REMOTE LEADERSHIP TOOLKIT
Hi! I’m Dan Pontefract. I’m glad you’re here. Thanks for visiting the Remote Leadership Toolkit site. (Read my bio if we’ve never met before.)
Since 2002 I’ve led teams and people located across the globe. Since 2008 I’ve been a mobile worker, which means I work half the time from the comforts of my home, all the while leading teams, people, projects, and me.
I’m not trying to be a pompous ass–after all, I’m Canadian–but I’ve got a LOT of experience working and leading remotely.
This is why during the pandemic outbreak of SARS-CoV-2 (and the disease known as COVID-19) I’ve decided to share as much as I can about remote leadership, remote teams, and being a remote employee.
I hope the materials can be useful. When things settle down, and the world returns to some form of normalcy, perhaps I can assist you and/or your organization with a keynote, workshop, or culture assessment. You might even consider buying one of my books.
But in the meantime, the materials can be accessed for FREE!
My purpose statement is simple:
- We’re not here to see through each other; we’re here to see each other through.
May these materials help see you through. Best of luck.
10 remote leading videos
5 bonus leadership videos
1 book (FLAT ARMY – ePub version)
Numerous External Links
Now Available: LEAD. CARE. WIN.
My 4th book is now available for purchase. It’s the perfect antidote for a more caring form of leadership that is necessary both in a pandemic and for remote leadership.
LEAD. CARE. WIN. How to Become a Leader Who Matters contains 9 super-practical leadership lessons to improve how you lead your self as well as others. Pick up a copy today!
Wait, there’s more! Check out the LEAD. CARE. WIN. Online Learning Program that contains 15+ hours of core and bonus content (videos, assessments, activities, job aids, poems, and audio files) in addition to curated extra resources.
REMOTE LEADERSHIP VIDEOS
There are 10 remote leadership videos in total. Each one can be downloaded separately or viewed right here on the site. In addition, you can download a PDF copy of the slides that were used for each video. Topics include:
- Remote Leadership 101: The Basics
- Establishing Virtual Team Norms
- How to Engage & Motivate the Team
- Helping Employees Adjust to Working From Home
- Using Technology to Collaborate with the Team
- Conducting Virtual Team Meetings
- Conducting Virtual 1-1 Meetings
- How to Effectively Communicate with Remote Employees
- How to Maintain Productivity and Performance
- The Importance of Empathy in Remote Leadership
Remote Leadership 101: The Basics
For many leaders, the concept of working from home is as foreign as flying to Mars, let alone having to still effectively lead the team. (The team being newbies to working from home on a full-time basis, too.) This video explores the concepts of trust, more frequent check-ins, sharing, building community, and yes having some fun!
Establishing Virtual Team Norms
You and the team have suddenly been asked to work from home. Alone, isolated, and not allowed to see one another. You probably haven’t worked like this in the past, so the first thing you want to do is to establish “virtual team norms,” which are a set of questions to be answered that ensures everyone knows what is expected of them in terms of communication, collaboration, and connectedness.
How to Engage and Motivate the Team
Borrowing from the work of Thomas Killman but using it in a different light, I explain how the axis of assertiveness and cooperation are critical vectors as you aim to improve your collaboration effectiveness. In essence, you need to become a herd of humpback whales. (Seriously.)
Helping Employees Adjust to Working From Home
Most employees have worked from home on one or more occasions, but it’s very rare for employees to be working from home ALL THE TIME. Let alone the fact the entire team is now working from home, and no one knows what they’re doing. In this episode, I discuss concepts such as space, exercise, virtual coffees, and engagement.
Using Technology to Collaborate with the Team
Other than email and text, if your team has not truly used technology to collaborate (as a team!) then this episode is for you. I go into some detail concerning a) messaging and collaboration platforms, b) online meetings and webinar platforms, c) online project management and tracking platforms and d) cloud storage.
Conducting Virtual Team Meetings
If you’re used to having face-to-face meetings (or having only a couple of meeting dialling into a conference call on occasion) then you really need to up your game as it pertains to team meetings. This episode dissects exactly how you should be conducting the team meetings remotely.
