All I Really Need To Know About Leadership I Learned from Zoom Meetings

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The well-known article and book by Robert Fulghum, called All I Really Need To Know I Learned in Kindergarten serves as a nice jumping off point for some leadership reflections that all these months of Zoom meetings have taught us.

The reality is, for more than a year and a half, leaders around the world have been living in a strange prison called Zoom meetings. And whenever the pandemic ends, I hope you’ll take the time to consider the significant leadership lessons available to us from these months locked up in Zoom prison…

1. In leadership, learn to focus

In every Zoom meeting, there’s always someone not really paying attention. They’re looking at another screen, busying themselves with paperwork or checking their phone. It’s annoying, and it’s poor leadership.

To be an effective leader, let your team know they have your full attention.

2. If you want to be taken seriously, be prepared.

“Can everybody see my screen? I can never figure out how to share my screen. Can you see it now? Hang on, let me try something else…”

In the first weeks of the pandemic, such novice clumsiness was forgivable. A year and a half later, you should know how to do this by now.

To be an effective leader, in whatever you’re doing, show your team that you’re prepared and you’re not figuring things out on the fly.

3. You need to lead everybody, not just a select few.

Ever been in a Zoom meeting with perhaps 7 people, and found yourself sitting there while two people wasted everyone’s time by discussing a separate topic? It’s disrespectful, and it has become the bane of Zoom meeting participants.

When you step into leadership, you must engage with everyone, not just one or two insiders.

4. As a leader, give yourself, and others, margin.

How did we end up scheduling Zoom meetings back-to-back-to-back-to-back?

As you lead, take a lesson from this painful practice. Make sure you, and those you lead, have room to breathe.

Even after the pandemic, Zoom meetings will not disappear completely, but we likely won’t rely on them quite as much.

As you emerge from Zoom prison, just be sure you don’t leave behind these leadership lessons learned while we’ve been in the slammer.

the author

Scott Cochrane

Lifelong learner, practitioner and coach of leadership, across more than 50 countries. Follower of Jesus, husband of Nora, grateful parent and grandparent.

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