Episode 26: Virtual Leadership and Working From Home with Dave Lawrence, President of Apogee Leadership

Virtual Leadership in the New Normal

In today’s episode, Jenn DeWall talks to Dave Lawrence, President of Apogee Leadership, a Crestcom franchise. Apogee works with over 30 small mid-market and fortune 500 companies to develop critical management skills and train leaders in areas like effective communication, developing people, managing change, problem-solving and strategic thinking. He has a B.A. from Bowdoin College and an MBA from Duke University. Tune in as Dave shares with us tips on how we can inspire through virtual leadership, work from home more effectively, and deal with the new normal.

Jenn DeWall: Hi, everyone. It’s so great to have you here on this episode of the Leadership Habit Podcast today. I am fortunate enough to be talking and interviewing Leadership Expert and the President of Apogee Leadership, Dave Lawrence. Now for those that may not know who Dave is, Dave, please tell us a little bit about who you are and what we were talking about just earlier how you came to be because you’ve got a pretty interesting international path.

Dave Lawrence: Yeah. Well, first and foremost, Jenn, thanks for the opportunity just to chat today. I guess just a little bit of a background on myself. I have been working now with Crestcom for quite a few years, about three years. I am predominantly working with small and medium-sized companies in South Florida to really develop their management teams. I mean, what we often say is that most people become managers by default, right? The same way they became a parent. And you know, leadership and developing individuals. That’s always been a passion of mine.

In my, shall we say, earlier career, I was really focused on working predominantly in Latin America. I lived and worked in about three different countries in Latin America and always worked with teams and was still passionate about running and managing teams. But one of my true passions was really getting people to be working at their optimum performance. So when you had a lot of managers or directors that were shying away from that quarterly performance review, I actually really enveloped it and really enjoy sitting down and kind of, you know, looking at how we move the needle on their development, which is something that’s been passionate for me. But yeah, I lived in Latin America and, and it’s a kind of second home to me.

Leadership Challenges Throughout the World

Jenn DeWall: Yeah. You know, one of the things that I like to say that’s unique. And, I what I think is so cool, for lack of a better adjective, about Crestcom is that we are teaching classes every single month and leaders around the world, they’re all going through pretty much that same curriculum, which means that leadership and our leadership challenges transcend borders. As much as we think that we’re different, we actually share a lot of the same challenges. And I just, I don’t know. How have you noticed that difference between working within Latin America or within, you know, Florida?

Dave Lawrence: Yeah, I mean, it’s a great question, and it’s a question I’m often asked. I had a number of different business owners or H.R. managers or whoever it may be, and I’m often asked, you know, well, we’re different. And yes, every company is different. Every industry is different—everyone’s unique.

However, when it comes back, so managing and leading and motivating and driving people to great results. It comes across, and you know, it boils down to a couple of core competencies, right? And so regardless of the culture, regardless of the language or where you’re managing and leading teams, I think it comes down to some key components. Things like communicating, delegating, holding people accountable, all these areas. So you know, I think at least in South Florida, very dynamic, very international city, with an obviously strong connection to Latin America. Still, also there’s a large European African population here. So you’ve got people from all over the world, Caribbean, etcetera, etcetera, which makes the classrooms, and the role in what I, what I do that much more interesting.

Jenn DeWall: Yeah, I love that so much. I mean, I just think it’s important that we can recognize that we are all more alike than sometimes what we think that we are different.

Dave Lawrence: Oh, absolutely.

Virtual Leadership and Working at Home During COVID-19

Jenn DeWall: So we wanted to do this podcast in the midst of COVID to just kind of give us some reminders and to help people, you know, maybe consider new ways of doing things. There’s just to help guide them as they navigate this virtual world that we’re all now living in. And one of the things that we talked about, and I’m sure that some people have likely, they’re all set up, they have their remote workspace, but one of the things that we talked about is what do you need to design a true workspace. One that’s going to be effective for you. One that’s going to be productive for you because it’s not just as simple as being like, well, I have a laptop. It’s okay, perfect. I can work now.

