Jack Canfield and Debra Dinnocenzo discuss the challenges facing remote leaders and the changes that the new workplace presents for leaders and teams. Jack asks Debra to explain how her career brought her to her work coaching remote leaders and training hybrid teams. Debra shares her passion for her work and her insights on the critical skills for leaders who must manage the essential touchpoints to keep team members engaged and motivated, while balancing the demands of supporting people, productivity, and profits. Debra reinforces the importance of remote leaders leveraging connectivity tools to make authentic connections with remote/hybrid team members.
About the Guest:
Jack Canfield is an award-winning speaker and an internationally recognized leader in personal development and peak performance strategies. As the originator of the CHICKEN SOUP FOR THE SOUL® series, he’s taught millions of individuals his modernized formulas for success, and now certifies trainers to teach his content and methodology all over the world. Jack is recognized as a leading expert in creating peak performance for entrepreneurs, corporate leaders, managers, sales professional, corporate employees and educators.
Jack is the author and co-author of more than 150 books (including 66 bestsellers) with more than 100 million copies in print in 47 languages around the world. His bestselling book, THE SUCCESS PRINCIPLES: HOW TO GET FROM WHERE YOU ARE TO WHERE YOU WANT TO BE has been hailed as the new self-improvement classic. In 2014, SUCCESS magazine named him “One of the Most Influential Leaders in Personal Growth and Achievement.” Jack holds the Guinness World Record for having the greatest number of books on the New York Times bestseller list at the same time.
About the Host:
Since publishing her first book on telecommuting in 1999, Debra has been a pioneer in the shift to virtual work and remote leadership. Few practitioners in the field have the depth of knowledge and hands-on experience that distinguishes Debra in the hybrid workplace and remote leadership space. As a nationally recognized expert in remote workplace and distance leadership, Debra has spoken widely on related topics, and developed and taught “Leadership in the Virtual Workplace,” an online graduate-level course.
Debra A. Dinnocenzo is president and founder of VirtualWorks!, a consulting, coaching, and training firm that specializes in virtual work issues. Debra is a dynamic keynote speaker, innovative educator, impactful coach, seasoned executive, and successful author.
Debra is the co-author of the recently released book, REMOTE LEADERSHIP – Successfully Leading Work-from-Anywhere and Hybrid Teams, as well as several other books on remote and virtual teams.
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Thank you for joining me for this episode of the Remote Leadership Podcast. I'm Debra Dinnocenzo. And I'm glad to have another opportunity to share success strategies for leaders of remote and hybrid teams. This will be the first of a two part podcast that allows me to welcome a special guest. I recently had the opportunity to meet with and be interviewed by Jack Canfield, author of the success principles. It was an honor to talk with Jack, who asked me to share my journey that brought me from corporate executive with telework experience, to remote workplace consulting, coaching and speaking. Like me, Jack spent a good part of his career working in the traditional workplace. And like many of you listening, he has found that the way we work, build relationships, and achieve results is evolving. My journey reflects that evolution. Although I've spent the last two decades helping leaders and teams learn how to be productive in this new world of work well before hybrid and remote work became as mainstream as it is now. So let me ask Jack to help us explore how I came to be where I am now. And why I'm so passionate about the work I do, and why mastering leadership effectiveness in the remote workplace is so critical.Jack Canfield:
Hi, I'm Jack Canfield. You may know me as the co author of the Chicken Soup for the Soul series, the book, the success principles, featured teacher in the movie, The Secret I'm sitting here with Debra Dinnocenzo. And I'm really excited about this interview we're about to have. So let's start just basically with what do you do?Debra Dinnocenzo:
I am a virtual workplace and remote leadership expert. I've been doing this a very long time. And I help organizations, leaders and teams with their skills and the tools and techniques they need to work effectively in the expanding remote workplace.Jack Canfield:
That's interesting. How did you? How did you drop into that? What was the thatDebra Dinnocenzo:
That is interesting a long time ago, before we even knew what all of this was, I decided I wanted to have a little bit more time out of the office and created an opportunity to do that. And then I had an opportunity to take a job and to move to another state. And I didn't want to do that. And so the company, the CEO said, Well, why don't you stay where you are. And we'll do this remotely. So I got hands on experience with this first as an executive, and then segwayed into creating a business.Jack Canfield:
So when the pandemic occurred, you must have been in big demand, I would thinkDebra Dinnocenzo:
Well things didn't change with the pandemic and have continued to change. And one of the things I always remind people is and leaders particularly is that when we joined the pandemic, we talked about the new normal, and I continue to talk about the next normal because as we all know, it's continued to evolve, and it's going to continue to evolve. So change underlies a lot of this, and having people be prepared for new ways to work and new ways to live in this environment as well.Jack Canfield:
Interesting. Now, you're, you're very passionate about what you do. Why are you so passionate about it.Debra Dinnocenzo:
Well for me, it it's a personal thing. It's a very heartfelt reason why I do this. I've lived through the pain of severe overwork and complete out of balance when it comes to work life balance. So I've been a passionate advocate for people to be able to balance as much as possible. There's no perfect balance. The metaphor I always use is a unicycle, and the only way to stay up on a unicycle is to constantly be moving. Balancing that balance. That's That's exactly right. It's balancing. And it's evolving all the time as people move through the different changes of their lives. And as organizations change, everything's dynamic, so we have to, you have to pivot, we have to change, we have to have the capacity to do that without it destroying us.Jack Canfield:
Very interesting. I'm curious, you do what you do. Well ask this question. Are there a lot of other people to do what you do? Are you Unique?Debra Dinnocenzo:
