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“In the work we have been doing on leadership development, the most important lesson was the recognition of how powerful ‘virtual’ is as a communication method, shattering the myth that face-to-face is always better. I would encourage you to read, digest and experiment with the approaches outlined - using them well will definitely deliver results.” Rachel Westcott, Director of People and Organisational Development, WaterAid
"A lot of the information presented here will seem counterintuitive or 'different' to you. Managing effectively in an online world requires disciplines that many of us have yet to learn. I recommend that you start by reading this book." Gerhard Peter Gross, President and CEO – Mexico, Daimler Trucks North America LLC
"This book is a remarkable tool, with powerful tips in each chapter to power up your career. The wisdom within will do wonders for your business." Wei Tao, Affiliate Manager GTI China, DSM ICT
"It is a joy to read such superb content, which I could relate to my own experience in today's ever growing Virtual world. This book shifts Virtual Leadership from a popular catch phrase to the needs of today's ever growing digital, virtual world of Leadership." Vikrant Shrotriya, General Manager, Gulf, Novo Nordisk
Despite having grown up with social networking, there is still much that this book can teach me about working in a virtual environment. Juliet Morgan, ‘Digital Native’
‘Virtual working’ is nothing new. For at least two decades people have been working together virtually, their interactions enabled and mediated by communication technology. Yet, for many, virtual working remains an unsatisfactory practice, considered as second class and something undertaken only when travel is impractical. One of the main reasons for this is that the leadership aspects of the activity have been underestimated, if not completely ignored.
People tend to speak about managing virtual teams and focus on the tasks at hand and the things to do and not do. But leading virtually represents a new discipline, different from traditional leadership, which needs to be recognised as such and learnt. By learning to lead virtually, people become better leaders in all circumstances.
In ‘Virtual Leadership: learning to lead differently’ Ghislaine Caulat summarises what it takes to lead effectively in the virtual space. She explains how learning to become an effective virtual leader requires a deeper level of reflection. It requires people to question key aspects such as their own sense of identity as leaders, relationships, trust and power.
Based on her consultancy work with leaders and her research, Ghislaine offers eight ‘Invitations’ to guide those who want to improve their effectiveness as ‘virtual leaders’. She is convinced that organisations with virtual leadership capabilities will achieve a considerable competitive advantage and not just because of substantial savings in terms of costs, time and carbon footprint. They will also become faster at developing and implementing strategies and at cultivating learning and change globally.
Ghislaine Caulat has over 15 years of consulting experience across industries and continents and understands what it takes to lead and manage in complex multinational organisations. She works at the intersection of leadership, strategy and change and helps leaders to make strategies happen. Over the last 12 years she has led and/or contributed to major change and development projects for global organisations in the automotive, engineering, telecommunication or pharmaceutical industries as well as for global organisations in the public sector.
Ghislaine currently lives in Germany and works as an Associate Director of Ashridge Consulting in the United Kingdom. She has also created her own company BLACK GAZELLE dedicated to developing and promoting Virtual Leadership in organisations.