Influencing Across Distances

If you are managing a geographically dispersed team, you will be aware that distance brings its own complexities. In your attempt to get your people doing what you would like them to do, the tendency can be to try and micro-manage them rather than step back and lead them more effectively.

I recently interviewed Mark Fritz, an international leadership speaker who focuses on helping business leaders across the world to achieve even greater success in leading across distances & cultures.

During the interview Mark explained the unique challenges of leading across distances and why distance is the acid test for leadership. He pointed out that you can’t manage your way, or fire fight your way to leading an organisation. You can’t see what your people are doing all the time. You can’t correct them very quickly. You can’t have your people waiting for you to tell them what to do next. If you try to manage them you are slowing them, and your organisation, down to the speed of your own capacity rather than operating to the multiplication of other people’s capacity.

Mark knows that the key to managing across distances is to build ownership in your team members, for what they are doing. To hear more about the power of ownership and how to transfer ownership from you as the leader to your team members, listen to the 45 minute interview here and learn from the expert.

Mark will be “in the house” to answer your questions on how to lead your team, whether a virtual team working from their own homes or agents spread throughout the world. Do take this opportunity to put your questions and comments directly to Mark here on the blog.

  • What question do you have for Mark?
  • What works well for you? (either as a leader or a team member)
  • What would you like to be different?

5 Responses to Influencing Across Distances

  • I�d should test with you here. Which is not one thing I often do! I take pleasure in reading a put up that will make individuals think. Additionally, thanks for allowing me to comment!

  • Thanks for the article and the link. Great stuff!

    Even as online meeting tools get better, I have found it harder and harder for people to recognize the missing elements of communication that hamper real dialogue when when we work as geographically-dispersed teams.

    It can help to guide your team through this risk by coming up with solid online ground rules to combat the problem. I did a pair of blog posts on this subject a few weeks ago and suggested 10 ways teams can work through this challenge:

    All the best,

    -Steve Chihos, PMP –

  • hey Julie
    nice to meet you:)
    so so very true: “Mark knows that the key to managing across distances is to build ownership in your team members, for what they are doing.” it reminds me of another great sentence I once heard: ” be a one man army”
    this attitude is probably the single most essential factor that made America the great country it still is.

    “Mark knows that the key to managing across distances is to build ownership in your team members, for what they are doing.”
    The Medici bank worked this way in the XV and XVI century, and now Richard Branson companies do the same..
    this is a way to a great live, relationships, business success, and healthy environment.

    Thank you for the article
    all the best
    Martyna Bizdra

  • Julie
    Congratulations for the initiative and thanks for the opportunity.
    This interview with Mark Fritz was an excellent summary of the challenges and opportunities we have when leading a multi-country team.
    The importance of Why and What was a new way to talk about communication. The best one was the impact of the behavior (due to the lack of face to face
    interaction) and how to deal with it. A complementary reading is at MF’s site (
    Again, I did like it a lot.

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