Managing a Remote Team
More and more of us are working remotely some or all of the time. Leaders are now challenged with managing teams spread across time zones. Taking on this topic of remote leadership is Kevin Eikenberry and Wayne Turmel in their book The Long-Distance Leader: Rules for Remarkable Remote Leadership.
Kevin Eikenberry is the founder of Kevin Eikenberry Group, the author of several books, and a leadership speaker. Wayne Turmel is the cofounder of the Remote Leadership Institute and also has authored numerous books.
I recently spoke with Kevin about the unique challenges of managing a remote team.
Your latest book is The Long-Distance Leader: Rules for Remarkable Remote Leadership and your website on leadership is superbly done. Let’s start with your definition of leadership.
Thanks for the feedback! I love this question, Skip, and while there are a hundred great definitions, here is one to consider: Leadership is the actions taken to help and encourage others consistently in the direction of a desired future outcome. It is a verb (action), not a noun (a position). And, nothing gets better without leaders.
“Use technology as a tool, not as a barrier or an excuse.” –Kevin Eikenberry
What unique challenges do long-distance leaders have?
The obvious one is that you can’t interact with some of your people face-to-face, and you likely won’t communicate with them as often. So that means that every interaction is important – and you should work to communicate beyond email (turn on those webcams) as much as possible.
One less obvious is that it isn’t just you and the remote team member who have to adjust. If you are like most teams where you have a hybrid – some work together and others are remote – you have to help the whole group learn how to collaborate and communicate most effectively in this new world of work.
“Few things can help an individual more than to place responsibility on him, and to let him know that you trust him.” -Booker T. Washington