Virtual Leadership: What It Takes to Lead a Remote Company

UPDATED: June 20, 2024
PUBLISHED: June 30, 2024
Amy somerville wearing denim shirt

Five years ago, the concept of leading a 100% virtual company seemed unreal to me. Yet today, SUCCESS Enterprises supports team members across three continents, five countries and six time zones. For many of our team members, the digital nomadic lifestyle has become a norm, with some people relocating every few months. This unique environment presents challenges that require a shift in the virtual leadership approach. We are forced to get creative to foster a cohesive company culture, communicate and collaborate effectively and monitor productivity and deliverables efficiently. 

Here are some of the ways SUCCESS Enterprises has addressed these challenges:

Creating a cohesive company culture

Creating a cohesive company culture when team members are spread across the globe requires deliberate effort. At SUCCESS Enterprises, we’ve dedicated days to workshopping and co-creating the company we want to work for. This involved defining our company mission, vision and values and adjusting our customer avatars and value delivery systems accordingly.

Additionally, we organize virtual company parties and host regular “watercooler” discussions to facilitate relationship-building among co-workers. We also schedule four quarterly business meetings per year, with two being physical events for those who can attend in person. We prioritize recognizing achievements, anniversaries and special events to foster a sense of belonging and appreciation among our team members.

Effective communication and collaboration

While tools like Slack are invaluable for daily communication, we place a high priority on face-to-face and voice-to-voice interactions via Zoom, Google Meets and WhatsApp. Being able to see and hear each other helps prevent misunderstandings and ensures clarity of intent.

Culturally, we reinforce trust-building and transparency through open and vulnerable conversations. We also encourage “right now” feedback to address communication issues promptly and prevent them from festering over time.

Managing work hours

Managing work hours around the world is undoubtedly complex. Virtual leadership and supporting digital nomads requires flexibility and adaptability from all team members. While we primarily operate on U.S. Central Time, we embrace a culture of trust and autonomy, allowing digital nomads to work flexibly while meeting project deadlines and event timelines.

Monitoring productivity, priorities and deliverables

We use tools like Monday for project management, but as part of virtual leadership, we also hold quarterly companywide collaboration sessions to prioritize projects, assign project leads and establish accountability metrics. More recently, we’ve also found success in appointing a single project manager to oversee progress in all initiatives and campaigns on a weekly basis, ensuring alignment and efficiency across the board.

While leading a virtual company comes with its challenges, embracing flexibility, transparency and communication is essential and has allowed us to successfully navigate the complexities of remote work and embrace the opportunities it presents for growth and innovation.

Until next time,

Amy Somerville, CEO of SUCCESS Enterprises

Photo by @Mike D’Avello.

Amy Somerville, CEO of SUCCESS® Enterprises

Amy Somerville, CEO of SUCCESS® Enterprises, is a mission-driven leader with demonstrated success in developing highly effective teams, delivering dynamic learning strategies, and building engaged communities. She is a passionate community-builder, gathering like-minded, successful entrepreneurs and businesspeople to share best practices for success. She lives her life intentionally and is driven daily by the acronym L.I.V.E.: LEAD, INSPIRE, VALUE, EMPATHIZE. Follow Amy onInstagram,FacebookandLinkedIn.