Dave Lawrence: Yeah, no, that’s a great question. You know, it’s not simply just having a laptop. I think that often when people are thinking, okay, I’m going to start working from home and it’s just the laptop, I think there’s a lot of components behind it. I think, you know, the infrastructure is important. Infrastructure, I mean things like laptops. But if you’re going to require your team, your direct reports to participate in video conferencing, and their laptop doesn’t have a video conferencing capability. While you might also have to provide them with a webcam. If you are asking for them to print, maybe they need to have a printer, right? Or a high capacity printer. There are these extra components, right? And, and it’s really important because when we look at businesses, we’re not just looking at shall we say the quote-unquote the white-collar, but also blue-collar, right?

Dave Lawrence: So if you’re running a manufacturing organization, many of those employees, if they haven’t been furloughed they might need a laptop now. So that’s something to consider. So you’ve got the infrastructure component. As far as setting up and being able to work from home. I guess fortunately and unfortunately I just naturally do it, so I do work from home. So it wasn’t as much of a shift for me. However, it was a shift when I did start working from home, and it was a learning curve and working with my clients and, and working with and just speaking with friends and family, they obviously have to go through this challenge. And one of the challenges they mentioned it, I just don’t know when I clock out for the day. Right? And so one of the things is setting guidelines setting a calendar or following an agenda, right?

So it’s really easy to sleep in till ten every day during COVID. If someone’s not calling you to say, Hey, you didn’t send me the email or the report, but literally living by a schedule. Scheduling things into your calendar so that not all of a sudden it’s five o’clock and you haven’t done much for the day. It’s really easy. What I find is it’s really easy to do nothing during the course of the day. Right? I mean, if all of a sudden it could be five o’clock and you’re like, Oh wow, the day went by. Right? And so scheduling things into your calendar is important. Also, if I know, we’re about a month and a half now into, at least here in South Florida and probably also in Colorado into the pandemic. And I mean that by saying a lot of people starting to work from home, other parts of the world are little forward or further ahead or a little further behind.

But if you haven’t done this already and you’ve just started to work from home, or you’ve been working from home, and it hasn’t been as effective as you want, you know, set up a quote-unquote office. So what did your office look like before you started working from home? So, for instance, you know, if in your office you worked in a cube and now your office or makeshift office is your dining room table, and there’s nowhere else in the house that you could set up your office. Well, maybe put something up in the dining room, so it kind of quasi-resembles your previous location, right where you work. Put up some pictures, put up a calendar. We may be in this longer than we’d really want to be. And again, certain areas of the United States or areas of the world may be going back to a new normal sooner than other areas.

But it’s important, pretty critical. Just remember that we just need to establish an ambiance, an environment where people are going to be able to work in, right? So you need to kind of set that up. You want to set up an area that is energetic, right? You don’t want to be working from a walk-in closet. I mean, again, if that’s the only space in your house that you have available, and all of a sudden you have three teenagers also working and studying from home and a spouse, well guess what? Make that walk-in closet as excitable and as energetic as possible. But these are different things that you really need to do. You need to make it an office, like as you can so that you’re going into your work environment each day, and you’re not loathing it, right?

Creating Boundaries While Working from Home

Jenn DeWall: Okay. And I think what I’m getting there is that there’s, there’s a boundary, you know, you talked about that one of the pitfalls that people have with working remotely is that they don’t turn their work brain off. And part of that could be that their workspace is too, I mean obviously, we’re home, so it is connected to your personal space, but we don’t have a strongly defined boundary. I’ve even heard of actually someone they too operate off of their dining room table just as I do. This is a small two-bedroom condo. But they, what they do to kind of separate is they actually have a sheet that they then put over all of their equipment. And so this is considered like, we’re not looking at work right now. We are not paying attention to it. So I just thought that was an interesting thing. I’m like, you could technically, yes. Like cover your workspace, so then you don’t feel like the keyboard is calling. I can jump on and just do this work at eight o’clock at night when I’m exhausted.

Dave Lawrence: Yeah. Yeah. You know, it’s really important to be able to kind of have shutdown time. Again, it’s more challenging if you have kids at home, and you have to do schooling and things of that nature. But this isn’t now. This was actually about maybe five or six years ago when I was between jobs, and I was looking for employment and I started, you know, looking for a job is a full-time job. And I remember back then I had this small little desk, and I set that desk up in our bedroom, and that’s where I was looking for work. So basically, what was the first thing that I did when I rolled out of bed every morning was I looked at the desk, and I was like, Oh no. Right? And so one kind of inspiration was my wife has said to me, why don’t you move out and go into a different part of the house so you can sort of close down that section of the day when it’s time to kind of log off for the day. And I think that’s important, right? So either put a blanket over the dining room table or do whatever you can. So you can say this is work time, this is playtime. Or this is personal time. Right? It’s critical.

