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How to Effectively Lead a Remote Team



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I know better than to talk about things

that I don't know much about but I do

know that a lot is changing because of

the coronavirus companies like Google

Apple you name the big company they've

gone to some remote work policy all in

an effort to keep their employees safe

and small to medium sized businesses are

following suit as well they're taking a

similar approach getting their employees

to no longer coming to the office that

they pay so much money for and to keep

them safe

by going humm here's the problem many

leaders that are in positions of

leadership have never let a remote team

and leading a remote team can be very

challenging

now let's note I said leading a remote

team not managing a remote team because

those are very different things and when

I talk about leadership I'm going to

define it for you to make sure we're on

the same page someone whose actions

inspire empower and serve in order to

elevate others over an extended period

of time

that is what leaders do and if you're

going to go inspire someone breathe life

into them they're going to empower them

let them make their own decisions and

then you're gonna go serve them flip

that pyramid upside down remotely it

gets really hard because you don't get

the day-to-day interaction that you

normally would in an office now if

you've been leading a team for a while

remotely you know about some of these

unique challenges that come with leading

a team this way but if you've only ever

led a team in a workplace and now you're

going to lead them remotely let's get

clear on some of the typical challenges

that you're going to face right now the

first thing is there's a real

uncertainty and fear around this virus

this coronavirus it's it's a natural

thing because fear is the mental battle

that goes on but

our ears it's the emotional battle and

each of us you included and your team

experienced that battle in different

ways and with different intensity levels

because of the things going on in our

world so if you're going to go lead a

team right now remotely we have to

understand your people are probably

experiencing some real uncertainty and

some real fear both about the disease

and their job and part of your

responsibility in leading them remotely

is to make sure we're clear on the fear

that they're facing and how to overcome

it

the second big issue that comes with

leading remote teams if you've never

done it before is some kind of

technology issues if you've never led a

team via zoom or only an email or only

be a slack technology can start to cause

issues and not help so make sure you're

equipped with the technology that you're

going to use to best lead your team in a

remote environment the third challenge

that comes with leading teams and a

remote work environment like this is

there's less work companies are more

uncertain than they were a month ago so

the project's might not be the same the

workload might not be the same and so

your team has to now adapt to not only

just thinking that I'm at home and this

is a vacation but what can we do

proactively to find more opportunity for

our job or for our organization as a

whole so these are some of the

challenges that you're going to face

leading a remote team so what do you do

about it I mean we all want to know John

this is great we want to go lead our

people and not manage them and these are

some really big problems but what what

can you do to overcome them because

that's what we're all about here and

helping you become a more effective

leader so the there's some best

practices that I want to go over with

you in our observation of what the best

leaders do that lead remote teams the

first is they really embrace flexibility

there was a fantastic study done by

Deloitte and looked at over

people in the workplace and what they

found was that 94% of respondents said

what they desired was more flexibility

in their job both in working remotely

and controlling the amount of time that

they work well this is forced on you

leading a team right now we have to

embrace flexibility it's our only option

we're now leading a remote team so

instead of feeling like my team has to

be chained to their remote desk like you

might have been in the office now we

have to say one of the benefits of

leading working at home is that you have

the flexibility to pick up your kids

take them to school

go work out go for a walk eat dinner

with your family so instead of it

feeling like a nine-to-five

you as a leading of leaning a team in a

remote setting has to really embrace the

flexibility that working from home

provides your people will appreciate

that more than you know the second thing

real best practice here is to address

the struggles because if people have

never worked from home they're probably

unaware of some of the hurdles or

struggles that they're going to face

when all of a sudden working from their

living room so part of your

responsibility is to make people and

team members aware of the typical

struggles there is a great study done

and what they found was that 20% of the

struggle came from not having

collaboration or communication with a

team member the second biggest area was

loneliness people just think they create

some interactions so when you're by

yourself all day it gets a little lonely

not being able to unplug just feeling

like that phone's always on that

computers always on I no longer have

that place I go to work and now

everything's at huh and the last big

struggle is distractions I mean kids TV

you name it dogs in the back

around all the things that you might

think exists in the distraction at home

that you don't have in the workplace so

part of your responsibility is to make

your team both aware of the struggles

that they might face working from home

but also to create systems to help them

overcome it before it becomes a really

big issue

the third big best practice is to really

provide clarity specifically around the

priorities that your team is focused on

there's a system that we teach in

building the best the book is called GPI

system and what GPI stands for for

leaders is goals priorities initiatives

what it means is can we have a clear

goal about what our team is trying to

achieve then can we go identify the key

priorities the things that are more

important than others for our team so

then they can get their daily

initiatives or tribulus to be in

alignment with those priorities

oftentimes in environments like this and

when people are working from home we get

we lose sight of the priorities that the

team is working on we just start working

in our little bubble that can really

hurt a remote team leaders production

for the for the group as a whole so part

of your responsibility is to provide

some real clarity around the priorities

that currently exist one caveat

priorities can change in the current

environment can force priorities to

change quickly so if they have to change

you've got to get that information to

your team quickly so then they can work

on the right things every single day to

make your current goals become a reality

the fourth best practice of effectively

leading a remote team is to maintain

communication specifically we

to over-communicate because remember the

big biggest struggles for for working at

home is collaboration and communication

and loneliness so if anything we need to

over communicate with remote teams more

than anything else and there's a few

ways for you to do that

in the best way is to have a weekly team

scheduled meeting on everyone's calendar

that everybody is required to attend and

participate those are the very best ways

I know for how to effectively lead a

remote team and I hope this will help

you lead in this very difficult

environment