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Leading the Virtual Workforce: How Great Leaders Transform Organizations in the 21st Century

Leading the Virtual Workforce: How Great Leaders Transform Organizations in the 21st Century

Karen Sobel Lojeski

ISBN: 978-0-470-56189-8 October 2009 192 Pages




Leading the Virtual Workforce

How Great Leaders Transform Organizations in the 21st Century

Praise for Leading the Virtual Workforce

"Strong leadership in the best of times is difficult to achieve, but in today's rapidly changing business environment, leaders are tested in many new ways. Once again, Lojeski has a fresh take on what it takes to lead today's widely dispersed workforce."
—Ellen Pearlman, former editor-in-chief, CIO Insight magazine

"Karen Lojeski has distilled the essence of the leader's role in 'managing' virtual teams. Her very relevant case stories illustrate that to be successful, the authentic leader must be able to create context and a collaborative lexicon for virtual knowledge sharing and must work diligently to build the social capital that is so vital to the success of virtual work groups. Karen's key contribution in this and her previous book, Uniting the Virtual Workforce, is the 'discovery' and clear articulation of her theory of the Virtual Distance Index, which leaders can use to measure and manage the process of virtual teamwork."
—Dave Davison, Chairman, Virtual Visuals Inc.

"I agree entirely with Karen when she says that today, more than ever, effective leaders are desperately needed. She skillfully defines the dislocation and demarcation of leaders from followers through the 'Virtual Distance,' and yet paradoxically calls leaders to 'stoke the flames of innovation and cooperation in a complex, interwoven world.' This gives rise to her exploration of the Virtual Distance Leader. As Karen points out, the twenty-first-century leader must, amidst the conditions of pressure, change, and transformation, bring human endeavor and action to value and meaning for others."
—Adrian Machon, Director, Executive & Leadership Development, GlaxoSmithKline

Microsoft Executive Leadership Series: Series Foreword ix

Preface xi

About the Interviewees xxi

Acknowledgments xxxiii

Chapter 1  1

A Whole New World

Chapter 2 17

A Brief History of Leadership

Chapter 3 33

Creating Context

Chapter 4 49

Cultivating Communities

Chapter 5 61

Co-Activating New Leaders

Chapter 6 77


Chapter 7 93

The Virtual Distance Leadership Model

Chapter 8 113

The Future of Leadership As We Know it

Chapter 9 123

A Different View of Leadership Altogether

Appendix A 141

The Virtual Distance Model

Index 151