The Top Qualities of an Ideal Leader in the Work From Home World

man with baby multitasking

As a business leader, it is more important than ever for you to maximize your effectiveness when the office is in your home.

With the massive shifts that the COVID-19 pandemic has forced on the world, the barriers between “work” and the rest of our daily lives have been torn down.

Ironically, one result has been that home offices worldwide are becoming more like workspaces than ever before. There is no longer a clear delineation dividing where we work from where we live. 

The same goes for business leaders and managers; they must now juggle their professional roles with those of parent, spouse, and friend—and sometimes even caretaker (as with a live-in elderly parent).

Yet, one aspect has not changed:  the skills of being a good leader are still as relevant in the WFH world as they were before the pandemic. As a business leader, it is more important than ever for you to maximize your effectiveness when the office is in your home.

Three Leadership Skills You Must Own As a Remote Leader

  1. The ability to delegate tasks and responsibilities effectively.

Delegation is nothing new, but it has become increasingly difficult in a remote workplace. When you lead from a remote location, delegating is one of the most essential skills that you can possess.

High-functioning leaders have a keen ability to assess the strengths and weaknesses of their coworkers, and they rely on this assessment when deciding where a task should be assigned.

When you’re leading from your home office, it’s even more important that you have the ability to delegate effectively. That’s because there are few easy ways for you to observe others’ work or behavior in person.

  1. The ability to take action based on incomplete information.

It’s a common misconception that leaders must have all of the answers and see into the future. In reality, effective leadership is about taking action within an environment of uncertainty—where information is incomplete at best, misleading at worst.

On your own or as part of a team, you must be able to:

  • Help others make decisions in an uncertain environment.
  • Solve problems where there are many possible courses of action but only partial knowledge about how they will pan out.
  • Influence others’ behavior by anticipating future events and conveying that vision effectively.
  • When you can’t communicate with a team member across the hall, you must trust your judgment, even when you’re not confident that you’re making the right call.
  1. The ability to adapt to a changing environment and handle uncertainty.

Influential leaders can quickly shift into “solution-mode” when problems arise, or opportunities present themselves. They know how to ask critical questions about challenges at hand, and they’re able to cut through the haze of uncertainty that often surrounds business decisions.

Faced with a changing environment or shifting sands, leaders can:

  • Anticipate new problems and opportunities and get their teams moving in productive directions again. 
  • Communicate effectively with everyone on their team despite confusion or uncertainty about how things will play out. 
  • Motivate and inspire others to rise up and meet a new challenge even when they don’t have all of the information that everyone else has.

By being able to anticipate challenges, you’re better prepared for the consequences of disruptions in your home office, as well as elsewhere around the world.

Related content:

Small Business Leadership and Emotional Intelligence in the Workplace

Many Leadership Styles, What’s Yours?

Successful Leadership Through Perspective

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