The electronic leader. When many people ponder the topic of leading virtual teams, they envision far-away leaders using tools such as the telephone, video-conferencing, and email as they connect with team members. With the meteoric rise in email usage, however, many leaders manage electronically even when their people are 10 feet away. In other words, there is an epidemic of leadership from afar, despite the leader being within easy walking distance of the people they are supposedly leading.
There is nothing wrong with leaders taking advantage of the ease and speed of email. Furthermore, the preferred communication method of many workers is email. However, it is the leader’s responsibility to take stock of the needs of their team members and the goals of the organization, and to make certain that he/she is leading in an appropriate, interpersonal manner. The electronic leader can be valuable and effective. Just do not sacrifice the many benefits of the personal touch in an effort to save time.
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