Remote work: Leadership guide for CEOs

Namrata Kothari
• September 8, 2020
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C

hief Executive Officer a.k.a the CEO. It  is a much-coveted position for any person in a managerial or leadership role. The title, as impressive as it is, brings power and also brings a truckload of responsibilities. 

In the last few decades, however, the roles of CEO’s have been redefined. Most CEO’s are hands-on and interact with their employees. But work cultures have also changed and now we have remote working teams.

So, what does it take to be a CEO of a remote team? Does it require any different skill sets? Well, we believe that there has to be a change in the leadership style in the CEO of an organisation with remote teams. 

This blog details 10 such leadership skills that will be advantageous and make you a self-assured and successful leader. 

Essential leadership skills for a CEO

  1. Set clear responsibilities: Overlapped tasks and responsibilities occur in any team. This can be a big hurdle with the functioning of remote teams. Chalk out clear responsibilities for all team members. Also, make it transparent and update the same. This way all team members are aware of each other’s work and it will reduce duplication too.

    ( Read: Collaboration guide to get work done)
  1. Set the expectations right: When expectations are set right at the start, everyone knows what to expect. Expectations can be in terms of work hours, productivity and engagement, participation etc.

    When you set expectations you are making clear your intent and vision. And when team members know the bigger picture it is easy for them to relate and commit.

  2. Communicate: A note from the CEO’s desk always inspires the workforce. Apart from the annual and essential mails, do make time to send out an inspiring message for your team. It is a better way of connecting with the workforce and is certain to motivate them.

  3. Take constant feedback: Avoid being a CEO who is not open to feedback. Because when it comes once a year the criticism may daunt you. Needless to say, this will jeopardize your relationship with the board.

    Hence, take feedback from teams at regular intervals and make course corrections as and when needed. This will ensure both organisational and personal growth.

  4. Take care of employee needs: Remote teams or physical teams, all employees like to feel taken care of. As the CEO of a remote team, you will first have to ensure that your employees are not working odd hours and that their work-life balance is being maintained.

    Also, ensure that they are recognised, rewarded and are given other benefits as well. Benefits for your remote team could include a gym membership or a salon membership. Be innovative when it comes to your remote team but make them feel cared for! In return, you will get a more committed and productive workforce.

  5. Be decisive: Quick and efficient decisions are must-have skills for leaders who lead remote teams. If you get caught in processes and protocols, it will cause delays. Delays can be frustrating for a team member who is not in physical proximity. Hence take quick decisions.

    This way your team will gain confidence in your leadership and this will improve overall performance.

  6. Empower your employees: As a leader, empower your team to think out of the box, innovate, take risks and solve problems. The fact that you work with a remote team need not be a barrier to this. You can always connect to them using various mediums and encourage them to take risks and innovate.

  7. Invest in learning and development: A organisation that has a team which is abreast of the latest will always grow. Invest in your employees. Let them attend training and development programs over the web or in their locations. This will increase employee satisfaction, knowledge, and will have a direct and positive effect on growth. 

  8. Focus on outcomes: Be result-oriented and not task-oriented. When you have teams working from remote locations, each one has their own style and way of functioning. Micro-managing and monitoring each task will prove cumbersome and may hamper their style. As long as your teams meet their results in the stipulated time, give them the freedom to function.

  9. Provide tech support: This is one area where you cannot fail or have any lapses. Your remote team needs the best tool to help them stay connected and engaged. The tool should ideally allow for meetings, seminars, one-one meetings, feedback, chat, surveys. An all-in-one platform to meet all your needs would be Airmeet.

    Airmeet is an online platform that offers robust security and HD quality video and audio. It can be used for all the above-mentioned purposes and offers even more features. Airmeet is a scalable platform and at present is available free of charge. So, give your team that technical edge and explore Airmeet for the same.

    (Read: Airmeet vs Hopin )

    (Read: Airmeet vs ON24)

Leadership Do’s and Dont’s

Do

Don't

Do lead by example

Don’t ignore team needs

Do set sensible goals

Don’t micromanage your team

Do be optimistic and positive

Don’t be afraid to make mistakes

Do be prepared

Don’t take credit for your team’s success

Do learn from mistakes and failures

Don’t talk more than you listen

"You don’t learn to walk by following rules. You learn by doing and falling over. "

-Richard Branson, founder of Virgin Group

You don’t learn to walk by following rules. You learn by doing and falling over.

Richard Branson, founder of Virgin Group Tweet

Conclusion

Working and leading a remote team can be a challenge but it is not impossible. Use the set of right tools and skills and you will see the winds of change.

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