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April 16, 2020 Thought Leadership

What Business Leaders Should Embrace When Managing Remote Workers

Brian Anderson wearing a patterned white and black button-up shirt.
By Brian Anderson

Businesses, and their employees, find themselves in a uniquely remote circumstance. While there is a lot less human-to-human contact happening now, companies must continue to support their customers and prospects while also positioning their employees for success. Managing a remote workforce requires a different mindset, one that ultimately includes empathy, resilience, and leadership with a defined noble purpose. 

Business thought leaders highlighted a variety of tips and best practices for remote management during a recent webcast, titled: “Leadership Skills to Embrace When Managing a Remote Team.The esteemed panel included: 

  • Lisa McLeod, a business advisor, thought leader, and author of Leading with Noble Purpose. 
  • Elizabeth Lotardo, Master’s in Industrial and Organizational Psychology, and VP of Client Services at McLeod & More. 
  • Jim Ward, Founder and CEO of BrainSell. 
  • Theresa Conway, COO and VP of Operations at BrainSell. 

The panel discussed a variety of topics, including the change in leadership mentalities over the last month, what companies are doing differently, and how to motivate a remote workforce to keep your business going.  

Here are three of my favorite takeaways from the session: 

Industry Mindset Shift Requires Leaders to Guide with Noble Purpose

In the past, companies could get away with a transactional mindset. However, the times we find ourselves in have led to the death of transactional leadership and selling. Today’s buyers are not looking for a transaction, they’re looking for a partnership with companies that have the same mutual goals and beliefs. That’s why McLeod says it’s vital for businesses to identify their noble purpose which ultimately leads to delivering real value to your customers. 

“What’s happened in this crisis is the difference between leaders who truly, truly care about their people and their customers, and who put that as their North Star,” McLeod said. “The leaders who do that versus the leaders who have sort of defaulted to the revenue we got to grow revenue and made that their prevailing story. It’s become so transparent. I was on another call and someone was talking about being a poker player. And I’m not a card player, but there’s a tail. And the leadership language is always the tail. 

Now is the Time to Assess What Your Team Should Like

The way that businesses go to market and produce products will most likely need to pivot in the coming months and years. While that is important, now is a vital time to look at your organization and identify exactly what you want your team to look like in order to provide that value to your customers. 

Assessing what your team looks like needs to be a constant,” McLeod said. I would encourage leaders to table the conversation about what your customers need now and your product offering and the way your business needs to pivot, then primarily think about what kind of people you want to have in your organization. Do you want to have people who are resilient? Do you want to have people who are laserfocused on listening to customers and understanding what they need?  

She shared the recession of 2008 as a prime example. “The firms that had this bigger purpose and used their time wisely to grow and develop their people, and forge stronger relationships with their customers, came roaring out of the recession, she concluded. 

Proper Motivation Through the Power of Storytelling

Having a shared purpose leads to stronger motivation. McLeod highlights that the best way to develop motivation within your remote team is through storytelling. Highlighting how your work is helping other companies—not focusing on closed-won opportunities—will help show how important your work is to your current and prospective customers. 

 Human beings have two fundamental needs: belonging and significance,” McLeod said. As a leader, the way that you build that is through story. If you want to build intrinsic motivation in your team, which is directly tied to resilience and tenacity, the single best thing is to share stories about how your offering makes a difference for your customers.

 


 

There were a lot of great insights from the hour-long conversation. Check out the on-demand recording between these industry experts and let us know your favorite takeaway!

Check out the full conversation here!

Author Bio

Brian Anderson

Brian Anderson joined BrainSell as the content marketing manager, but unknowingly became our in-house troubadour as well. Armed with his natural affinity for words and editorial experience, Brian’s ability to generate high-quality content is unmatched.

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