I'm doing a webcast on virtual leadership in a couple of weeks for eighty people, all situated virtually and all around the world. The link between the executive sponsoring the event and me will be via Cisco's Telepresence -- though for everyone else, thank heavens, I won't be in high def.
In preparing for the webcast, I asked a few questions of one of my virtual leadership role models (scroll down for some great pics taken the same day this one was), John Halamka, CIO at Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital, whose answers I thought others would enjoy seeing:
Q: You're on the move constantly. How do you maintain strong relationships with your direct reports?
*I live by Blackberry, laptop and conferencing technologies (Webex, iChat, Telepresence)
Q: What do you find most difficult as a "virtual" leader?
*Managing communications while constantly traveling is challenging. My goal is to reduce the hours spent in airports through more virtual work
Q. What do you find to be easier when you're virtual?
*I eliminate many hassles - Parking, traffic, airport security lines, delayed flights, and lack of places to recharge my devices
Q. In terms of your reporting to your boss, how has your non-face-to-face presence affected your relationship?
*Paul [Levy, BIDMC's CEO] is just as virtual to me - we live in the world of social networking and web connectivity
Q. What advice on maintaining virtual connections with customers do you have for others who are very tech-savvy but whose customers may be less so?
*It's a journey. Start by eliminating as many face to face meetings as you can and set a goal of less travel/less in person meetings each year.