Leadership from Behind a Screen
In a matter of minutes my entire research team went from ‘must work on campus to ‘non essential, send them home to work remotely.’ I found myself thinking this morning, am I the only one that has to figure out a way to actively lead my team from behind a screen?
I think academia may be one of the last industries that still over utilizes on-campus space compared to other industries. Call me old, or a dinosaur, or even closed minded (but those are definitely fighting words), but I enjoy engaging with my team, knowing how their day is going, what challenges they are having, sharing a meal, coffee, a walk, whatever the situation may be. I believe it’s relationships that truly help inspire and cultivate team dynamics and team success. I have been intentional about our video team meetings from when they happen, how long they happen, to what the agenda is. I found that Monday morning 9-9:30 and Friday afternoon 3-3:30 is working great. I found that starting off engaging in a little social conversation helps. Sometimes I reach out ahead of time to someone from my team and ask them to bring a question to pose to the rest of the team. Sometimes I read a funny post, and sometimes I just talk about the most recent rant that my 3 1/2 year old had. Anything to get the team engaged and talking before we get to business. I have found that keeping things to the point once the business starts is effective; they also feel their time is well spent and valued. Touching base throughout the week and showing appreciation for the work they continue to do is another way I am actively leading and I hope its making a difference.
So… anyone else trying to figure out how to actively lead from behind a screen? If so, what have you learned and/or what are you doing? Let’s share ideas.