If you’re a manager working in a business that wants to become successful in the 21st century, then you need to embrace the 8 archetypal roles of the New-Age Manager.

1. Prophet. The new-age manager stands out from others by their ability to see possibilities that others don’t see. He or she doesn’t just have a goal for the team to reach, but a vision of something exciting and unique.
"Some people see things as they are and ask "Why?" I see things that are not and never were and ask "Why not?"." (George Bernard Shaw)

2. Partner. The days when the manager was someone who stood above the workforce or lived in a separate part of the business have long gone. Today, the manager is a key player in the team, a part of it as well as apart from it. He or she is a key partner serving the team and in turn being served by it.
“The thing that lies at the foundation of positive change, the way I see it, is service to a fellow human being.” (Lech Walesa)

3. Performer. The new-age manager gets results. This is because he or she works with the team, knows what they want, and has the skills to communicate their vision to others. The workplace becomes a dynamic and exciting place to be. And everyone performs out of their skin.
“If you want to stand out, don’t be different, be outstanding.” (Meredith West)

4. Poet. It may sound strange to talk about the manager as a poet but as an articulator of the deeper meaning of the values of the workplace and a communicator of emotions as well as information, this is what he or she is.
“He who is certain he knows the end of things when he is only beginning them is either extremely wise or extremely foolish. No matter which is true, he is certainly an unhappy man for he has put a knife in the heart of wonder.” (Tad Williams)

5. Philosopher. The reason why the modern manager is a philosopher is that he or she needs a much wider perspective on the workplace than their predecessors of old. They need to see much deeper purposes in work than just a way to make a profit or earn money. They need to see the value of service and the value of personal and team development. In short, the new-age manager has to know the spiritual meaning of work.
“The first responsibility of a leader is to define reality. The last is to say thank you.” (Max DePree)

6. Pioneer. The one thing that new-age managers have to live with that their forefathers didn’t is constant change. They have to both create and tear down, build and destroy. They have to set themselves on one course only to make a sharp U-turn and do something else when conditions dictate. The modern manager is like the frontiersman or woman of old, seeking new lands and new adventures every day.
“You have to leave the city of your comfort and go into the wilderness of your intuition. What you discover will be wonderful. You’ll discover yourself.” (Alan Alda)

7. Persuader. One thing that hasn’t changed from the past is the key role that managers play in communicating with others. In fact, they have to be even better at communicating than ever. They need to be articulate as well as silent. They need to coach as well as be coached. They need to speak to people’s minds as well as to their hearts. If the ability to make a case was a crucial skill of old, then in the future one of the most valuable skills will be the skill to persuade.
“Nothing is so potent as the silent influence of a good example.” (James Kent)

8. Pilgrim. In the stories of the past, one of the heroic archetypes was the figure of the pilgrim who goes on a journey to discover treasures and ends up discovering himself. That’s an apt way to end these descriptions of the modern manager. He or she is an adventurer who goes into the unknown, a dream-seeker, a wanderer for whom the journey will always be more important than the destination.
“You cannot be wimpy out there on the dream-seeking trail. Dare to break through the barriers, to find your own path.” (Les Brown)

© Eric Garner, ManageTrainLearn.com 2009

Author's Bio: 

Eric Garner is Managing Director of ManageTrainLearn, the site that will change the way you learn forever. Download free samples of the biggest range of management and personal development materials anywhere and experience learning like you always dreamed it could be. Just click on ManageTrainLearn and explore.