Diversity is important in the modern world of work. Those leading and managing organizations have to realize that theirs (or yours) is not the only opinion that counts in guiding or directing the organization. Everyone has their own particular view or opinion. A leader needs to identify these concepts to help make sure the right individual has been placed in the right position within the organization.
We must expand our view of diversity beyond age, ethnicity, and gender. In the modern workplace, we have employees with mental and physical disabilities or differences that range from mild to severe. When the leader or manager can identify the benefits of the skill or knowledge set that the worker brings to the organization, all involved benefit.
To review, read Managing Demographic and Cultural Diversity.
Today, many organizations value using small groups or teams to present new ideas or resolve existing issues. A small group is generally easier to manage than a large group. The leader/manager of a small group should be prepared to listen to, consider, and evaluate ideas. There will not always be consensus, and so, the leader must be able to use power and/or influence to steer the group to an action or decision to benefit the organization as a whole.
Anyone who has participated in any team activity understands that each team member has a role to play and should be held accountable for their performance. Leaders should position themselves to understand who their people are and what they are best at accomplishing. Success follows when leaders deploy the members of their team and acknowledge each member's specific skills and interests.
The team members look to their leader for comfort, guidance, and direction at various times. The more that leaders can give team members the support they need, the more likely they will be to garner the desired level of performance.
In a modern organization, you may need to lead a virtual team, which often means teammates or subordinates work together from a distance. They could be on another floor of the office building or even in another country.
How should managers prepare for this type of leadership situation? What attributes would you look for when putting together an effective virtual team?