Virtual teams are becoming more and more prevalent in business today. Many companies have employees working from multiple locations. When email and video conferencing become your main modes of communication, it can be a struggle sometimes to make sure everyone is on the same page.
In today’s podcast, we interview leadership and culture consultant David Mead. David co-authored the book, Find Your Why, with Simon Sinek. Today we learn how leaders can build greater connections through genuine feedback, solid appreciation, and brutal responsibility while creating meaningful engagement as you Team Anywhere.
What David Has Learned in the Past 2 Years
David Mead reflects on two things that he has learned in the past two years:
- The importance of being proactive — David felt that he was behind the curve when the entire virtual work and hybrid phenomenon started. While many had pivoted to a hybrid and virtual work environment before the pandemic, he still hadn’t. He learned that unexpected things can happen, and that being flexible and willing to do the work–but in a different way–makes a big difference.
- Leaders are now more involved in their team’s personal lives. Like it or not, we are now deeply involved in everyone’s personal lives. Every time we turn on our camera, we’re at a different house. We didn’t have that before. The space has narrowed between work and home.
3 Characteristics Leaders Need to Practice
According to David Mead, leaders need to practice these three characteristics in order to be an effective leader in today’s virtual and hybrid environments.
- Honesty — When we’re honest, we have the ability to acknowledge and take responsibility for our behaviors. Honesty is not just telling the truth to other people. It’s also acknowledging our part in whatever has gone sideways. Create an environment of honesty, and you will receive honest feedback.
- Humility — We all have ego. But practicing humility is all about having a healthy relationship with that ego. It’s about being able to not only recognize our weakness without defensiveness, but also recognizing our strengths without letting ego get in the way. In other words, how do we use our gifts, talents and experience to lift others up, rather than ourselves. Leaders need to discover and practice behaviors that benefit others.
- Humanity — When you treat people as real humans, you develop true relationships. Practicing humanity is all about seeing the human behind every individual. They’re not just employees working for you. They’re human beings with stories and aspirations.
How to Show Your Employees You Value Them
Your employees love to know that you’re thinking about them. They want to know that you value them as a leader and that your organization values them. According to David, to show your employees that you value them, make sure to recognize and acknowledge details about them.
These details could either be their achievements at work or what they personally like. Personalize the experience for them so they know that you are listening to them.
Culture Can’t Be Ignored Anymore
David did a poll on LinkedIn asking what companies were doing to increase retention. Among the answers, improving the culture was a choice that stood out the most.
While increased pay, perks, benefits, and flexibility were raised, culture stands out as needing attention in today’s environment. The nature of work is changing, and so are the needs and attitudes of employees.
Leaders need to be more aware of this shift so they can also shift their strategies in keeping talent that will grow their organizations.
Who is David Mead?
David Mead is a speaker and consultant on Leadership and Culture. He helps companies turn the culture they talk about into a culture that people actually experience. He is also the co-author, along with Simon Sinek, of Find Your Why, a book designed to help teams and individuals find fulfillment in what they do by providing a step by step process to articulate their Why.
- David J. Mead — www.DavidJMead.com
To learn more about the leadership characteristics, download this episode now.
Online Courses for Leaders Leading a Team From Anywhere:
Check out these online courses for remote leaders from the Team Anywhere Team.