Podcast: Leading a remote team in a crisis

The world has been slowly transitioning toward remote work for the past few years, but we are suddenly in an era where many of us have been forced to adopt remote work practices almost overnight. Some of us weren’t ready for this, and we could all use a little guidance in making the leap.

Here to help us is Greg Rittler, the founder of Blue Ocean Ideas, a brand management agency based in Towson, Md. Greg is a warrior on the front lines of the coronavirus. He was exposed to the virus early on at a meeting and has had to spend a couple of weeks in isolation. He’s doing fine now, but he’s homebound — much like the rest of the world. I spoke with him recently to get some ideas about what it takes to lead a fully remote team under these very difficult circumstances. He has some great insights into how to lead a remote team in an era of crisis.

In this conversation, we cover:

  • The experience of being self-isolated.
  • Learning to over-communicate.
  • Playing with the tools available to find what works.
  • Finding positivity in this situation.

Listen to our conversation here:

You aren’t helpless
Dan Burris wrote an article recently titled, “In uncertain times, you have more control than you realize.” It was written specifically for folks who are struggling in this age of the coronavirus. He writes:

“The COVID-19 pandemic has, to a great extent, suppressed our positive, innovative mentality as a species, and has sent many of us into a primordial tailspin of trying to get back to the way things were — the status quo. Due to fear, we are finding ourselves in a real-world dystopian society, where individuals buy in bulk unnecessarily, prepping for the end of the world.

“The pandemic will end and we will recover to another new version of normal. What if we made the new post-pandemic normal much better than what we had before? Is that possible?

“It sure is, if we get past fear and reacting to the next disruptive problem and become anticipatory, using the power of disruptive change to create a better tomorrow for all.

“Keep in mind that while times are highly uncertain in an all-encompassing way, this global disruption on a massive scale is also creating new ways to have a positive, significant impact on the present and the future.”

And then Burrus goes on to say this:

“… Being a disruptor during times like these might sound contrary to what people want. However, when you’re a positive disruptor, you choose significance over success, focusing much less on you and what YOU have done, and more on what you can do for others in a significant way.

“When you look for ways to elevate your significance in times like these, you can find new ways to change your community, your state, your nation and, if you think big enough, even the WORLD for the better. I can’t think of a more needed time than right now. Ask yourself: What can you and your organization do now that would have a significant impact on others?”

Great questions — and great insights — from one of the world’s leading futurists.



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