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What are the biggest mindset challenges you face when leading your team remotely?

SmartPulse -- our weekly nonscientific reader poll in SmartBrief on Leadership -- tracks feedback from more than 200,000 business leaders. We run the poll question each week in our newsletter.

What are the biggest mindset challenges you face when leading your team remotely?

  • I worry they're not actually working. 19.5%
  • I have little control over their deliverables. 8.4%
  • I worry they feel like I'm not developing them. 22.2%
  • I worry they feel I'm not necessary or adding value. 16.9%
  • I don't worry at all about anything. 12.7%
  • I worry about something else. 20.3%

It’s not you, it’s me. While 28% of you worry about your team members’ productivity and managing their deliverables because you can’t supervise them closely, the bigger concerns (39%) are with how the team members see you as their leader. You’re worried about not developing them or adding value. These are the true leadership concerns to keep top of mind. To manage them, schedule regular development and 1:1 calls. Don’t let good in-office habits fall by the wayside. Have explicit conversations about their development needs especially in a distanced environment. In terms of adding value, don’t just ask “What can I help with?” because you’ll get a “nothing” response. Make specific offers of assistance like “I’m happy to talk to that one stakeholder who’s giving you trouble and see if I can help remove the barrier.” Specific requests show you’re tuned into what their issues are and are more likely to be met with a response of “that would be really helpful.”


Mike Figliuolo is managing director of thoughtLEADERS. Before launching his own company, he worked at McKinsey & Co., Capital One and Scotts Miracle-Gro. He is a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. He's the author of three leadership books: "One Piece of Paper," "Lead Inside the Box" and "The Elegant Pitch."