What Happens if the CEO is Remote?

by Greg Skloot
Remote   |   2 Min Read
remote team

As companies move more towards remotes cultures, it’s conceivable that employees and leaders, even the CEO, may be in totally different locations.

Logistically, it can certainly work as long as you’ve put thought into building a world class remote culture. Specifically:

1. Be aware of timezones

The CEO needs to be frequently available to guide the team, especially in the early stages. If she is in another country and sleeping while must of the rest of the team is working, that likely won’t go well.

2. Be biased towards calling

I have found that a key to remote team success is being willing to always just call if you want to have a quick discussion. Waiting for people to reply on Slack is usually inefficient. I’d often be on a Google Hangout with our Manager of Customer Success, and then we’d both just start working on something else and forget that we were on the video call together! It wasn’t much different than sitting at adjacent desks.

Shorter meetings. Real accountability.
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3. Get updates in writing

Particularly in remote, objectives and results can easily get lost in the shuffle if there is poor communication. In this environment, it’s more important than ever that the CEO articulates clear objectives, measurable goals and holds the team accountable in team meeting and weekly written status updates (i.e. a tool like Weekly Update).

4. Foster a positive remote culture

If the CEO is far away, recording daily videos or sending weekly recap emails to the team can make a big difference. There needs to be interaction — it can be virtual — but it must happen regularly.

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