Leading Our People (Virtually)

Venture Capitalist Fred Wilson shared a post on leading companies virtually. Do read the whole post, but let’s focus on this:

Leading a company in this time is very hard. My job mostly entails talking to our portfolio company leaders and I am hearing that they are yearning to be able to walk the halls, look people in the eyes, stand in front of the team, and talk to them face to face. But that is not happening any time soon.

So leadership in this moment means giving everyone a sense of belonging, letting them know they are being heard and that they are valued, and doing that via Zoom, Slack, email, and other software tools. This is uncharted territory for most leaders.

We are all in a moment of transition. COVID-19 forced us all around a corner and down a blind alley. It’s pretty clear there’s another corner coming up that we can’t see around either. Uncertainty is everywhere. Everybody is feeling it, including our clients. It’s not a time to just manage the situation, we have to recreate a genuine sense of community with new tools.

It’s the same old sentiments in new ways. It’s no revelation to make sure there’s a sense of belonging, or that people feel heard and valued. It is a revolution to recognize the opportunity our new normal creates as others struggle to figure it out. Uncharted territory is a beautiful thing. It means we get to do the exploring and draw the maps ourselves. Leadership in this moment means we won’t be alone in the next. The better the communities we refortify now, the better we’ll deal with whatever is around the next corner.

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