Great Remote Leadership Part 1: Essential Behaviors

Leading geographically dispersed teams is difficult. Time and again, research and practice have demonstrated the challenges of overcoming physical distance, different time zones, and cultural disparities to engage teams and lead them to accomplish shared objectives. However, we recently worked with a large, high-tech company experiencing unique success engaging, motivating, and managing remote teams.

Leadership Teams in a Time of Disruption: A New Level of Play

In the United States, we are in the midst of championship softball at the collegiate and high-school levels. The teams still in the running face increasing competition and expectations with each win, and continuing to progress requires impeccable teamwork that maximizes each opportunity while minimizing risks. And, as my daughter reluctantly pointed out to me (as she does not like my metaphors and is chagrined to realize she is also drawn to them), it is a great metaphor for the increasing onslaught of challenges leadership teams are currently navigating in their businesses.

Thought Bubbles from Unproductive Senior Team Meetings

There’s that old line, “You’re not paranoid, people really are talking about you behind your back.” If you’re leading a senior team, that’s certainly the case. Once you’re the boss, human nature being what it is, your behavior becomes subject to a heightened level of scrutiny and water cooler conversation. Few dimensions of leadership behavior spawn more arm chair (office chair?) analysis than the way a senior leader conducts meetings. So, yes, they are talking about how you lead in meetings, and yes, suck it up—it’s why you make the bigger bucks.

The Best Boards Find Strength in Tension

In a recent Harvard Business Review article, three of my RHR colleagues (Orla Leonard, Nathan Wiita, and Christopher Milane) reported the results of research they have been conducting for the past six years about enterprise-wide leadership teams. “The Best Senior Teams Thrive on Disagreement” summarized their work with 99 senior management teams across a variety of industries.

Why You Want Your Senior Team to Do More Talking

Lately I have been getting more inquiries about senior-team environments. Executives are concerned about groupthink, about making decisions too quickly (or too slowly), about an inability to say what is on their mind, and about subsets of the team taking up too much oxygen in the room driving their own agendas. Recently, Gordon Tredgold, a business speaker and author, wrote an article for Inc. magazine about important questions to ask in teams in order to maximize the team’s impact and contributions to the business. His top five questions:

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