4 Timeless Leadership Lessons You Can Learn From Months of Zoom Meetings

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How you have led virtually can make a big difference in how you lead in-person.

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.

Even as the restrictions brought upon us by the pandemic abate, and as we begin to return to the office, the strange and sudden world of Zoom meetings has provided a profound laboratory for discerning key leadership principles…

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. But after participating in many Zoom meetings, leaders should have figured out the basic mechanics of how video conferencing works.

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.

In most parts of the world, the restrictions on meeting are lessening. We are returning to the office. We are meeting in person. But as an effective leader, take the time to reflect on the leadership learnings this season has provided.

You may find yourself in fewer Zoom meetings than before, but if you’ve been paying attention, the lessons from this season can enhance your leadership.

Because how you have led virtually can make a big difference in how you lead in-person.

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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