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Chapter 15. Leading a Virtual Team

Virtual teams will not survive or thrive without good leadership. Leading a virtual team is not easy—in fact, it can be more difficult and demanding than leading a traditional team. In general, a virtual team leader’s role is to facilitate, coach, and consult rather than direct (that is, telling others what to do and how to do it). This can be particularly difficult for leaders accustomed to charging ahead with others in tow. However, it does take more than one person to make a virtual team successful. Shared leadership is important, and necessary, because virtual team members have varied skills and need to feel comfortable stepping in when necessary, based on the task at hand.

Ultimately, the team leader must be the “trail blazer” when it comes to commitment in changing work patterns to a virtual environment. Often, other team members will not make an effort to change if they do not see their leader doing so first. A virtual team leader must “walk the virtual walk” if they want their team to “talk the virtual talk”.


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