to stay aware of how new technologies can be leveraged to help empower your team, or are you slow to react to change? Why?

Lead by example.

Do you provide team support by providing resources and making an appearance, or do you change to meet new challenges and show everyone how you are changing? Why?

Embrace vulnerability.

Do you have the courage to show up and be seen, connecting with your team, or are you aloof and out-of-sight? Why?

Believe in sharing and collective intelligence.

Do you tap into the wisdom, experience, ideas, and knowledge of your team, or do you try to be the Lone Ranger Leader? Why?

Challenge convention and be a fire starter.

Do you practice and promote conventional ideas, taking things at face value, or are you curious and always seeking the “new”? Why?

Practice real-time recognition and feedback.

Do you follow a one directional flow of recognition and feedback on a periodic basis, or do you practice real-time, bi-directional feedback? Why?

Be conscious of personal boundaries.

Your team working remotely is always connected. Do you take advantage of this (even inadvertently) or do you know how to draw a firm line? Why?

Adapt to the future employee.

Our society was already in a fast-paced mode, and the current COVID-19 crisis has the potential for even more rapid change. Your team will have changing needs as an employee — are you changing as a leader to meet them? Why?