Jack Canfield and Debra Dinnocenzo discuss the challenges facing remote leaders who must communicate at an accelerated rate, build trust within their teams, and lead for performance results. Leaders must also demonstrate caring and compassion from a distance. Debra discusses the different types of overload increasingly experienced in the digital age – information, access, and work overload – which combine to create burnout and disengagement. Jack and Debra explore the pivotal role leaders play in helping remote/hybrid teams feel connected and committed.
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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Thanks for joining me for the continuation of my interview with Jack Canfield. I'm Debra Dinnocenzo. And during this episode of the remote leadership podcast, Jack and I discussed the process I use in working with remote leaders to help them and their teams identify obstacles and opportunities to remote workplace success. I discussed the importance of intentional and frequent communication leaders must manage, as well as the importance of leveraging the onsite time hybrid teams will occasionally have together. The state of the workplace is certainly uncertain. Calls for return to Office abound. While resistance to full time return to the traditional workplace hasn't debated. Some leaders expressed concern about the impact remote work has on innovation. Although many leaders recognize the notable and surprising success their teams achieved. While so many accidental remote workers weren't in the physical workplace during the COVID 19 pandemic. Leaders must carefully consider if the concerns are valid. If performance of teams is indicative of negative impacts on productivity and profit, or if the desire to gather people together again on site is actually rooted in what is comfortable and familiar. These are some of the challenges leaders are grappling with. And Jack asks me about the major challenges remote and hybrid leaders are facing as we continue our discussion.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 in this work you do, what do you see as the major challenges that that that are out there? And how do you help people address those challenges?Debra Dinnocenzo:
Well, there are many challenges. And they'll continue to be new challenges as things evolve and change. The big challenges for leaders, particularly leaders that are still in the workplace that that knew what what you and I knew about being together on site face to face every day and seek people is getting beyond that to learn how to, to build trust helps you build familiarity, to get to know people, how to communicate effectively, to know how often and which are the best ways to communicate. So these are all the skills that I teach people through training, and through my keynote, speaking around how to do those things for leaders, with organizations, we look at what are the barriers to that? And how can we eliminate some of those barriers. And then teams need the support as well individuals and teams on how to work together. And not everybody, not all kinds of work can be done remotely. So leaders have to blend different work modes. So some people work remotely and some people still have to be on site, and how to keep that as a cohesive team. Interesting.Jack Canfield:
Interesting. Interesting. So pretend you're giving me a little pamphlet, you know, three things you should do. If you're, if I'm a leader, my staff is all over the place. Why Southern California, Canada, Asia anywhere? Yeah. So you're gonna consult with me? And you say, here's what are some things I should know, give me a couple of tips.Debra Dinnocenzo:
Right? So first of all, we would look at your team held dispersed they are, what their timeframes or how often you need to meet with them how often they need to coordinate with each other, what technology tools you have, it is still stunning to me that, you know, we have people flying around every day in the space station. And we still cannot do effective remote meetings. Sometimes we still have technology faux pas. And we have to get past that. So work with you on your comfort level with how you connect with your team. I would help you assess the level of trust and familiarity with your team, because that's fundamental to the team then meeting able to move forward to be a high performance team. So my goal would be to get you from wherever you are to that team being the absolute best team that it could be through whatever skills deficit there might be. There might be technology deficit, you might not have invested yet the right technology and we'll help you do that as well.Jack Canfield:
You're gonna major assessment with me.Debra Dinnocenzo:
Yes, we'll start with that and then theJack Canfield:
Talking to the team members as well asDebra Dinnocenzo:
Typically to do a full assessment. Yes, because we're going to find out if there are any obstacles that you're providing in terms of your leadership. And we can address those.Jack Canfield:
Very good. Very good. Very good. Very good. So if people are out there watching this, which they are, so obviously. So what advice or closing comments would you have for them in terms of why they should work with you? What would you tell them?Debra Dinnocenzo:
