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5 management keys for effective virtual leadership

Beyond the 2020 coronavirus pandemic, remote people leadership poses a challenge for organizations.

This article was translated from our Spanish edition using AI technologies. Errors may exist due to this process. Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
  • Challenge with challenging objectives that propel the team to the next level.
  • Apply constant feedback.
  • Take problems in time.
  • Personal and professional congruence is put to the test in this new age.
  • Self-motivation generated from self-knowledge.

Beyond the 2020 coronavirus pandemic, remote people leadership poses a challenge for organizations. In addition to managing affairs, those responsible for areas in companies and organizations of different types need to adopt new ways of leading their teams to inspire, motivate and boost the potential of each collaborator.

Remote work is here to stay: it is known that a large majority will adopt it in a total or hybrid way, mixing days in the office with the home-office. More flexible modalities will also be installed according to each business, and it is expected that there will be smaller, ultra-specialized teams that will work as agile cells in coordination with each other.

Hence, the success of remote leadership is so different from that of having the team face to face, because, among other aspects, it requires:

  • Trust more in each person.

  • Learn to delegate effectively.

  • Generate sense of responsibility in workers.

  • Motivate them to be intra-entrepreneurs within the sector to which they belong.

  • Define processes that lead to the desired results, in virtual format.

  • Create spaces of closeness and long-distance links that help overcome the absence of socialization, essential for all people.

  • Have clear indicators to measure management.

  • Communicate, communicate and communicate: strengthen all available channels, permanently. The leader who does not know how to do it effectively will inevitably fail.

5 keys that make a difference


In the virtual leadership of people there are some drivers that make a difference in the final result. The good pilot of this time knows them, takes them forward, tests, rehearses new formulas, and finally, generates impact through their influence by touching the minds and hearts of people.

These are the five keys to virtual leadership of excellence:

First: Challenge with challenging objectives that propel the team to the next level. Many organizations come from stages of obsolescence regarding leadership and internal processes. The new virtual environment, with technology as a transversal and irreplaceable tool, invites us to create strategies that not only allow the team to sustain itself, but also to move and each one to grow. The leader knows how to see that hidden potential and helps to expand it.

Second: Apply constant feedback. I have expressed above the value of communicating; Today it is more essential than ever, since what we previously interpreted through body language and the paraverbal, and even in the web of codes and behaviors of the unspoken, needs to be replaced by a proactive, open and direct attitude. One way to do this is to encourage back-and-forth feedback channels: feedback is given, and received, so new leaders need to be open to what their own team has to say. Another valuable tool is to acquire the soft skills necessary to create future environments through feedforward, no matter how confusing things are in the present. It is this vision of the future that will generate the illusion, motivation and passion to move forward, beyond difficulties.

Third: Take problems early. We are going from a time of managing random crises to a stage of permanent crises with different impacts. This changes the paradigm, because before, companies prepared for more or less predictable contingencies; instead, they will now become recurring.

For this, the new leadership needs people who are conscientious when it comes to detecting the thermometer of each person, issue and result that they seek to obtain. At a distance, it is more difficult to realize the emotionality and process that each worker goes through, even more so in VICA environments (VUCA in English; volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous).

The assertive leader knows how to cover that gap to gather, encourage, exchange in a group and also individually as many times as necessary. In short, everything that you may have avoided in person, you now have to assume: it is about being in the presence, fully present with other people. Consequently, those responsible for people who only dedicate themselves to managing and micro-management will be buried under the amount of soft-plane issues that arise in teleworking: emotions, personal situations, communication problems within the team, breakdown of the traditional culture, destruction of codes that were in place, lack of loyalty, interpretations and judgments that lead to wrong decisions, and the list goes on.

That is why it is essential that you know how to detect problems in time, to redirect them, guide, encourage the search for solutions and generate collaborative learning environments, so that the lessons learned from each issue can be extracted.

Fourth: Personal and professional congruence is put to the test in this new time. The current leader needs to endorse with facts what he thinks, feels and says, because the teams are observing much more carefully than before, this coherence in his attitude. Exceptional people who require this time need to balance their personal and professional lives, and be impeccable and upright.

Fifth: Self-motivation generated from self-knowledge. The way to generate positive impact and influence on teams is based on a deep self-development of soft skills and competencies that enrich technical knowledge. Intrinsic anabolics are critical to being a dynamo that not only supplies itself with the energy needed to ride the waves of transformation, but can expand it to others.

Some aspects that were previously considered superfluous, such as transcendent conversations with the team, shared leisure time, pride in belonging and making ideals, dreams and purposes come true, rewarding the merits of people and aligning personal objectives with those Professional ideals come to life in the motivation of the new time.

Another way to develop it is to create psychologically safe environments, with confidence, appreciation, inclusion, acceptance and impulse for individual potential, and then, raise awareness to put it at the service of the team where everyone learns and receives feedback. This sense of transcendence is what creates the figure of a “leader, coach and mentor”, a deep person, who permanently adds value, who is someone who is trustworthy and esteemed by their teams.

Thus, from this construction of the new virtual leadership with five decisive steps, a new way of driving is born, kinder, respectful, inclusive and reliable, without losing sight of the results.