Leaders come in all forms and types. But not all leadership styles will work as effectively as the others when it comes to managing a virtual team. With differences in locations and time zones, a remote team leader will find it challenging to monitor and manage his or her team, especially if the leadership style being implemented is not suitable in the setup. Here are three of the most applicable leadership styles to help team leaders manage their remote teams better:
1. Transformational Leadership
This leadership style implements a supportive and nurturing approach. By being a transformational leader, you aim to inspire and motivate your team to become productive and growing members of your team. Your focus is to help your team members improve and collaborate with one another to meet a common goal. You also value the identity and characteristics of each individual and foster a strong team identity at the same time.
A transformational leader encourages team members to envision their role in the team as more than just work, but with a purpose. You should motivate your team members to look outside the conventional, to think outside the box and share their ideas with everyone in your virtual team. You should also look into implementing processes that can help everyone handle their jobs efficiently. Virtual drives, communication tools, web-based productivity and monitoring tools will help you handle your team better.
2. Transactional Leadership
A transactional leader, unlike the transformational one, is more focused on goals and outputs. This type of leader wants all tasks accomplished and objectives were met within the deadline. If you are a transactional leader, you aim to keep your team at the top of their game. You make sure that they have all the right tools to communicate with you and be able to deliver efficiently and with quality. You also provide rewards and punishments to motivate your team to meet goals.
Transactional leadership works for virtual teams because it gets the job done. A transactional leader clearly defines his or her expectations from each team member. Regular follow up and progress reports are required to make sure that everyone is on the right track.
This type of leadership tend to be more effective if the goal is to refine existing processes and help an organization become more efficient. But because it tends to focus more on following rules, it may not be an effective approach for teams that aim for innovation and change.
3. Situational Leadership
This approach tends to focus more on what is needed for whatever situation is in place. A situational leader can apply either a transactional or transformational approach if the situation calls for it. This type of leadership demands a high level of adaptability and flexibility. If you apply this approach, it’s also essential for you to have the ability to analyse the situation at hand, so that you can immediately apply the right approach in handling your virtual team.
No matter what type of leader you are -- transactional, transformational or situational -- it’s important to remember that your role is to keep your team motivated and well-performing. You can always adjust your style to meet the demands of your work environment and to help your team perform to the best of their abilities. Book a free 30-minute consultation call with me to develop your skills and style as a leader of a remote team.