Leading Virtual Teams

Productive virtual teams require effective leadership from a distance.

Leading a team of diverse employees with constantly changing needs is challenging enough. When those employees are located in different geographies, where face-to-face contact is limited, priorities are constantly shifting, and there is little time to address their individual needs. You can begin to understand why leading virtual teams is one of the most difficult jobs in business today.

Working in virtual teams has become the “new normal” of business life today. We tend to assume a good leader will be an equally effective virtual leader, but that’s not always the case. Our own research on virtual teams has found that more than one in every four teams is not fully functional. Leadership plays an important role in determining the success of a virtual team. At first glance, leading virtual teams doesn’t seem very different from leading teams in person, but there are some definite distinctions and challenges, including:

  • Developing trust among virtual employees
  • Conducting effective virtual meetings
  • Maintaining team morale and accountability
  • Collaboration across distances
  • Building processes that support virtual work

Because the challenge of leading virtual teams is a relatively new one, many companies haven’t adopted best practices or properly trained their leaders. Managers are expected to figure it out for themselves.

That’s why we offer virtual leadership assessments and interactive training programs for leaders. These programs are based on proven management models and our extensive research about what differentiates top performing virtual leaders.

Leading From a Distance Programs

We offer training in a variety of formats, including 90-minute instructor-led online programs or 30-minute self-directed eLearning programs. In addition, our series of Leading From a Distance topics can be combined based on your needs and delivered face-to-face in a half- or full-day session. Sessions can also be tailored to fit your company’s objectives, challenges and typical scenarios.

Who Can Benefit: Team leaders, department managers or project managers managing a team where all or some members work remotely as well as the members of virtual teams.

Topics Include:

Virtual Leadership Assessments

  • Leading From a Distance Simulation is an experiential online business exercise
  • Leading From a Distance 360
  • High-Performing Virtual Team Assessment

Resources for Leading Virtual Teams


Publications Virtual Team Success

Virtual Team Success: A Practical Guide for Working and Leading From a Distance By Darleen Derosa and Richard Lepsinger As the “virtual revolution” continues to spread, how can companies ensure...

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