How To Be An Inspiring Virtual Leader

Over the past year, much of how we work and live has gone virtual.

It puts leaders in a unique position — how do you build connections and motivate people when you only see them through a screen?

Leading virtually is much different from leading people in person. It can turn even the best in-person leader into an impersonal robot.

The COVID pandemic added another wrinkle to the leadership puzzle as leaders had to find the best way to engage with their employees and lead their teams without actually meeting face to face.

But even as the pandemic subsides, much of our virtual way of life will stay the same. Being able to lead virtually is now a required skill for modern leaders.

To succeed as an inspiring virtual leader, practice these five steps:

Learn the technology

Inspiring people virtually starts by understanding the technology. The most basic step to get a good camera and microphone. Learn how to use various collaboration and video tools. A leader can’t inspire their people if their people don’t know what they are saying or what they look like.

Be human

Employees can easily start thinking of their leader as a face on the screen instead of remembering you are a human with a personality and life outside of work. Be human and show people more than just a cardboard cutout version of yourself. Reach out to people individually, even virtually, to build real connections.

— — — — — — — — — — — — — -

Now more than ever we need to take a step back to define what it means to be a leader and what great leadership looks like. But this isn’t easy to do. In fact, man business leaders struggle with this. You cannot become and build what you don’t define. In the PDF you will get a framework you can follow and also see how some of the world’s top CEOs define leadership. Click here to get the PDF.

http://bit.ly/defineleadership

Lead collaboration

A leader’s job isn’t to do all the work themselves or tell everyone what to do — it’s to encourage and facilitate collaboration. But one of the biggest downsides of remote work is fragmentation and a lack of communication. An inspiring leader understands virtual collaboration tools and knows how to use them in a variety of settings to get the most out of their teams and people.

Be transparent and realistic

Without seeing employees in person regularly, it can be easy for a leader to only show part of the picture. But to build trust with employees and contribute to an authentic culture, leaders need to be transparent and realistic. As a leader, your job is to ensure your organization has transparent processes to share information with all employees. Find ways to regularly and openly communicate with the entire company through emails, video meetings, and phone calls.

Listen

Virtual tools make it easy for leaders to communicate and share information, but it makes listening to feedback more difficult. Inspiring leaders overcome those challenges and build in numerous opportunities for employees to provide feedback — and then they listen. Make your virtual communication a two-way street.

Future leaders must be virtual leaders. They have to know how to inspire their people, no matter if they are next door or around the world.

Now more than ever we need to take a step back to define what it means to be a leader and what great leadership looks like. But this isn’t easy to do. In fact, man business leaders struggle with this. You cannot become and build what you don’t define. In the PDF you will get a framework you can follow and also see how some of the world’s top CEOs define leadership. Click here to get the PDF.

http://bit.ly/defineleadership

--

--

--

4x Best-Selling Author, Speaker, & Futurist. Founder of FutureOfWorkUniversity.com. Exploring Leadership, Employee Experience, & The Future of Work

Love podcasts or audiobooks? Learn on the go with our new app.

Recommended from Medium

To Be a Great Leader You Have to Listen

When the World Needs You To Be A Superhero

🧠 What I learned from 20 D&I Leaders

New Year, New Leader: Supporting a team member to move on

Some thoughts on thriving during (digital or otherwise) transformation

Vulnerability, Loyalty, and Success

John Cascarano of Beast Brands: 5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Became a C-Suite Executive

Do You Unleash the Power of Appreciation?

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Jacob Morgan

Jacob Morgan

4x Best-Selling Author, Speaker, & Futurist. Founder of FutureOfWorkUniversity.com. Exploring Leadership, Employee Experience, & The Future of Work

More from Medium

Meeting Complaints Solved Ahead of Time

How Can Leaders Strike a Balance Between Performance and Transformation?

Eagles soar when they focus: now you can too

Leadership Sin 2: Not Shielding Your Teams