Virtual Leadership or How to Be a Good Long-Distance Leader

What Does It Mean to Be a Long-Distance Leader?

The times of a regular 9-5 office work are over. The statistics show the inevitable future of work,43 percent of employed Americans said they spent at least some time working remotely, according to the survey of more than 15,000 adults.” The data comes from 2016 so you can only imagine, how much the numbers went up. Upwork report on freelancing predicts that “the majority of the U.S. workforce will be freelancers within by 2027.”

Remote – that’s the future of work. And when old habits and work customs die or change, so does the market and its needs. New jobs are created, people change their jobs or way of working. Flexibility becomes ubiquitous. However, one thing stays the same – leadership. But in the era of freelancing, it becomes more challenging than ever. That’s why current times need good long-distance leaders.

One of TimeCamp’s podcast, Stay on Top of Your Work, guests was Kevin Eikenberry. Back at the time when I had the pleasure to talk with him, we talked about his then coming out soon book The Long-Distance Leader. The book and podcast are a great introduction to the art of leading a remote team.


It seems that being a long-distance leader means to completely change your leadership technique. This may not exactly be true. The essence of virtual leadership is to adjust to current conditions in a smart way using a few easy but crucial skills.

What Do You Need for Virtual Leadership?

Being a long-distance leader is a challenging and very often difficult task. You don’t see people every day face to face but only several times a week via technological tools and apps. Because the nature of work is not going to change, you need to learn how to work with a remote team.

Find out what are the 3 crucial skills and tools necessary for a good long-distance leader:

1. Tools and Technology

Technology has advanced to such a degree that imagining life without it or even trying to do simple daily chores is nearly impossible. Not to mention working without it. Of course, having a good quality equipment is important including a fast computer, latest smartphone or tablet. But don’t forget that technology is not only about the accessories but what we do with them and how we use them.

Technology enables people to use various apps and software:

  • time tracking software, such as TimeCamp, to keep track of team’s work and productivity;
  • project management software – to monitor project progress and properly allocate resources;
  • planning and scheduling tools and to-do lists – to prioritize and organize work;
  • communication tools – to always be able to talk to your employees;
  • combination of all these tools (you can find it in TimeCamp software. Here’s the link to register and try it out for yourself!).

Of course, all these tools can be separated into yet smaller and less general categories. If you want to know more about them you can dig deeper! But the above tools are crucial and every long-distance leader should use them.

They extremely improve work between people working in distant and completely different locations.

2. Communication

Every good leader will tell you that communication is the key to successful team management. It’s even twice as important to manage a remote team. Why? Because maintaining proper communication and doing it via smooth channels is what helps to avoid errors, misunderstandings, and conflicts.

leadership speaker

But! It also strengthens the bond between people, which is really important when everybody works remotely. And that makes it easier for the leader to lead with engagement and passion. People work more effectively in a friendly atmosphere.

Use tools (look up at #1) to communicate fast and easily. You can choose various options, HeySpace, Skype, Zoom, Slack, and many, many more.

3. Trust

This point doesn’t require much elaboration because the word “trust” speak a lot for itself.

If you don’t trust your team, their skills, and intentions, your leading will never bring results. It’s only when you put trust in your team and treat them with respect that they pay you off with great results. If people know you trust them and believe in their work, they are more motivated to do their job.

Remember that it’s about trusting each other and creating a small family which together makes small steps toward the big goal.

Do You Have What It Takes to Be a Long-Distance Leadership?

Do you lead a remote team? If yes, you know how difficult and challenging it can be to manage people working in, very often, different time zones, countries, and having different characters. And if you’re not a long-distance leader, you can still apply the practice of using tools, communication, and trust into your work to become more effective and get a connection with your team.

Try to use those 3 simple and intertwine them into your daily leading, and you will see what it means to be a true long-distance leader.

Virtual Leadership or How to Be a Good Long-Distance Leader

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