Well, I wouldn't say I'm totally unique. I will say I've been doing this a very long time. And almost everyone that started early in the consulting space for telecommuting, remember that term has either retired or sadly, several of those people that I knew passed away. And so I have been evolving the my capabilities to deliver what teams and leaders and organizations need to keep them on top of their game. So they can develop high performance, hybrid teams, and remote leaders that have the capability to accomplish, work and accomplish. The other things leaders need to do. They need to build trust, and they need to ensure that they're communicating effectively through different technology tools. And they're getting work done in different ways. And so I'm unique in that I've started in this early and I'm still in the game.Jack Canfield:
Lots of experience, lotsDebra Dinnocenzo:
Decades of experience. Actually, as a matter of fact, I've published my first book 101 tips for telecommuters in 1999. So I have been doing this for a long time, and so much has changed. And I'm excited about the things that have changed. And the all the new capabilities we have that we didn't have back in the day when you know, we just had speaker phones in the middle of conference tables. And now we've got, you know, wonderful capabilities that allow people to connect. So I've even redefined what face to face means there's onsite face to face. And there's regular now face to face with all the remote work that we do.Jack Canfield:
I spend a lot of time in front of my computer with a lot of faces.Debra Dinnocenzo:
Yes yes. And that's still face to face. It's just not on site. It's not, you know, we can touch each other. But it's, it's a huge improvement. And, and people have to learn to be skillful at that and comfortable with that, and to do the human parts of that through that technology.Debra Dinnocenzo:
I will continue my discussion with Jack during the next episode of my podcast, but I want to highlight a few things that Jack and I discussed. I'm generally tech tool agnostic, relative to the technology resources that have enabled the much wider proliferation of remote work. And we surely have a wealth of resources now that give us more powerful and impactful ways for leaders to connect with teams from a distance. What's important in this really is, however, the connections that must happen and still must happen in a human, authentic and frequent way. For many years, I've included a wonderful little quote in in several of my books, and in most of my keynotes. Adam Goodhart, who previously worked for USA Today, wrote way back in 2000. Connectivity is not the same thing as connection. And while this is really an important reminder, still today, for leaders, we must leverage all this great connectivity that we have to make those critical connections with people that work for and with us. Most of the leaders I work with, and their teams as well, are still sorting out the overload that all this connectivity offers, or forces us to face, which tools to use, how best to use them, how often to reach out for those touch points that leaders know must happen. leaders and their teams must decide what's best for them, agree on expectations, and identify which of those many many resources to use for which types of communication. Sadly, there isn't a magic bullet for this and certainly not a one size fits all solution, but not agreeing on communication protocols, timing of reach outs and expectations ends up creating confusion, lack of clarity, and communication vacuums, all of which do not support people productivity, or profits. Leaders also tell me that they are increasingly aware of the importance of being incredibly or organized when working with remote or hybrid teams, failure to nail organizational skills, results in unclear priorities and lapses in communication touchpoints. Again, all of which does not support people productivity or profits. To be effective in the virtual workplace, leaders must be mindful of managing communication with team members, with peers, collaborators, other stakeholders, and not leaving those critical touch points to chance. And, of course, many of the previous kinds of accidental touch points that happened as a natural part of working together on site just aren't occurring now, by virtue of remote work realities. Leader leaders are also increasingly aware of the vital connection between communication and team member satisfaction, motivation, and retention. While many leaders still struggle with how to make those connections happen, and to happen really well, they at least realize that remote leadership mastery is essential to their effectiveness now and into the future. So we'll wrap up with some parting thoughts from Jack and I look forward to sharing more of my discussion with him in the next episode of the remote leadership podcast.Jack Canfield:
Hi, I'm Jack Canfield, you may know me as the co author of the Chicken Soup for the Soul series, the book, the success principles, featured teacher in the movie, The Secret, I'm sitting here with Debra Dinnocenzo who is a virtual workplace and remote leadership, expert and consultant and works with corporations and companies in small groups and large groups. And anyone who's got people that are working virtually and remotely, which is pretty much most organizations in today's world, especially post pandemic. And I just did a major conversation with her and learn about what she does, and I see is probably one of the most skilled experienced persons has been doing this work way, way, way longer than almost anyone on the planet. And as the world keeps evolving, and changing, as we know, it is both technically, and also, you know, with all the technology and the changes of people working all over the world. And she's got skills that can come in and help you assess what's working and what's not working, what are the obstacles, what are the blocks, how to build trust and better communication with everybody. And I want to just encourage you to work with her because I know just in a few things that we talked about, I started thinking about my own company, literally what we need to be focusing on as well. And some of the things that we as leaders don't think about, and then I'll hear from one of my staff people that you know, six months later, something we could have handled a lot earlier, it would have been conscious. So it's about conscious, intentional awareness and leadership skills that you can develop. So I really strongly encourage you to reach out to her and take advantage of what she has to offer. I think that we're in a new age of technology and world wide communication. And we need that kind of support. And none of you got it. I don't care if you went to Wharton Business, go to Harvard Business School. It wasn't taught there. So I just want to know you to know that she is really the real deal. And you'd be really well served. If you were to reach out to her and take advantage of her expertise.