Jenn DeWall: Yeah. I think you touched on one thing, you know, many of us obviously didn’t anticipate this. Many of us may or may not have the right equipment, but the thing that we do have to do for- we obviously have to-it’s a twofold consideration. We have to think about what can we do to ensure that our team has what they need to be successful, and then what do I need to do? And you talked about making sure like if you’re going to want them to video conference, that they have a computer, that they have a functioning webcam. What are other things that you might want to consider to have or offer to your employees that maybe is an afterthought or that you might want to invest in now?

Virtual Leaders Need to be Empathetic

Dave Lawrence: Well, you know, it’s, it’s challenging because when all of a sudden we’ve gone from you know, companies of 50 people or 5,000 people and pretty much overnight, they’re all working from home. It’s literally throwing a wrench into the motor, right? And it’s a big change for a lot of organizations. I think a couple of things that you need to do. You know, I think you need to establish some ground rules, right? For instance, things as simple as, okay guys, we’re going to have a weekly check-in calls and let’s do those twice a week. Those will be done over zoom, or there’ll be done over Skype, there’ll be done over some video conferencing. We’ll also establish some kind of clinical business protocols in the sense that if you have some urgent, send it to me by instant messenger or Yammer or Slack or whatever is your internal source of communication. If you didn’t have one before, you might want to get one. Right. And then obviously just normal phone calls. So I think you need to establish some kind of guidance, ground rules for how we’re going to work in this new normal.

I also think as managers and leaders now more than ever, we need to really get a good pulse of how our employees are doing it, right? I’m not saying being their therapist, but if you sense that you haven’t heard from someone in a few days and you sense on the phone or in that video call at that person isn’t, you know, gung ho, have a conversation with them. I also think that now is a good time for people to not necessarily start off maybe your weekly management meeting, diving straight into the numbers and the KPI, you know, the key performance indicators, but rather say, Hey, you know, Jenn, Frank, Tom, how was your weekend? How are things going? Right. Being a little bit empathetic and really figuring out how your team’s doing because we’re going to have to coach people through this challenging time and, you know, it could be a lot longer, as I said before than a lot of us hoped.

Jenn DeWall: Thank you. If, can I just interject something, because while you were talking, I think you hit on something that I think until, you know, the pandemic we were, maybe it’s still a little bit resistant to acknowledging emotions. So I think that as much as before the pandemic shore, you could have skirted around maybe talking about personal life or someone’s feelings. Now it’s more important than ever to be asking how your team is doing, checking in with yourself to see how you’re doing. Because this is, it’s emotional. People are nervous about where their next paycheck is going to come from. They’re nervous about the health of their friends and family. I mean, we could probably think of name off, you know, hundreds of things that people have anxiety about right now. Yeah. And that’s competing with their work as it should. It’s natural.

Increase Communication, but Decrease Meeting Lengths

Dave Lawrence: Think about it. You know, you hear the news, or you watch the news, you see that the headlines, we’re in scary times. And let’s put it this way. If you’re isolated and you’re isolated for a few days, unfortunately, the mind starts to wander. So having these regular check-in calls, I mean, for instance, one thing that I’ve done is I’ve increased the frequency of my quote-unquote management meetings. So like before, if I had an hour and a half call on a Monday, now I’ve broken it into maybe two or three meetings during the course of the week, which shortens them. To increase the frequency, decrease the time. The first one’s a little bit more about, you know, strategy for the week. And then the second one is from one of our, you know, from Andy Bounds, one of our mentors there something called Best, Next and Help Meetings.

So, you know, what was the best thing that happened to you since the last week, or since our last meeting. The second is next, you know, what’s next on your agenda, what’s your next goal, and or objective? And then finally, how can I help you? And that’s normally kind of the second meeting I have later on in the week, typically on Thursday. So Monday and Thursday, so that you’re touching base with people. It’s not so, you know, you’re not so hard-lined, but at the same time, you can also allow for that, that conversation and communication.

