Leading Remote Team is the new normal
To whoever is about to read this blog right now, I know you are dealing with chaos, as we all are, but there is strength in numbers and the world must unite and we all must help each other through this global crisis to come out on the other side, as no one individual has all the answers. This blog series about Leading and Managing Remote Team that I’m going to be posting are to really make a difference in your thinking and your behaviors so that you can implement key leadership strategies to lead your business effectively with the majority of people now working remotely.
It is so important that you don’t lead in isolation and with all that is happening around you, take the time to learn, which is what I’m doing right now in this unbelievable crisis.
No doubt, many of you reading this blog are now suddenly leading teams who are all working from home. We’ve never seen anything like it before in our lifetime. Businesses have had to scramble, with no real significant warning or preparation time to restructure their business into this new world we’re all facing.
I’m writing this next 14 part blog series in particular as I’ve had a great deal of experience in leading remote team globally since 1994 and I want to be of real value to you. From starting a business in Sydney with $11 in the bank to expanding one of our businesses into 28 countries, into 12 different languages and a sales force of 15,000 people. Off the back of this, I have also been able to advise my Australian clients in leading their teams, some of which are remote, so I’ve learned a great deal about leading teams who are separated by distance. I’d like to now share some success principles I’ve found extremely critical in leading remote team with the current business environment being so critical. Working remotely is a completely different environment and behaviour compared to when we go into a daily office environment. It requires real deliberate focus on the right behaviours so that accountability and respect (the two key platforms for a successful organisation) grow remotely and because people aren’t seeing each other personally on a daily basis, deliberate action is required to grow unity and teamwork.
These principles will become part of the building blocks for your sustained success in this new world we all find ourselves in right now, working remotely.
Over the coming weeks, I’ll be posting my series of how to effectively lead remote teams and the first principle I want to cover is Vision and how to keep yourself and your people focussed on it. So, here we go….
A vision is unifying.
A vision gives hope.
A vision creates purpose.
And a vision creates focus.
All four things we need now more than ever.
As the business owner or team leader you must keep bringing yourself and the team back to what the vision is on a regular basis.
Initially, if you haven’t done so already since COVID19 hit, formally state and remind your team in a written communication what your vision is and outline why it’s your vision and how you plan to achieve it as a team.
Then in addition to this, if possible – hold an online meeting (e.g. via Zoom or Google Hangouts) with your people to re-cast, re-state and re-affirm your vision personally. Nothing beats hearing the vision clearly and passionately outlined from the business owner, team leader or CEO – whatever your case may be. If this isn’t possible, record yourself doing the above and send it to every team member.
Then after this initial re-statement, keep regularly bringing your team back to the vision and encourage them in the achievement of it, formally and informally, to keep your team focussed and united on your common goal. I bring up my vision with my team at least weekly, just in conversation, asking for example, “What are we focussing on right now and is it aligned to the vision? Are we working the right priorities?” Or I’ll say something like “Look at how far we’ve come, I wonder where we’ll be in 12 months time?! We could be having a team meeting on a beach in Hawaii!“
Remember, these are turbulent and anxious times and your people’s attention can easily get distracted, so now more than ever, we all need a vision. By bringing them (and yourself) back to the vision, you keep everyone focussed, you give everyone a purpose to get out of bed each day, you unify you and your people (which is so important as we’re physically isolated) and most importantly right now, you give yourself and your people hope.
What’s your vision?
Have you re-stated and reminded your people about your vision?
Are you regularly bringing you and your people back to the vision?
Keep a look out for the next blog in this series – I’ll be covering how to set clear expectations for your remote team and to ensure accountability to those expectations, which is challenging when your team is remote.
I really wish you all the very best with what you’re dealing with right now and I truly hope this has stimulated your thinking to help you lead your team remotely.
I trust you and your loved ones are safe, strong and healthy.
If you’d like to read further on this topic, these are two blogs I’ve written previously:
If you’d like to follow the Leadership Dynamics Facebook Page, my team and I are organising some online events to thrash out issues like, leading your teams remotely, in more detail. Stay tuned. Click here for the link to my Leadership Dynamics Page.
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