A progressive manager is a leader in an organization who doesn't conform to conventional or traditional thinking on management, instead opting to look for innovative or "progressive" ways to lead.

Forward Thinking

In general terms, a progressive manager is a forward thinker. According to Dictionary.com, progressive means "favoring or advocating progress, change, improvement, or reform, as opposed to wishing to maintain things as they are". This describes the basic leadership thinking of a manager who leads progressively.

Social Responsibility

Social and environmental responsibility are often tied to progressive management. Social justice and "going green" are prime examples of progressive considerations. Balancing profitability with ethical leadership is symbolic of the origin of the progressive manager concept.


Progressive managers intend to produce better results for organizations while maintaing strong social responsibility. According to the Progressive Managers' Network, goals of a progressive manager include practical one-to-one coaching and interaction; open, two-way communication; effective delegation; and quick, intense training. These help contribute to better employee and customer satisfaction.