Jenn DeWall: I love that. I think that’s great guidance for how people can look at structuring the workweek that, you know, there’s a point that we can celebrate what the best thing is. Then there’s, Hey, like what’s coming up and then how can I support you? And I think, you know, the thing that we know that we need to do is become over-communicators because we don’t have that shared workspace. But I like that you’re not trying to take a meeting and have that one meeting be the primary source of all the information that you want to discuss because we know that right now, we’re competing with all of those other thoughts and worries right now. And if you catch them on a Monday where it’s not a great day for them, chances are they may not get your message. And it’s not that you didn’t craft it well. It’s not, you know, you don’t have to personalize that. But it’s that we’re competing with a different type of like personal distractions right now. So we have to be mindful of that and our communication strategies.

Dave Lawrence: Yeah, there are lots of distractions out there. Obviously, if you have to home school, which, you know, mid-life, I’m realizing that being a kindergarten teacher is not my forte. But listen, we’re all having to play these different roles right now. And heaven forbid if you have a family member or someone that’s suffering from this right now, I mean that’s extra stress, the extra burden. So we do need to be empathetic, and we need to do a little bit more listening as well when we’re working with our remote teams.

A Message from Crestcom:
Hi everyone, it’s Jenn DeWall, and I just wanted to drop in with a quick note. Do you lose staff due to burnout? Do your leaders have the skills they need to deal with the stress of working in a fast-paced, ever-changing environment? With Crestcom’s leadership development program, your team can see measurable results that are proven to change behavior. See why our program has reached over 1 million individuals around the world and counting unlock your team’s true potential and give them the tools and skills they need to manage. The challenges of tomorrow, contact us at Crestcom.com So we can help you develop your leaders. And now, back to our podcast.

Setting Up a Home Office

Jenn DeWall: So we hit some of them, I want to jump back and cover our basics. We want to dive into what it’s like to live the multiple roles that you experience as well as many other people, our listeners. So just for those, for the keys to virtual leadership, just that office set up, you want to think about your computer, do you need to give your, your team members dual monitors because their productivity could drop if they’re not used to working on a single monitor. So you might think about making those investments or the accommodations to get them that. Also, you know, just giving guidance on what’s appropriate over video conferencing. I liked that you said or you suggested the ground rules, but you know, I’m video conferencing. I sometimes think that because it’s not face-to-face and because it’s not necessarily a work setting, we might sometimes slack a little bit in our appearance and our language.

Dave Lawrence: Oh, Absolutely.

Jenn DeWall: And so just making sure that you’re, you know, telling people and giving them guidance like, Hey, this is still work. We don’t, you know, just because we’re in a more, I guess just less like work, like setting doesn’t mean that we’re going to be more relaxed in how we communicate or that we’re going to compromise and you know, how we show up, still get ready for the day. And also consider your background if you are in that place, that walk-in closet, you know, be mindful of that. Do you need to add an extra light so people can actually see your face or think about where your camera is? Are they only able to see you from the nose up? Because you might want to make sure they can see your mouth. I mean, the challenge that we don’t have those nonverbal cues, so we have to do what we can to replicate that in a virtual leadership setting.

Dave Lawrence: Very much so. Yeah.

Jenn DeWall: You have anything else you want to add on the basics before I dive into asking you about, you know, well, managing your virtual life.

Dave Lawrence: So again, I think for monitors, it really just depends on the company and what that individual needs to do. I mean, obviously, you might potentially provide software, right? So if there’s certain software that they have in the office, but they don’t have access to that, you might need to provide that. Yeah, I think you know, those are the basics. I’m sure depending on the industry, depending on the role, you could, you could add a litany of other stuff, but it’s not exhaustive by any means, but yeah, it’s obviously important to get your employees set up in the right manner so that they hit the ground running as fast as they can, given the environment.

Jenn DeWall: Alright, now I want to shift it to a more personal note. So we talked about the basics, but you’re a business owner, you’re a facilitator, meaning you have to learn content. You’re a father, and you’re a husband. You’re now basically a teacher. What has this adjustment been like for you?

Dave Lawrence: You know, listen, if I said it hasn’t been stressful, I’d be lying.

Jenn DeWall: Yes, you would.

