Career / Career Progression

Trust your Team: 4 Lessons on Leadership from a Remote CRO

by Ryan Lee
Trust your Team: 4 Lessons on Leadership from a Remote CRO picture: A
Published on October 12, 2020

We're all adapting to a world that's moving very quickly. With rapid change comes a desire to cling to comforts. That doesn't just happen with material comforts, either. It can be a comfortable habit, routine, or mindset. I recently got the chance to chat with someone who reminded me that we could shake up our preconceived notions — and be better for it.

Dan O'Connell, the Chief Revenue Officer of Dialpad, joined me for my podcast's latest episode and shared many powerful insights. Dialpad is a remote work platform, but up until COVID-19 changed our collective workplace standards, they were still an office-based organization.

If you would like to know more, check out the episode here.

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My conversation with Dan was brief, but I did learn a lot. Here are some of my key takeaways:

Don't Be TOO Stuck In a Previous Mindset.

  • Remote work was not something that Dan preferred for his teams before COVID. But, as he has witnessed his team pivot to it, he was able to see the value for himself. His level of trust with his team is much higher now. When it comes down to it, "people just want to do good work." As a leader, taking that look in the mirror to shift your mindset can be challenging, but ultimately, rewarding.

As a leader, you can never be TOO available.

  • In an office environment, people are used to bumping into you in the break room, walking and talking, and having ad hoc conversations that move your organization forward. Finding a way to make this happen in our new virtual life was something that Dan and Dialpad had to figure out. Dan's solution? Office hours. That way, Dan and his team can get more of those "hallway" chats. You have to be on a quest to stay connected, meeting your team where they are.

Empathy Matters.

  • We are ALL going through *motions at everything* this, even if it's not on the surface at all times. When we work directly with customers, clients, and teammates, we rely on our empathy more. Take the time to know that we are all going through the impact of COVID, the work shift, and all that goes with it. Check-in with your customers, but as peers, not as customers. Building up trust and developing deeper relationships can happen, even with physical distance.

Listen. And KEEP Listening.

  • As leaders, we don't have all the answers. It's not always the easiest thing to admit, but it's true. We're people, working through the days, weighing the impact of every decision. If we work as a team, our odds of finding successful solutions go WAY up. Those odds go up, even more, when everyone has a seat at the table. 

I hope that everything is going well for you today. Take a deep breath — and focus on the small wins and improvements you made yesterday. Think about what you want to accomplish tomorrow. But for now, Make it a Great Day.

Ryan Lee is the President and Chief Operating Officer of CBT Nuggets, and the host of Make it a Great Day, available wherever you listen to podcasts. Connect with Ryan on Twitter and LinkedIn for more motivating insights.

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