Conducting Virtual 1-1 Meetings
Yes, you still have to have 1-1 meetings. Actually, more than ever given your team members are probably freaked right out and they need your sincerity, caring, and “air cover.” Learn how to have a much more effective 1-1 meeting while both of you are working from home.
How to Effectively Communicate with Remote Employees
How to Maintain Productivity and Performance
You and the team may be working from home, isolated from one another, but that doesn’t mean your organization is shutting down. Work has to get done, deliverables are expected, and goals ought to be met. How? How do you maintain productivity and performance? I’ve developed six key techniques that may not 100% ensure both aspects are kept up, but it will get you ahead of the curve.
The Importance of Empathy in Remote Leadership
It doesn’t really matter if you’re working from home or at the office, arguably the most important behaviour to remember is empathy. But now, given the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, your level of empathy has to be oozing through every orifice of yours. Your entire demeanour must now be empathetic as you shift toward virtual leadership.
- Letter to Team Members About COVID-19 (if I were leading a team-which I did for over 20 years-this is the type of letter/email I would have written to calm their nerves and demonstrate leadership) download here
- Productivity Techniques For Remote Working (whether you are leading people or just yourself, you will want to think about how productive you will be at home, and how to keep it up) download here
- Key Leadership Behaviours To Become A Remote Worker (considerations for everyone, whether you are leading people or just yourself, on how to act when working remotely and alone.) download here
- Building Trust, Fostering Relationships and Knowing How To Communicate (remote working and leading is much different than being constantly face-to-face, so these tips and tricks help you understand the importance of trust and communication) download here
- Working From Home – Technology Matrix (a document that outlines all sorts of technology considerations for employees who are now forced to work from home.) download here
DAN’S “FLAT ARMY” BOOK
Leading remote employees is the very essence of needing to become a flat leader. The culture that is required to be effective, as well as high performing, is one that must be connected, collaborative and engaged.
Hierarchical leadership and closed cultures will not win the battle when it comes to remote teams.
It’s why I have decided to make available for a limited time in EPUB format my first book, FLAT ARMY: Creating a Connected and Engaged Organization. (Learn more about the book by visiting the micro-site. Hey, if the legendary Tom Peters said, “FLAT ARMY was superb,” what have you got to lose?
The book is chock full of specific examples, tips and tricks to lead teams in a more collaborative manner. It’s exactly what’s needed in the age of COVID-19 and forced working-from-home mandates.
WEBINAR: LEADING REMOTE TEAMS
On Friday, March 20, 2020 Dan participated in a live webinar with Carolyn Swora, principal at 1-degree where they discussed a range of topics related specifically to leading teams remotely. Over 60 minutes Dan also took questions from the audience. Check out the recording of the webinar.
Download articles that Dan has written specifically about remote working and leadership. You can download each article individually or as a package of five.
- Considerations For Remote-Based Leadership: A Story From The Trenches– download the PDF here
- In The Wake Of COVID-19 Here’s How To Lead Remote Employees – download the PDF here
- Since 2008 I’ve Worked From Home. Here Are 5 Helpful Tips – download the PDF here
- Why Working From Home Works – download the PDF here
- Working At TELUS Taught Me So Much About Flexible And Remote Working – download the PDF here
This is a living list of external articles, updated as Dan finds them.
- Business Continuity Programs (Skillsoft – 25 videos)
- A Guide to Remote Work During COVID-19 (Dion Hinchcliffe webinar)
- 4 Ways to Work Together When We Can’t Be Together (IDEO)
- How To Lead Remote Teams (ViRTUS)
- To Raise Productivity, Let More Employees Work from Home (HBR)
- Can People Collaborate Effectively While Working Remotely? (Business Journal)
- Brain-Based Proof That You’re More Effective Working At Home (Forbes)
- ‘Hot desking’ trend grows: No offices or assigned seating at new Deloitte headquarters (FP)
- 37signals Works Remotely (Vimeo)
- Finding Healthy Work-Life Balance in a Wireless World (Huffington Post)
- Mobile and at-home workers enjoy better work-life balance (Vancouver Sun)
- Working remotely work well at TELUS (ITBusiness.ca)
- 5 Ways to Work from Home More Effectively (HBR)
- 9 Things Successful People Do When Working From Home (Inc)
- 30 Tips For Staying Productive and Sane When Working From Home (Zen Habits)