WFH: What you do rivals who you are

WFH means being unable to hide.

Heard this concept on a podcast. It went against my intuition. But the more I thought about it, the more sense it made.

Per the podcast guest:

When you are in an office, creating work theater is much easier. You can attend the impromptu meetings. You can create a false heat in the cubicle by typing and talking and having papers strewn about. You can be genuinely nice and supportive and talkative and smiles. People like you and have the impression that you are making things happen. And you are making things happen. Mostly.

The podcast guest goes on. At home, though, all of this gets stripped away. Sure, you can still attend the virtual happy hours, but things are different. When WFH what you do rivals who you are. But because we can’t see the theater our impressions form differently. Both who we are and what we do are important, for sure, but the spotlight starts to shine brighter on contribution.

One perplexity of the office to home work transition is that our old ways of measuring the sum total of our team members’ value haven’t yet adapted. So something feels off but we haven’t put our finger on it. This problem is nested under a larger problem. If how we work changes, then how we lead must also change.

by Jonathan Wilson

Jonathan is the Head Coach at Sandcastle Company, a Seattle-based leadership training organization. His first book, Future Leader: Rebooting Leadership to Win the Millennial and Tech Future [link], is now available. Jonathan regularly writes and speaks about The New Leader Way, leadership resilience, and the future of work. He has years of leadership experience in both the public and private sectors, a master's degree from Seattle University, and professional coach training from the University of Miami.

Filed under: Leadership

Published on July 21, 2020

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