What are your thoughts about this?
What skills and abilities does a manager need in order to lead effectively in a virtual environment? Do you believe a leader with a consideration style or an initiating-structure style would be more successful as a virtual leader?
This is a great question. There is a difference between a virtual manager and a traditional manager. To be sure, there are many overlapping qualities; however, there are a few key characteristics that a virtual manager needs.
First, since there will be little personal interaction in the flesh, a virtual manager needs to be extra organized. It is hard enough to get things done, when there is personal interaction. In a virtual environment, where there is less pressure to perform, a manager needs to keep on top of things. He or she needs to inspire organization and competence.
Second, a virtual manager also needs to keep tabs on people. As mentioned above, when people are alone often it is too easy to move at a snail's pace. In light of this, a virtual manager needs to be able to mark progress. He or she needs to implement this through technology.
Third, a virtual manager needs to be prompt and decisive. There is something about technology that almost demands speed. Hence, he or she must use technology to direct people in a timely fashion.