The Long-Distance Leader | Kevin Eikenberry

Summary of: The Long-Distance Leader: Rules for Remarkable Remote Leadership
By: Kevin Eikenberry


As work environments evolve and remote leadership becomes increasingly common, traditional face-to-face communication takes a backseat to the virtual world. The summary of ‘The Long-Distance Leader: Rules for Remarkable Remote Leadership’ by Kevin Eikenberry helps leaders adapt to this new reality, and focuses on principles like putting leadership first and location second. Readers can expect essential insights on effective virtual communication, mastering technology, fostering trust, and personalizing interactions with remote team members, as well as valuable tips on goal-setting, coaching, and maintaining work-life balance.

Leadership vs Rocket Science

Leading from afar requires vision, influence, direction, and development without the limitations of location.

According to NASA rocket scientists, leadership is more complex than rocket science. While rocket science demands precise numbers and calculations, leadership involves human beings who are indecisive and ever-changing. Leading becomes even more challenging when the boss is in one location, and the employees work in another place.

Leadership requires action that leads to identifying and meeting goals, achieving results, even with remote employees. The first tenet of leading from afar is understanding that leadership matters more than location. The challenges associated with modern workplace, particularly distance and technology-enabled communication, must not be overlooked, but instead, leaders should focus on vision, influence, direction, and development.

Leading From a Distance

Learn the five precepts for successful remote leadership, including putting leadership first, adapting communication methods, focusing on interpersonal dynamics, utilizing technology, and following the Three O Model of Leadership.

Leading From a Distance –

Remote leadership has become increasingly common, and long-distance leaders must adapt to the unique challenges of leading without face-to-face interaction. The “Remote Leadership Model” can help leaders improve and enjoy their role.

The first precept for successful remote leadership is to put “leadership first, location second.” Despite worries about remote workers’ productivity, leaders must prioritize their people without placing too much emphasis on their location.

As a long-distance leader, it’s essential to recognize that “leading remotely” means leading differently. To communicate effectively in emails, instant messages, and online collaboration and meeting platforms, leaders must learn to communicate with nuance and clarity.

The third precept is to heed “interpersonal dynamics.” The lack of facial cues and tonal subtleties in virtual communication can stymie clear communication and harm relationships. Wise leaders prioritize developing solid working relationships that are based on virtual communications.

Leaders should also “use technology as a tool” to reduce stress and increase productivity. The “Remote Leadership Model” includes understanding and exploiting available technologies while avoiding excessive and unnecessary use of any tool.

Finally, the “Three O Model of Leadership” involves prioritizing outcomes, others, and ourselves. Focusing on outcomes means dealing with workers’ isolation and absence of “environmental cues,” such as workplace tours. Wise leaders prioritize outcomes and other people to generate and sustain trust, further relationships, increase influence, and build engagement.

In conclusion, remote leadership presents unique challenges, but leaders can succeed by putting leadership first, adapting communication methods, focusing on interpersonal dynamics, utilizing technology, and following the Three O Model of Leadership.

Five Effective Rules for Leading Remote Teams

Leading remote teams is challenging, but to succeed, leaders must follow a set of proven rules. Firstly, it is essential to communicate organizational and team goals clearly to remote workers consistently. Secondly, focus on attaining measurable goals and link goal-setting closely with goal-planning. Thirdly, coach remote workers effectively through regular communication, feedback and two-way conversations. Fourthly, tailor interaction and communication with each remote worker according to their work style, preferences, needs, and personality, avoiding a one-size-fits-all approach. Lastly, leaders must try to understand what’s on their remote workers’ minds and help them work with minimal office politics through tools such as DISC, Myers-Briggs, Insights or Strengths-Finder. Remote team leaders must pay close attention to written communication, as this helps them to get information from remote workers who work irrespective of different schedules.

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