Leading from Afar

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This RightNow training post, in partnership with the Soderquist Center, features Tom Verdery, the Soderquist Leadership's Executive in Residence. He pulls from his thirty-four years of experience with Proctor and Gamble and shares the lessons that he learned as a U.S. based leader for various organizations in a faraway countries.

In this first video, Tom stresses the importance of clear, simple communication and the need to add value to the market of those foreign workers.

When you are managing people that can't sit with you and normally speak a different language, very clear and concise communication is essential. Along with understanding you, they must see that you add value to their market.

Tom kept his strategic plans to one page. How can you keep your communication to a simple minimum while still getting the essential information to your people? What might you need to simplify in order to reach greater clarity?
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In what areas do you find obstacles in communication within your organization? Between what parties does this problem normally show up? What do you think is the cause of these communication issues? What can you take away to improve your communication?
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What new ideas and strategies are you bringing to your team? Do they have good reason to heed your advice and accept your leadership?
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Communication is essential to all forms of leadership, but we must be especially careful with our words when the other side is international.

In this next video, Tom discusses the next step of creating connectedness among all team members.

Connectivity is a key part of business. You must find a way to connect your people so that they understand their role on the team. This will help them each take value from the team and contribute their own.

Does your organization have a rhythm of communication? Do your employees and co-workers have a comfortable expectation of catching up with you? How does this work in your context? How can it be improved?
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What steps do you take to help every leader understand their contribution to the overall organization? Do you think everyone in your organization understands their part in the whole? How can this aspect of team value and experience be improved?
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Managing an organization from afar adds unique difficulties to the position of leadership. You can do this successfully without your physical presence, however, by following Tom's advice for clear communication, addition of value, a rhythm of contact and connection of all team leaders.

For more great content from the Soderquist Leadership, visit their website, here