17 Mistakes Leaders Make with Support Staff
L E A R N H O W T O F U L L Y U T I L I Z E Y O U R T E A M
I T S T A R T S W I T H A Q U E S T I O N
As a leader, you make dozens of decisions every day. And most of them are probably pretty good, or you
wouldn’t still be a leader.
But mistakes are bound to happen.
We’ve outlined the 17 biggest mistakes we see leaders make with their virtual teams. Take a read, and
ask yourself –
“What mistakes could I be making?”
WE DON’T SET
(OR HOLD TO)
Thanks to technology, it’s increasingly difficult to completely shut out our work.
Expecting round-the-clock access isn’t reasonable.
O V E R C O M M U N I C A T E A N D W A T C H T H E M S U C C E E D
WE DON’T COMMUNICATE
The burden is on you as the leader to share enough details with your VA about:
• your job
• your tasks
• your projects, and
• your life.
You know how much you charge your clients per hour – but do you think about the hourly rate you’re losing
as you exchange dozens of emails trying to reschedule a meeting or re-book a fight? That’s time (and
potential income) you don’t get back.
WE DON’T GIVE THE “WHY”
BEHIND THE “WHAT.”
Sharing with your VA the rationale behind a project, and what you want to
accomplish with it, helps them feel more engaged and vested in the success of
that project – which will lead to better results.
WE WANT TOO MUCH
Give your VA time to fully understand what you’re expecting of him or her, and remember that their version of
“time” is not directly analogous to your version of “time.”
WE DON’T OPEN UP.
Don’t be afraid to open up and share things that you may be struggling with,
because those are the very things your team can take off your shoulders.
WE DON’T KNOW
HOW TO DELEGATE.
Jerry Maguire said it best - “Help me, help you!” When your assistant, project lead, or right hand man asks
this, be sure to have an answer ready.
“ H E L P M E , H E L P Y O U ! ”
WE REFUSE TO SURRENDER
OUR EMAIL AND CALENDARS.
It might be a little scary to let go of those things when you’ve spent so many
hours managing them, but remember – those are hours that you weren’t using to
expand your business or your career. So let them go.
WE DON’T MAKE
Use video conferencing and call whenever you can, to help reinforce the idea that you’re a real, live leader
that he or she is serving.
WE DON’T PLAY FAIR.
Expecting immediate responses from your team and then sitting on their
request for days on end undermines both your working relationship and your
credibility as a leader.
WE’RE LOUSY ABOUT
Your team can only get feedback from you, since you’re the leader he or she is serving. And not giving that
feedback only holds you both back.
“ W E A L L N E E D P E O P L E W H O W I L L G I V E U S F E E D B A C K . T H A T ’ S H O W W E I M P R O V E . ”
– B I L L G A T E S
WE MAKE THEM WAIT.
If you truly view them as your partner in accomplishing your business objectives (and they
are!), then their messages need to be a very high priority for you.
WE MAKE TOO MANY
Your VA isn’t inside your head. Neither is he or she in every meeting you’re in, or interacting with your staff or
customers face-to-face every day. Be willing to fill in the gaps.
WE WANT HIM OR HER TO BE SOMEONE HE (OR
SHE) IS NOT.
Hire for the role you need to be filled, not the tasks themselves.
U N I C O R N S D O N ’ T E X I S T
WE DON’T MAKE THE
RELATIONSHIP A PRIORITY.
If you’re not deliberate about it, the old adage “out of sight, out of mind” can quickly become our reality. Start
skipping video calls or updates, and it won’t be long before you are disconnected and not achieving the
results you wanted.
WE DON’T SAY “THANK YOU.”
Don’t let gratitude be rare for your team – virtual or inhouse. If you truly
appreciate them, say so. And make sure they know you mean it.
Growing an organization is difficult in our demanding world. BELAY provides
virtual solutions to help you realize growth.
We staff specialists in bookkeeping, copywriting, web support, and administrative
assistance who become an extension of your organization—matching the right
person with the right skills to meet your needs.
BELAY equips you with trusted support that allows you to focus on your goals,
navigate operational gaps, alleviate risk, and free up your organization to climb