Dave Lawrence: I would say that the biggest challenge to meet personally is seriously having to now juggle that role of the kindergarten component. Because like I said before, for me having worked from home before, and just the nature of my business, it wasn’t as much of a shift as it was that now I have my six-year-old son sitting next to me for a good portion in the morning and I’m having to coach him and teach him, and my wife is doing the same—we kind of tag team to do that training and education. And you realize that there are certain areas that you’re strong and there are definitely areas that you’re not as strong. Obviously, other components, that have been challenging is, you know, just the social distancing and not being close to clients, not being able to see people in person.

Had to go to the supermarket today and it took twice if not three times longer than normal because you’ve got to, you know, you’ve got to clean this stuff when you get home, etcetera, etcetera. But I would say at least from a work perspective that would be the biggest challenge. I mean, the extra component of the family life, but also not being able to be out and about and interact with people on a personal level.

Find Ways To Connect with Others

Jenn DeWall: Yeah, the social component, just being able to connect because we’re all social beings and not being able to have that. And especially, you know, it might be perceived as easier when you have a family because you have people there, but there are people obviously that are living alone that you know, that’s going to hit them the most. And anything. You had talked about that before. If you’re thinking about people to check in with your people or your employees that might be living on their own or may not have a ton, they might be more introverted in nature. Those are the people that you might have to think about a strategy to connect with them more

Dave Lawrence: Spot on. You know, I obviously I have a family, so you know, I’m interacting with them every day, but I definitely feel for those individuals that are single or right, they live alone or whatever it may be their family on an assignment or they’re healthcare workers, and they don’t get to see them, or they’re living elsewhere. Right. To protect our family. So yeah, you definitely need to touch base with those people on a regular basis,

Jenn DeWall: That’s for sure. What were some of the early learnings that you had for yourself when you had to combine all of those roles? Because I think there’s a lot of learnings like that people had to go in and think about, okay, how do I prioritize my life differently? What were some of the things that you kind of learned early on that you made a rule or a practice, or how did you incorporate and restructure?

Communicate, Communicate and Over-Communicate

Dave Lawrence: I think first and foremost, you’ve got to communicate. You’ve got to communicate, and you get to over-communicate, right? Because people get things in different ways. So at least for, from like a client perspective, you can send out emails, but you also have to reinforce it through newsletters, and you have to reinforce it through conversations and reinforce it, right? I think just that over-communication of trying to repeat the same thing in multiple ways, so people understand what you’re trying to get across. I think another thing like I said earlier, it just structuring my day. So that I wake up and in my calendar, I know that even though it’s okay, it’s, you know, two o’clock in the afternoon, I’ve got to shift to this other activity.

You know, pre-pandemic or I like to call it B.C. Before Corona, you know, B.C., I like most busy professionals, you have a jam-packed day, and you may have a couple of 20-minute gaps between meetings and conference calls. And now we’re given almost too much time. So I think that scheduling time into your day, including time for yourself to exercise, to walk the dog just to get out of the house if possible. Right. That’s important. So I would say those two key components, the communication and adjusting for this new normal and adjusting how to communicate effectively and then structuring your day. It’s critical.

Jenn DeWall: Yeah. I love that. I love your point about structuring because think, and you and I can, you may have had this experience, but when I started my entrepreneurial journey back in 2014, you know you, you go and you, you have these high hopes when you want to be an entrepreneur, you’re like, oh, I’m so excited. I get to be my own boss. I get to control my time. Yeah. And you, you know, you leave the job, and then you go into an entrepreneurial world, which you very quickly find out that no one cares whether or not you take any action.

No one cares what action you take. So there’s no accountability component. And I think that we forget that work as much as we might want to be our own boss. That even the physical aspect of going into work gave us a sense of structure. It gave us a sense of like, okay, now I’m at work. And so this is how I’m going to start the day. And now that we’re home, it’s kind of like where do I start? How do I know what I’m supposed to do, like start doing these specific tasks? It’s difficult to self-structure. So I think that’s great. Great feedback.

A Message from Crestcom:
Hi everyone, it’s Jenn DeWall, and I just wanted to drop in with a quick note. Do your managers know how to build an effective team? Can they create an environment where teamwork is encouraged while setting appropriate benchmarks and delivering projects on time? Are they able to align expectations, so their team works effectively toward common goals? You hired the right team. Now let us help you develop them. Crestcom offers a robust leadership development program that focuses on results each month. Participants learn and apply key leadership skills and tools that will unite teams and drive organizational growth. We are serious about accountability. After each class, we help participants apply those leadership skills in group coaching sessions. Are you ready to take your leadership development to the next level? Contact us at Crestcom.com So we can help you develop your leaders. And now, back to our podcast.

