"An indispensable guide for leaders in today's rapidly evolving world...a must-read for any leader committed to thriving in the face of change."

 – John Large, Director Strategy and Operations, Janssen Inc.


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and Origins

How and what we can learn from our most challenging moments: projects

Section 1

The Manager Tax Manifesto

How costly is managing? More than you know. What are the five forms of The Manager Tax?

Section 2

Understanding and Opportunity

The basics of how to unleash the power of workers through the release of Control.

Section 3

Scope and Alignment

Why do projects and teams suffer so? Almost all form of misery start with systemic scope failure.

Section 4

Productive Flow

The second biggest challenge to workers working may surprise you. And you can fix it.

Section 5

Leadership Challenges

Better managing in project-driven organizations requires that leaders drive values into culture and actions.

Section 6

The Ingenious Manager

Better managing requires a new mastery of your reactions, questions, and presence.


Becoming a great manager has its rewards—and you can claim them through the power of Unmanaging, an innovative way of managing organizations that unleashes increased productivity and engagement. Better, faster, and happier.

Written for those who lead and manage today’s complex project-driven organizations, Unmanaged contains practical and powerful techniques, battle-tested in over 200 high-performance and project-driven organizations.  It decodes the often-elusive magic of agile, revealing a simpler and more powerful way of managing that works better in complex workplaces.

Using simple and powerful concepts and frameworks, like The Manager Tax and The Four Key Managerial Moments, leaders and managers will be able to drive massive improvements in quality and success rates, while also enabling a better, more inclusive and engaged culture.

Better and faster than getting an MBA, readers will gain a mastery of a new way of managing from Jack Skeels, a former think-tank researcher and industry visionary, as he integrates seventy years of research in behavioral, cognitive, and management sciences into a roadmap for addressing some of the biggest challenges and opportunities that organizations face today.

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About the author

Jack Skeels

Jack Skeels is a former RAND senior analyst, and currently CEO of AgencyAgile, an Agile transformation and coaching firm that helps agencies, consultancies, and other complex service organizations go better, faster and happier.   His career includes leading Sapient’s 105-person Los Angeles office, and founding and executive roles in multiple startups.  He is a coach to executives, a thought-leader and evangelist to industry, and wakes every day driven to create a revolution in leadership and management practices, optimal organization design, and delivery excellence.

Jack is recognized as an outstanding speaker, writer, and educator.  He speaks at over 15 industry and association events per year, including Ad Age, Digiday, SoDA (annual meeting and The SoDA Academy), 4A’s conferences, Advertising Week, Magnet Global, Miss Collective, TAAN, Bureau of Digital, and others.  With over 35 published articles, his work frequently appears in leading publications such as: Ad Age, Entrepreneur.com, Ad Week, MediaPost, and Campaign.us.

Jack is a two-time Inc-500 Award winner and entrepreneur, with several successful startups to his credit.  In addition to a bachelor’s in Industrial Engineering and an MBA with honors in Entrepreneurship and Finance from the Marshall School of Business, he has held several graduate-level teaching roles, including associate professor at the RAND-Pardee School of Public Policy.

Who should read this book

  • Leaders of organizations:
    • You will be inspired to unlock the unmanaged potential within your organization. You will gain a mastery of the Why Moments, which will make you a better, more-inspiring leader.
  • Managers:
    • This book should be your handbook. Prepare to be delighted by an almost annoyingly comprehensive collection of information about what we do wrong as managers, and what we can do better, much better.
  • Workers and team members:
    • In many ways, this will probably validate experiences that you’ve had with managers, some of which might become more comprehensible as a result. Hopefully, the knowledge here brings you some power in that way.
  • AgencyAgile clients and alumni: 
    • Here are the underlying big idea, a handbook to accompany our trainings. A reminder, and hopefully a few laughs for you, from the stories, vignettes, and models that we have shared with you over the years. This book should remind you of the why behind many of our techniques and methods.
  • Those in “Agile” workplaces:
    • This book will help you decode some of the ideas in the original Software Agile, and even guide your organization away from the rocky shoals of Agile upon which many a change initiative has been wrecked.

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Start Unmanaging Now!

PAPERBACK: available now on Amazon.com   KINDLE eBook: launching in Dec, 2023   Audible: launching in January 2024   Volume purchase available starting Dec 1, please inquire

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Your meeting sucks

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Podcasts & Articles

I hate your stupid Meeting

Your meeting sucks

The Birth of Bad Managing

The Hidden Taxes of Managing