Leadership takes courage, but you already knew that. Virtual leadership takes even more!
One of the pitfalls for those who venture out into leadership roles is thinking that leadership is simply having a clear vision of a preferred future. But, leadership is more than simply having a vision for what could be.
You see, vision can be almost anything:
- More income from making more sales
- Increased free time for making memories with your family or friends
- A new car that isn’t as old as your eldest child (Shout to my 2008 Mazda 3!)
- Losing weight before the holidays so you can actually enjoy grandma’s pumpkin pie
Vision is simply that: seeing a preferred future.
But, leadership is more. Leadership is being able to do two things:
- Settle on what the preferred future ought to be
- Rallying those around you to move towards it
Leadership is a vision for a preferred future plus the courage to act upon it.
It takes courage to be able to make decisions. Decisions that are guided by the destination of your preferred future.
In the case of losing weight before the holidays hit, it’s going to mean making sensible choices in your eating habits, substituting a salad when the team wants to order takeout from Shake Shack!
Or, if you’re saving up for Christmas purchases, it’s going to mean cutting back on the Avocado Toast and Starbucks coffees (sorry, Millennials! 😂) so you will be able to splurge as Christmas makes its way here.
That’s courageous! Self-sacrifice, even in small ways, is still sacrifice; and leadership takes the courage to sacrifice.
In the midst of 2020 and the paradigm shift we’ve experienced in how we accomplish our work, it is imperative that businesses and their leadership have the courage to say goodbye to some of the old ways of how we have worked.
We’ve seen more businesses make a shift to Work-From-Home solutions for their employees. First and foremost, for the safety of their employees and co-workers. It’s a no-brainer that in the midst of a global pandemic, safety is a priority.
This has meant many businesses have had to find ways to not only survive but now find ways to thrive as their employees have become decentralized from a central office or workspace. WFH is here to stay, and so are the Zoom staff meetings, the Slack conversations, email chains, and so on.
As a business leader, you may have never envisioned a time when you would see your workforce leave the office en masse to work from the comfort of home, yet you may be finding yourself without the ability to bring them back.
In this case, the courageous thing to do is to embrace the circumstances and forge a preferred future for your team. Businesses that are going to thrive in this new post-pandemic world are those that are going to make Work-From-Home a win not just for their bottom lines, but for their employees’ lives as well.
This is where creative solutions to the distance of social-distancing come into play.
Social distancing causes pain in the social aspect of life when we merely focus on achieving our distance from one another. Yes, your team is safer when they are at least six feet apart, but they are also missing the ability to be TOGETHER working towards your goals. Teams have to find a way to bring the “social” while keeping the “distance”.
Here are some ways to be courageous as you lead into the future:
- Have the courage to have fun when the team is “together”
It’s fairly well accepted that teams that have fun together work better together. Who of us hasn’t experienced the dysfunction of a team that fails to actually enjoy being together! When having to work in a primarily virtual environment (like Zoom, Google Meet, etc.), it helps to take some of the formality out of the meeting and introduce some fun.
- Have the courage to check-in on your employees in empathetic ways
We’re all guilty of answering the question, “How are you doing, today?” with “Fine.” I’ve heard the word fine is an acronym for Frustrated, Insecure, Neurotic, Emotional. More than likely, your team members may be feeling any of those at any given moment. While you don’t want to pass yourself off as a counselor or therapist, asking empathetic questions to get a read on how your employees are doing will go a long way toward maintaining forward movement in a post-pandemic world.
- Have the courage to measure the quality of your team’s work over the quantity of the tasks completed
I’m a firm believer that a focus on quality will ultimately result in increased quantity over time. The nature of our work may not have changed as you’re likely still trying to provide the same products and services as before, but the way in which we are working has caused a massive shift in morale, work ethic, motivation, etc.
The underlying impact of the stressors now present in your teams lives can not be ignored, so, rather than focusing on volume in the short-term, celebrate the wins in the quality of your team’s work in light of such stressful circumstances in 2020.
- Have the courage to focus on the wins your team is having today versus the losses that you’ve endured in 2020
This goes hand-in-hand with the previous point mentioned. Every team, every business, every person has experienced some type of loss this year, and while we can’t ignore them, we can move on from them. There is no better inspiration for future success than to celebrate your current success. People want to be a part of a winning team, so remind them of the wins every chance you get!
- Have the courage to recognize the impact of this last year on your team while casting a hopeful vision for 2021
Thankfully, this year will come to an end soon! And, while we can’t be sure of what lies ahead, we can work to forge a better and brighter future.
While much may have not gone according to plans in 2020, we’ve had the opportunity to learn and create new possibilities and successes to build upon. Remind your team of their hard work and determination and take the opportunity to invite them to help craft what 2021 may look like.
At LetsVidya, we believe that we can still be socially distant while being distantly social. Our virtual experiences will help you to maintain high team morale as you emphasize personal safety and responsibility while leveraging our memorable and fun experiences to build your teams.
LetsVidya offers a full slate of great activities from culinary classes to game shows or live music and wine tastings! Whatever your needs, LetsVidya can create a custom experience that will elevate your company culture. Check out our Corporate Holiday Experience Guide today, then reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org