The main proof that a leader faces comes with that first task of handling others, that is when we face giving an instruction. Leadership attributes have changed throughout history. However, some competencies - once called universal virtues - prevail. Of course, a leader's first steps are accompanied by uncertainty, even Winston Churchill's hands were shaking on his first days in command. The initial days of a new responsibility are accompanied by upkeep that may be seen from a distance, even excessive. This is how we act in the face of change, in the face of the new. It all is exacerbated if no one could anticipate the change of course and worse if we are all at a distance now.
In confinement and with healthy distance, the scenarios are modified and although we are as far away as a screen and a good Internet connection, things are different. The anguish most often reported in most people who start in a higher hierarchical position is similar to the one we are feeling right now: the fear of failing this test. This fear is given by a set of common misconceptions about what it means to be in charge. In this condition, searching memory for those tools that helped us in the past to succeed may be appropriate.
If we ask novice managers about their early days as bosses, we will hear stories of extreme hesitation, bewilderment, even desperation. Today, under the circumstances, we all must learn to be leaders in new circumstances. Remote directing is a challenge that we must face with tools like those we used when we had our first opportunities to lead a team.
As Linda Hill, a professor at Harvard University points out, most novice bosses don't seem to realize how different each individual's administration is than a team. When we have to organize, it's hard and it's even more so if we have to do it with others. Of course, the challenge increases if we're at a distance. Therefore, there are several elements that we have to take into account to take good care of and direct our team well. We must avoid to obstacle people for misconceptions, because when you make them stumble, you endanger your and their careers and inflict amazing costs on your organizations, in addition to unnecessary stress.
How to avoid this wrong scenario when remote directing? Care must be taken of common misconceptions about management: for example, subordinates do not necessarily obey their orders, despite the formal authority over them. If we limit the freedom to make things happen, we are limited by organizational interdependencies. And, it is our responsibility not only to maintain your own operations, but also to initiate positive changes both inside and outside your areas of responsibility.
So leading from a distance does not mean being on top of our subordinates, attesting to them to check whether they are doing what they are doing or not; nor fill them with unnecessary formats - which no one will read - to report in detail, what and why, and how long they are investing in doing what they have to do. One of the most heard complaints in these days of confinement is that people feel inundated with irrelevant work: they fill up forms that represent extra work that doesn't help productivity and detracts from time for people to do what they should do.
A ranged leader must trust his team, just as he did when he had them by his side. Monitoring should be logical, back to realistic expectations, more likely to survive the transition to management, and generate valuable results for your organization. The rest are handovers of their own anxieties that little help the execution of the relevant work.
The challenge is not to panic about the forced changes that have been imposed on us and that is complicated. Even for the most gifted, the process of becoming a leader is an arduous, even in normal situations, in these circumstances, everything becomes more complex. However, we cannot lose sight of that this can be a great opportunity and it is a rewarding transition. It's like a journey of continuous learning and self-development. The initial test is so fundamental that we often overlook it. That is a shame, because the evidence involved in this rite of passage has serious consequences for both the individual and the organization if it is not done properly. The risk is to add costs, expenses, and stress that you can avoid.
Executives are forged according to the experience of the top management positions they held in their positions. Decades later, they will remember those first months are of change as transformative experiences that forged their philosophies and leadership styles in ways that may remain relevant throughout their professional journeys. Today, we have a great opportunity to reinvent ourselves as leaders and leverage - regardless of our experience - to transform the way we lead.
Organizations suffer considerable human and financial costs when a person exercising a leadership position does not have satisfactory individual performance and their qualifications and qualities do not successfully fit the management responsibilities presented by the change challenge. Here, to say that we are living in novel situations is to affirm truths of Perogrullo, the important thing is to assume it and to live up to it. Changing our perspectives means improving and not taking steps back. It is so easy to stumble, given to the difficulty of the transition. For this reason, we must be incredibly careful and find in our repertoire the best competencies to help our team and not get their foot in them.
If we ask ourselves about this situation and manage to get an honest answer, we will hear a story of bewilderment, alarm, disorientation and, for some, overwhelming confusion. No one was serious about what was waiting for us this 2020. Now the role of the boss doesn't feel like he used to and has nothing to do. Today, it's normal to feel that the challenge is too great for anyone to handle. And whatever his scope, he didn't seem to have anything to do with leadership. However, it does have everything to do with it.
Converting into a remote leader is complicated, but not impossible. It's not about painting a relentlessly bleak picture, to transition is more difficult than you need due to the bosses' misconceptions jefes about their real role. But because many of these notions are simplistic and incomplete, false expectations are created that individuals struggle to reconcile with the reality of life. Recognizing these misconceptions, some of which rise almost to the level of myth in their near-universal acceptance, new managers have many greater chances of success, even if they are at a distance.