4 Timeless Leadership Lessons You Can Learn From Endless Zoom Meetings

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The way you lead virtually can make a big difference in how you lead in-person.

The pandemic ushered in a new world of virtual meetings, and this has meant new challenges and opportunities for leaders. 

And as we have embraced Zoom meetings as a new reality of our leadership world, we have also seen that such virtual meetings have formed a laboratory of sorts for important leadership principles. Here are 4 key leadership truths that have been re-enforced by the world of virtual meetings…

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. Even worse, they have opted to turn off their camera.

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…”

Such clumsiness shows that you are unprepared or ill-equipped to lead such a meeting. Leaders need to figure 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.

Our world has changed, and today leaders have quickly come to realize that a good portion of their leadership platform is in a virtual environment. So, take the time to reflect on the leadership learnings our shift to a virtual world 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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