I work in a virtual team. In both my jobs, as a project manager and as a writer, I work in virtual teams, sometimes leading them, sometimes not.
That’s why I was keen to read Virtual Leadership by Penny Pullan, and I was lucky enough to get an advance copy before it hit the shelves. I read it in one sitting on a long train journey – it’s easy to get into so it doesn’t feel like hard going to plough through it.
I’m also lucky enough to know Penny and I can tell you that the book reads very much as Penny talks: knowledgeable, accessible, practical, and – if this doesn’t sound too sycophantic – wise.
So, in the normal style of my book reviews, let me tell you more about what’s in the book and what else I thought about it.
What Is A Virtual Team?
Penny says that it’s important to define virtual work before you understand what virtual teams are. Virtual work, she writes, is:
Work done by people who are geographically distributed, working together despite the fact that at least one person is not in the same location as others. Virtual work is supported by communications technology that helps people to connect when far apart.
A virtual team, then, is any team that works like that.
What Is Virtual Leadership?
The third concept defined pretty early on is virtual leadership, which you’d expect, what with it being the title of the book and all. Virtual leadership is defined as:
Being able to engage people from afar to produce results together. It builds on a shared vision of the future to help people to get things done together.