Tips from Jesus on How to Manage Remote Teams
I was sitting on the couch thinking about how to lead remote teams well, and I had an epiphany… Jesus is a pro at leading remote teams! Jesus spent a good three years with His disciples, before ascending to Heaven. He left His team with clear instructions, and has been managing His “Kingdom Business” ever since. This got me thinking about how He set His Team up for success, and what we can learn from Him. Here are some “Tips from Jesus on How to Manage Remote Teams.”
Jesus Served His Team – At the last Leadership Meeting Jesus had with His disciples, He made a point of ensuring His Team knew what leadership was about. He expected all of His team to show leadership. He took off His outer garment and washed all His team members feet – a role that was reserved for servants and salves. However, here Jesus teaches that leadership is serving.
In these socially isolated times, nothing changes. Leadership looks like serving your team. How can you serve your team in these times? Below we will look at a number of Tips from Jesus on How to Manage Remote Teams that demonstrate how you can serve your team in this time of change.
Jesus Promised He Wouldn’t Leave Them – Although Jesus knew that He would not be physically present with His Team over the coming years, He let them know He would always be there with them. He knew there would be times that would be tough, and times that would be exciting.
Jesus promise that He would stick with them no matter what gave confidence to His team. As leaders we need to reassure our team of the things that don’t change. Our commitment to you and to the team, and to the cause will not change. We are in this together. In a time when we are being physically separated, let’s stay socially connected. What does this look like for you? Perhaps it’s a daily Team Check In, an extra text message, a phone call to say hello. Or perhaps, it’s getting a packet of Tim Tams delivered with a note to say, “We’re all in this together!”
Jesus Allowed Questions – Jesus had spent three years training His team. He had taught them, He had given them opportunities to imitate Him, and He had debriefed with them. But in Acts 1 we see that Jesus still allows space for questions. Jesus recognised that His team were emotional – they were excited and most probably scared!
But Jesus allowed them to express themselves, and gently encouraged them. He could have got frustrated with the questions and said, “NOTHING CHANGES!!! You know what to do!” But instead He listened. It is important in these times to allow space for people to vent, to express their fear and their confusion. Jesus shows that if we are vulnerable, show empathy, and care for what our team is thinking and feeling, we will earn their trust and fill them with confidence.
Jesus Clearly Communicated the Task – Prior to Jesus and His Teams remote set-up, He clearly communicated the task at hand. We see Him giving these instructions in The Great Commission passages. But we also see Him teaching on this in the 40 days before He ascended to Heaven including immediately prior to His ascension in Acts 1:8.
You cannot over communicate this in these times. In a time of change, your team is searching for clarity. They are looking for the answer to questions like, “What are we doing?” and “Where are we heading?” Jesus communicated this clearly, and so should we. (Also – His “WHY” never changed)
Jesus Set Expectations – As Jesus was heading to Heaven, He set some expectations for the coming days. In Acts Chapter 1 He tells them the plan: Wait in Jerusalem for The Holy Spirit, then the next phase will kick into action.
Jesus set expectations for the season they were in. He gave them something to hold on to. In these times we may not have all the answers we want. But what we can do is set timeframes, and tasks for the season we are in. In this example Jesus prioritised “waiting”. In your team what is the one thing they can do right now? Jesus set clear expectations, and so should we.
Jesus Empowered His Team – Jesus realised that His team did not have everything they needed for the season they were stepping into. Although they knew “what to do” and had even practiced doing “what they had to do”, they still lacked the power to accomplish the task at hand. Jesus recognised what His team needed to complete the task, then provided it for them.
As leaders we need to ask ourselves, and our teams, what are the obstacles and challenges to our teams success? Then we need to give our team the power and authority to deal with these challenges. What can you give your team to be effective in this season?
Jesus Stayed Focused – As Jesus was about to head off His Team asked Him about timing. Jesus responded by reminding them of the task at hand. The main thing is still the main thing regardless of what is happening around us.
If your team is like mine, they are keen to know when everything will return to normal. The truth is, none of us know. But Jesus didn’t get caught up in a guessing game, He didn’t fuel the anxiety by talking times. Instead, He acknowledged it was a mystery and shifted the focus back on to the task at hand.
Who would have thought that we could gather so many “Tips from Jesus on How to Manage Remote Teams!” Jesus expertly shows us how to manage teams in the midst of anxiety and change. His example reminds us that to lead is to serve regardless of whether we are working from the office, or in the confines of our home.
What do you think? What are some of the tips from Jesus you think are relevant in these times?