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The unexpected virtual team leader

Mar 16, 2020 | Strategic clarity & alignment, Team cohesion

Remote working is not a new phenomenon.  However, with the spread of the coronavirus, workplaces worldwide have been catapulted into this reality overnight.  And as more and more offices go on lockdown with their people having to work from home, leaders need to learn pretty quickly how to effectively lead their teams virtually.  I would like to give you some of my own thoughts on virtual team leadership over the next few months to help you navigate this unchartered territory.  But before I share my first piece of advice, I’d to give you a bit of good news and that is, regardless of where you and your team might be located physically, the principles of effective leadership remain the same.  Sure, the methods may change, but the principles are timeless and borderless.


First things first, the most important thing you can do right now in this time of uncertainty is to create as much clarity as you can.  Clarity eliminates ambiguity, confusion and chaos.  And it reduces politics, silos and unhealthy conflict.

6 Crucial questions

So what sort of clarity are we talking?  My advice would be to start with answering the six critical questions as so nicely set out by Patrick Lencioni:


  1. Why do we exist?

Knowing your organisation’s purpose, beyond just making money.  And staying true to that purpose.


  1. How do we behave?

Those 2 – 3 differentiating core values that all employees must embody in order for the organisation to thrive.


  1. What do we do?

This is the easiest of the lot, it is simply a definition of your organisation’s business.


  1. How will we succeed?

The anchors that define the strategy of the organisation.  These are as much about defining what you won’t do as much as what you will do.


  1. What is most important right now?

The wildly important goal and the over-arching objectives needed to achieve this goal that are shared across the entire senior leadership team.  And that are then filtered down throughout the organisation.


  1. Who must do what?

The role of each person in achieving these objectives.


It is of utmost importance that the leader ensures that everyone is on the same page with regards to these six areas.  Remember, the leader is the CRO…the chief reminding officer.  In these turbulent and uncertain times, keep bringing your team back to these six things.  It’s your best chance of success.


If you need a bit more guidance on gaining clarity around any of these areas, please do get in touch…I’m all geared up for remote facilitation if your own office is on lockdown.

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