Structure Your Days

Jenn DeWall: So we’re just talking about structure. What advice would you have for people that maybe are struggling with structure?

Dave Lawrence: Yeah, so again, like I was saying earlier, what I would focus on is really scheduling things into your calendar. You know, if you’re a busy professional before Corona, you’ve probably had a very, very busy calendar. And during that schedule I or during that day, you might have 20 minutes here in 20 minutes there, eat lunch and have a break and just review your email. And so what we’re finding is you really need to schedule time into your day to be, you know, to achieve these activities and these objectives that you need to set for yourself. And the other thing that I’m at least doing for myself is that, let’s just assume for, you know, for this you know, for this example that I used to accomplish ten major activities a week or ten a day or whatever it may be, what I’m trying to do now is reduce that number because a lot of us are dealing with a lot more on our plates now and what I’m trying to hold myself accountable for is just getting two major things done every week rather than trying to get as much as I did before. So kind of lowered the bar on how much I’m expecting out of myself.

Jenn DeWall: That is such a great point. We have to redefine our definition of success. It’s not the same. The environment has changed as you said like there are roles that have changed, responsibilities have changed and so it’s unfair to set yourself up for failure by expecting that you’re going to be able to do everything to the same ability as you were before. I like that, that advice of saying, if you used to do ten a day or ten a week, drop that back down to two a day. You know, readjust how you define success and accept that it’s not that you’re failing, it’s that the environment, there’s a lot of other changes that have happened.

Dave Lawrence: Yeah. We’re all doing more risk roles and responsibilities. And as I was kind of joking about, but honestly saying, you know, now I’m having this new role of teaching my son kindergarten classes and stuff like that, which is an extra role and responsibility and taking a large part of my day. And as a result, I can’t focus on what I normally focus on and where I’m most efficient. Right. So like you said, we need to lower the bar a little bit. Don’t beat yourself up because we’re not producing at the rate that we were producing, shall we say before,

How Can Leaders Motivate Their Teams in a Virtual Workplace?

Jenn DeWall: You know, I want to shift gears a little bit, but I love all this personal insight that you’re sharing. There have been a few questions, and I’m sure you’ve probably seen it too, that leaders are kind of struggling right now with how to motivate their teams because they don’t have that same contact with them. They can’t just, you know, run over and talk to them and say, Hey, what’s the status of this? Yeah. What ideas do you have for leaders to be able to motivate their teams in a virtual setting?

Dave Lawrence: Well, I think first and foremost, you, yourself as a leader, need to be motivated, right? And you also need to trust them. You know, and you, you need to. And how do you trust them? Well, you give them the tools. You give them the training. And you basically your review will be based on what they produce, what are their outcomes are. I think that I’m honest like we were talking about before, being empathetic. Being a good listener to hear what they’re going through, the challenges that they’re facing. And like I was also saying before, I really think that constant contact, constant communication with them. May it be video conferencing calls or emails or whatever it may be, are really critical. So that you can motivate those teams, and also when you’re communicating, set those expectations, let people know what is good, what is better, what is best, and what you’re striving for and let them know what the deadlines are or when are you planning to achieve that objective. Right. So I think first and foremost, you yourself as a leader have to be motivated. You have to, you know, have that strategic vision and say, okay, this is the end goal. And then clearly communicate that to the team.

Jenn DeWall: Yes. I want to add something to the piece of what the leader being motivated because I think a lot of it is also walking the walk. But I mean this and actually a way that maybe we don’t think is a big deal, but it actually is, if you want to encourage face to face interaction and then you maybe jump onto your team’s virtual meeting and don’t use your camera, well then that’s going to tell everyone else that they don’t have to use your camera. So you do have to walk the walk in terms of how do you want them to show up. If you’re going to show up in, you know, a sweatshirt or, however, if that’s appropriate, that’s totally fine. But you are the one that sets that example for what people should be doing and how they should be acting at this time.

