Managing a virtual team can be a challenge. In the midst of those challenges, what companies with virtual assistants need most is not better management, but better leadership. It was John Maxwell who once said, “Everything rises and falls on leadership.” In companies with virtual staff, this universal principle also rings true.
One of the greatest crises that the workplace has today is the lack of impactful leadership. Companies can have many managers, yet have no leaders. Experts have unearthed that 80% of employees are dissatisfied with the manager they are under. This is a staggering statistic given that our businesses are directed mainly by managers.
We might think that we need more managers, but what we truly need is more leaders. What is the definition of a good leader? In this video, Outsourcing Angel founder, Miss Linh Podetti shares 6 leadership traits that every manager, director and business owner must-have.
Here’s a quick recap of each quality of a good leader and some important points, which when all joined together create the acronym L.E.A.D.E.R.
Let's look into each one.
Outsourcing Angel’s most important value is love. We believe that it’s important that leaders have a genuine love for their followers. You need to care for them and their welfare, not just what they can do for you.
So many companies today are filled with managers and owners who are only interested in what their virtual assistants can do for them. It’s important that we love our employees. When we do, we bring out the best in our people. That’s because love and care are some of the best motivators in a leader’s arsenal.
Sometimes because things get so busy, we forget to enjoy working with our team. We deliberately find ways to have fun even though most of our staff are virtual. We have online catch-ups and even physical ones every so often where the only agenda is to have fun together. A fun leader is an effective leader. When we bring that joy and energy to our organisations, we will see better results.
Appreciation is one of today’s most underrated leadership practices. Sure, we say “thank you” or “good job,” but nowadays that’s not enough, especially when our virtual staff get desensitised by hearing it.
Try to take appreciation to the next level by telling someone why you appreciate them. Go the extra mile by pinpointing what it is about their performance, attitude or output you are grateful for. Instead of just saying “thank you” or “I appreciate you,” try saying “thank you for being so committed to working with the team” or “I appreciate that you really put effort into this amazing marketing campaign.”
Most people want to please everyone, but thinking that way will always lead to indecision. What makes a good leader is the ability to make hard decisions even if it isn’t going to make everyone happy. There are times in an organisation that we have to do the dirty work. Things like letting go of people, announcing bad news, or fixing mishaps are never pleasing. But a leader always steps up to the plate and makes decisions.
The next characteristic of a good leader is being empathetic. It’s important to be understanding of your staff, especially through hard times. Sometimes when we don’t get the results we want from our virtual assistants, it can be easy to dismiss them as a failure.
But instead of doing that right away, be forgiving and try to understand instead of judging instantly. Understand what your staff is going through outside work, what challenges they face and so on. Doing so will give you a better grasp of the situation and help you develop them. When we instantly judge, we will never know the root problems. But when we’re empathetic, we see the whole picture and come up with better solutions.
Lastly, it’s important that leaders are real. That means that we should be genuine, honest with your feelings and authentic. Too many managers today like to put up a front – meaning they want to put a facade that’s not necessarily true.
One instance where I see this happen a lot is with leaders who are too proud to admit that they don’t know something. There’s nothing wrong with not knowing everything. When you don’t know the solution, situation or answer, it’s okay to be honest and real to your staff. That way they will understand you more and be more willing to help you understand.
What Makes a Great Leader
When all has been said and done, businesses need great leaders. When businesses are lead well, managers have qualities of good leadership and everyone knows how to become a good leader, we set ourselves up for better results and long term success.
The leadership vacuum is a challenge that everyone faces, even virtual teams. When we fill these vacuums, we become better at solving problems and reaching goals as individual leaders and as a collective whole.