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February 10, 2012

Leading Through the Cloud: Ideal Habits and Tools – A SPN Exclusive Article

This is part of a series I am doing on online collaboration and fads for CEOs, small business owners, and entrepreneurs. It looks at best habits for virtual video-conferencing technology and the strategies for keeping people involved using tools from the cloud. In this Vlog I talk to Phil Montero, president of Montero Consulting and founder of and Phil’s avocation is working with small and mid-sized business leaders in putting together the technology, coaching and tools for working virtually and leading virtually.

Trends in CEO Virtual Collaboration

Phil sees the greatest trend in digital collaboration among execs as just that there is even more of it, and it is a pattern that won’t be changing anytime soon. In many instances, virtual colleagues may collaborate for years and never meet face to face, yet still maintain an effective business connection.

Technology Advances

Virtual leadership results comes from finding instruments that satisfy the practical objective without getting in the way of people learning to know, like and trust one another. That is still critical to human beings in any job environment.

What gets you nearer that works repeatedly and shrinks the virtual distance between any virtual associates?

Cloud-based instruments such as Skype Video, Skype Screen share, Google docs and a selection of mobile applications have cheapened the price of congregating from around the world. Additionally, the always broadening scope of Wi-Fi connections and hotspots has strengthened the significance of mobile tools, and cloud application creators are trying to keep pace.

Online Meeting Best Practices

Once the technology wall is conquered, not always as effortless as you would expect, today’s CEOs and Executives need to handle the human elements during online meetings. Attendants who are on the team with even the best intentions and motivation will wander and start to multi-task during a monotonous meeting. To achieve and keep maximum engagement, Phil suggests…

Short and On Point

There is a fad in the physical meeting area to attempt to shorten meetings because of the huge time obligation needed on the part of attendants. Intensify that for online meetings. Want an hour meeting? Break it into three 20 minute meetings if you can. It’s less accommodating for you but more engaging for participants, which means they are more effective after leaving the meeting.

Advanced Notice

Send out an agenda in advance so individuals can prepare, not just for their sections but to get their heads around what is going to be covered.

Elementary Teaching Basics

Call on people randomly to validate comprehension. Only a few examples of being blind-sided will produce the shared consciousness of keeping engaged to avoid the possibility of announcing, being unprepared and enduring the slings and darts of your colleagues.

Tech Numbness

In a procedure I call Tech Deadening; the digital technology decreases the enthusiasm of leader communication in reverse proportion to how far you are from the real deal. For instance, video is the next best thing to being there, but it isn’t being there. Only teleconferencing? Your attendees are still more de-sensitized. Texting– you understand.

Leaders have to be aware of this and exaggerate tone of voice, hand movements, facial expressions and their Knut Rockne speeches in order to connect.

Karl Walinskas owns Smart Company Growth, a firm that helps businesses grow with innovative marketing and leadership tools that highlight their competitive advantages. He’s been published for years on better leadership, communication, and marketing practices for small business and authored the book, “Getting Connected Through Exceptional Leadership.” You can read the Smart Blog for small business growth to learn more tips you can use today.