My Lightbulb Moment About Remote Work Teams

Last week I met with the board of an industry association who’ve asked me to deliver a talk on engaging their remote teams.

Seems that people are attending meetings with cameras off.

Also not responding in meetings because they’re actually on mute and taking a phone call (or in the bathroom, or at the grocery store..)

Or showing up to the office one day a month and expecting to make the same professional progress.

As we talked it became clear that the issue is not that they don’t have the “5 Secrets to Effective Remote Teams.”

It’s that they don’t realize that they’re in a leadership moment.

Here’s what I mean.

I asked them, “Before WFH, what made people engage at work?”

“Well,” they said, “We had fixed work hours. People were at the office. You were held accountable by the fact that everyone was together.”

“So,” I said, “People were held accountable by a structure that invisibly defined expectations.”

“I guess so,” they said. A big light bulb went off as they realized that they can’t address the process until they address accountability.

That is the leadership moment.  

As one of this group said, “There is no blueprint to this cultural and professional shift.”  

The invisible structure of being in an office 9-5 forced accountability. And now that structure is gone.

Leaders now have to choose a moment to revisit accountability and expectations.  

This can be daunting. Maybe you didn’t articulate expectations when you onboarded your team…because you didn’t have to.

Maybe it feels tricky because WFH has accelerated differences between you and your Millennial or Gen Z team.

But some things are universal. Basic consideration for others, feeling excited about work, people gaining mastery, and learning.

Why not let that be the starting point. The teams that are winning at the remote work game are those who are designing it together.

Each team has wisdom. And there will be trial and error along the way.  But you can’t figure out what’s going to work for you unless you begin.

My best,

Tifin Dillon - Use Astrology for Your Leadership Style

Isabelle Steichen - Millennial Free Agent

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