Managing from a Distance: the Importance of Leadership (Part 2)
So you’re trying to be a leader even though you’re not around people? We have a few more tips for you as you bulk up your leadership skills. (Missed part 1? Catch up here.)
5 More Top Leadership Tips
Yup, this is the crux of being a leader. Do people trust you? Do you trust them? Have their backs, make sure that everyone’s heard, show them that you respect them. Without these, you might be the boss, but you’ll never really be a leader.
Remote leadership impact: Yes, communicating electronically is functionally different from doing it in person. You might not need to have a rule that everyone has to say something or even be present for every Zoom meeting. But make sure that everyone knows that their contributions are valued and their opinions matter and are welcomed. Introverts don’t always participate well in meetings, virtual or otherwise, so don’t add pressure to their lives by demanding everybody speak. But don’t let those you work with doubt their value just because they are out of daily sight.
Knowing what to do is great for tasks. Knowing where you (and your company) should be going is where it becomes strategy. It takes resourcefulness, goals, and knowledge of your industry and your team to be a strategic thinker.
Remote leadership impact: Delegating projects and gathering information can be done from anywhere. So can thinking.
Well, that’s a surprise.
Remote leadership impact: Seriously, we’re doing nothing but inventing these days. We’ve all settled into our Zoom meetings, Slack channels, and more work tools and tech that keeps our working world moving without the commute. If there was ever a time to let go of the old ways of doing things, it’s now. Streamline, establish new processes, open new minds. Companies only move forward when their employees do. Show initiative and move the needle.
Take on more responsibility
You can’t be a leader without ramping up your game. Taking on more than what you’d been doing is just part of it. A leader becomes more accountable, not less. So when there’s an aching need at your company for something, fill that gap. More growth. Sensing a theme here?
Remote leadership impact: Without a central office, things are simply harder to seamlessly get done. It’s not just your company. “Listen carefully, as our voice prompts have changed,” tells you all you need to know that it’s harder to find people and resources now. Be that person who can reconnect your supply chain.
Surround yourself with greatness
Get a mentor, be a mentor. But don’t stop there. Find people who inspire you. Learn what they do. Find people who do things you can’t. Lean on them to shine and help lift all your boats.
Remote leadership impact: Know your resources. Reward those who do outstanding work. And don’t forget those whose contributions can otherwise go unsung. Those are the heroes who keep things moving, even though they may not get the attention they should. And share things that inspire you with them. Look for qualities that you want to bring to the team from outside your group.
In the end, leadership isn’t really about accumulating power. At least, that shouldn’t be the goal, anyway. It’s setting a good example with your work, making sure the group gets that equity they’ve sweat through, and taking on the accountability that comes with it. And just remember:
Leaders are the ones people look to, not look at.
Don Seaman spends his professional life trying to put the alphabet into the right order to construct coherent thoughts that people can read. Now he does that for Surprise. You can find out more about this failed musician and retired superhero on LinkedIn and Twitter.