People & Interviews

Exploring Progressive Management. Insights from Lina Zaboras, CEO at DIDWW

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Article by Lina Zaboras, CEO at DIDWW.

First, there must be an idea. It’s not uncommon for startups to fail while others go on to become so successful they’re dubbed “unicorns.” Interestingly, the driving force behind such triumphs lies not merely in financial resources but in the leadership skills and unwavering dedication of those who breathe life into that idea.

Traditional management dictates a top-down approach where employees follow their superiors’ commands. Contemporary management theory, on the other hand, is based on forward-looking ideas, such as when a manager strikes a balance between his spheres of influence to foster a more collaborative workplace, providing employees with a sense of meaning in their work. The purpose of this management  method is to find a happy medium between more conventional approaches and the most recent developments in the field.

Yet, when it comes to making a company successful, what really constitutes high-level, expert advice?

Understanding the Motivation for Action

The foremost skill of a leader in progressive management is the ability to understand what motivates others to act and achieve results. The first step in any procedure is to ask, “Why?” We must ponder what our actions mean to us individually, to our families, and to society as a whole.

Effective upper management acknowledges that a shared understanding of principles is crucial to garnering the team’s support. Great leaders motivate their teams to improve. They make the vision and goals crystal clear so that everyone knows what they are working towards and why. Your mission statement, an unwavering statement of your values and ideals, originates in your cause. In its presence, “it becomes the criterion by which you measure everything else in your life.” (Stephen Covey, 1989).

A clear central goal is imperative. Managers serve not just as examples of how to act in the workplace, but also as inspiration for their teams. If workers believe they are making a difference, they may be more motivated to implement the company’s ideas and plans.

The Qualities of Great Leaders

Exceptional leaders are characterized by their openness to learning, acceptance of criticism, and ability to provide lucid guidance. These attributes not only earn them the respect of their peers but also empower them to identify and address issues before they escalate, saving time and resources.

A progressive leader is more amenable to teamwork and is willing to consider alternative points of view. In an atmosphere of mutual trust, team members are more inclined to offer their ideas, suggestions, and critiques. When employees have confidence that their manager can be reached when needed, they are more likely to bring issues and inquiries to the manager’s attention. Fostering a culture of open communication nurtures robust relationships, cultivates a pleasant and trustworthy workplace, and enhances group dynamics, all of which contribute to better decision-making.

Great leaders show that with hard work and dedication, anything is achievable. In their presence, employees are driven to action. Such leaders focus on straightforward objectives, uniting their teams toward a common goal, and mapping the path ahead. This helps with promoting collaboration, participation, and early problem detection.

The Role of Emotional Intelligence

Another crucial skill for modern managers is emotional intelligence (EQ), or the capacity to recognize, comprehend, and manage one’s own and other people’s emotions. This skill greatly enhances team dynamics, decision-making, and communication. A leader with a firm grasp of emotions can effectively communicate with their team, strengthening relationships and fostering a positive work environment.

Emotionally intelligent managers excel at fostering positive work environments. They can rally their teams to tackle challenges collaboratively. Their ability to build rapport, clearly articulate goals, inspire employee engagement, and make equitable decisions is unparalleled. Emotional intelligence also equips managers with resilience against stress, adaptability in the face of change, and productivity under pressure.

Leaders with a high EQ inspire their teams to deliver their best in a joyful workplace and welcome constructive feedback. In today’s competitive corporate landscape, emotional intelligence is a crucial asset. It facilitates acclimatization to novel situations while simultaneously motivating individuals to work together effectively.

Embracing Innovation

The business world is constantly changing, so managers must be adaptable and proactive. Openness to new concepts and innovations is the key to growth and success.  Companies that embrace innovation and adapt to the dynamic business landscape have a better chance of thriving. Innovations streamline processes, leading to cost savings and improved efficiency. The adoption of new technologies and processes can bring automation, enhanced communication, and accelerated production.

In today’s business realm, a wide array of management tools, such as Trello, Salesforce, or Zoom, serve diverse operational goals like standardization, efficiency, productivity, collaboration, delegation, and tracking. These tools empower businesses to boost productivity, improve communication, and make informed decisions. Innovative thinking can result in superior products and services, enhancing customer satisfaction and loyalty.

According to Steve Jobs, innovation is the main factor that separates market leaders from their competitors. Novel approaches can enable a business to reach a wider audience. Innovative businesses are frequently viewed as interesting and forward-thinking places to work, attracting and retaining top talent by fostering a culture that values creativity and risk-taking.


In the realm of progressive management, a modern manager, much like an orchestra conductor, plays a pivotal role. Just as the conductor is not a solo musician, the manager is not an individual performer but is instrumental to the group’s success. Building trust with each team member is essential, and the ability to motivate the team to perform in harmony is central to the organization’s success. The conductor sets the tempo, listens attentively to the instruments, and reads the performers to understand their motivations and personalities.

The conductor’s actions are always motivated by a desire to improve the music. He turns his back on the audience to observe the performers, focusing on the performance rather than the audience. Together, the conductor and the orchestra strive for the same goal: a successful and enjoyable musical performance for the audience. Similarly, the manager and the team share the goal of delivering the best experience for their audience – the customers.

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