I would suggest that while we need to look at all of the issues we just talked about in terms of teams, and how people are working together, that they can't lose sight of that they all must also have to think about how that works for them personally. So in the era that we live in now, with the digital workplace, we have many obstacles to, to personal balancing that we talked about, there's so many forms of overload that people have to be conscious of and have to manage. There's information overload, none of us can keep up with the information, the amount of information that streams to us. And there's access overload. So our work now is in the palm of our hands, think about, you know, when you and I started, it would have been computers sitting on our desks, and we left the office and work stayed there, work goes with us. And that can be a huge intrusion into the quality of our personal lives. And so then that becomes work overload. And we continue to hear about people who are overworked. And what my big message to people individually is only you can manage that only you can manage that work overload by being clearly in touch with your personal priorities. And, and balancing that recognizing that balancing is constantly moving, shifting and changing. And organizations have to become more conscious of what they can do to help with that. And we're just a challenge for leaders every day as well. Well,Jack Canfield:
that's great. I mean, it's funny. I mean, 20 years ago, I would have thought we needed someone like us. But obviously we doDebra Dinnocenzo:
but the world has changed it has and it will continue to do that. Yes,Jack Canfield:
thank you very much.Debra Dinnocenzo:
Thank you, Jeff. Very enjoyable. Me too.Jack Canfield:
Me too. If you're in an organization, running an organization, and you have workers that are all spread out all over the place, which I think is pretty much everywhere in the world, I really encourage you to get in touch with them. And find out what you can do for your organization, whether it's a for profit organization, nonprofit government, whatever it may be, I know she can help you. So make sure you reach out, get some contact there and find out exactly what she can do for you.Debra Dinnocenzo:
Aside from the challenges of building trust, and managing multiple communications using new technologies, remote and hybrid leaders must stay focused on performance. I've long suggested that the virtual workplace will be the best thing for performance management, because leaders must now be clear about expectations, communicate them with specificity, and support goal attainment with continual touchpoints. The days of infrequent check ins on performance are over. And this is a good thing actually. Underpinning high performance remote teams, however, is also the need for leaders to develop rapport, build trust within the team. And to never stop communicating. It's increasingly clear that the relationship team members have with their leader has a significant impact on the level of engagement, motivation, and commitment that team members feel in their jobs. And this has a strong correlation with job satisfaction and retention. So this isn't just something that leaders should do. They must care about their teams demonstrate the value they place on people, and continually respond in supportive and empathic ways. The expectations that people now have all their leaders to be their best in helping team members be engaged, feel valued, and be able to make their best contributions to the success of the organization. I mentioned in my discussion with Jack, the continuing sense of overload that people feel in the expanding digital workplace. The digital age has excelled rated the flow of information, which bombards us in ways that are really impossible to manage, without clear priorities and boundaries. The proliferation of technology tools, while great in many ways, exacerbates our sense of access overload, resulting in the constant sense and actual reality that our work goes wherever we go. Roll all of this up. And we have a pervasive feeling of work overload that seemingly impacts most everyone. Leaders I talk with experienced these forms of overload at increasing levels, contributing to both burnout and leadership challenges relative to their own motivation. And the new work world with remote and hybrid teams adds to the challenges. But these challenges can be met and solutions are available. What most leaders have found is that they need to lead differently in the ways they communicate, convey their care for team members, and inspire teams to high performance. In this sense, leaders are continually coaching rather than cajoling and caring rather than commanding. The skills needed to do this. And to do well can be identified and developed. Leaders must self assess to determine where their areas of deficit in leading from a distance can be strengthened. To ensure their own confidence and competence in leading remote and hybrid teams. Leaders have a pivotal role in ensuring that they are best prepared to lead their teams for success and for ensuring that they win the battle for talent. It's about people performance, and profit. And leaders who master the skills for leading from a distance are making the difference.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 fun I say 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 worldwide communication, and we need that kind of support. And none of you got it. I don't care if you went down to Wharton Business School at Harvard Business School. It wasn't taught there. So I just want to know you didn't 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.