Lead By Example

Dave Lawrence: You’re absolutely correct. And you know, we have joked a couple of times about people being more casual. You know, it’s normally when I meet with clients, I’m business casual, and it’s a jacket or sports coat, whatever it may be. You know, I think about it before I get into kind of some coaching sessions and one-on-one with some like and I think should I wear a t-shirt? But you also see your own clients and, and, and, and partners or whoever it may also are dressed down. So as far as like appearance and as far as attire, that’s at least for me, a little less of a concern. Except when I’m actually doing my workshops. In those situations, I’d be dressed normally. Yeah. However, as far as interactions, you’re spot on. I mean, you know, we lose so much when you don’t have that eye contact with people. And so when you do want to get across a really important point, you want to be able to see how someone’s reacting. And they’re not just giving you lip service. Right.

So you, you also have to walk the walk. You have to get on the conference calls. You have to be punctual. You have to, you know, if you say, this is our agenda, you follow that agenda. And also you might want to kind of prep a little bit ahead of time, right. You want to maybe call on people. You probably want to minimize, like I was saying before, the length of that presentation or that, that meeting maybe do some icebreakers, et cetera, et cetera. So, you know, I think there’s a lot that you can do in order to ensure that you know, at least these virtual and video conferencing calls are, are effective.

Jenn DeWall: Yes. And I think, you know, the other thing that, I guess maybe it’s worth noting that is really difficult is we don’t have eye contact in a virtual meeting because I contact is that it requires you to look at the camera, which is not at the person. We have to remember that. We don’t have that. So we do have to try a little bit more to be able to try and create that interaction and that non-verbal communication. Because you and I both know that nonverbal communication is, is very powerful, and it’s something that we use as the majority source of our communication. And now, if we don’t have a video, we lose all of that.

Dave Lawrence: Yeah, exactly. So, you know, that’s critical. I mean it just, it’s so important to have that, those visual cues, the body language, the eye contact and also, you know, walking the walk, as you were saying before, as the leader setting that example.

What is your Leadership Habit for Success?

Jenn DeWall: Dave, you’ve shared some really great to have said, I hope that this helps all of us or all of our listeners tuning in just to understand how they can be more successful in leading in this virtual world. But I want to wrap up by asking you our final question, which is the question that we ask everyone that joins us for the podcast, which is, what is your leadership habit for success? What do you do to create success? Mr. Lawrence?

Dave Lawrence: Wow, that’s a, it’s a challenging question. It’d probably be difficult to put the finger on just one thing. But okay. I think it’s somewhat similar to what we were talking about before. Having a system in place, so structure. You know, you can set all the objectives and all the goals that you want. You know, we all have our new year’s resolutions, and a lot of them stopped by January 15 or January 10. But you know, if you put a system in place, a structure in place so that you can follow through. So that you’re effective. Maybe managing your inbox and maybe losing those 10 pounds from the holidays or from COVID 19. You know the COVID 19, right? That’s going around, right? That’s not the Freshmen 15. It’s the COVID 19. Right? You need to put together a system in place. So I put together a system, excuse me so that you can follow that system. And so that is how I try to at least do it for myself and obvious for the people at the companies that I work with. And you know, living by that system, being disciplined to follow a system. Again, if it’s an email tracking or not, email tracking, email filtering process so you can get all your emails done or if it’s holding yourself accountable for just getting the AIitems done today, the B items done this week, and the C items done in the next two weeks or whatever it may be. So I think really establishing a system so that you’re effective and you can really be working at your peak performance.

Jenn DeWall: That’s a great tip for everyone to realize that if you can create or incorporate a system that your productivity will just be higher, your confidence will be higher, but it does require your discipline. That’s a great, great closing, a great habit to start. Dave, thank you so much for taking the time to share your expertise and just tips on how we can lead in a virtual environment. It was so great to have you on the podcast today.

Dave Lawrence: Thank you very much, Jenn. I appreciate it. And be safe. Wash your hands. And we’ll get through this.

Jenn DeWall: Thank you so much for tuning into today’s episode of the leadership habit podcast. If you want to connect with Dave, you can reach out with him through LinkedIn, or you can go to crestcom.com to find out how you can get Crestcom trading in your area. Dave, as he said, is in South Florida, so if you’re interested in training, don’t hesitate to reach out. If you found these tips helpful, feel free to share this podcast with a friend, and if you liked it, also remember to rate and review it on your favorite podcast streaming service. Thank you for tuning in.