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About The Book

Are you a new leader looking for a simple method for success? Perhaps you’re struggling with leading a remote team and don’t understand why things aren’t working like they used to, or like you want them to? Looking to put the fun back into work? Look no further. Jeff Torello shares his proven techniques for building and operating teams, remotely or in-person, in a direct, easy to follow style with humorous stories and anecdotes to keep your attention.

Over his 30-year career Jeff has been exposed to a variety of leadership styles and approaches. He’s taken those key learnings and boiled them down into the key concepts described here. In around 100 pages you will discover: How to lead with Trust, Respect, & Empowerment The power behind making informed decisions Embracing risk taking and learning from mistakes How to Win & Have Fun! If you want to perfect the skills needed to become an agile servant leader and learn how to foster an environment that enables high performance delivery in the 21st Century, even when working in a remote first or hybrid environment, then this is the book for you!

Sneak Peek: Read a chapter for free below

What’s inside

Partial Chapter List


Trust, Respect, Empowerment


Be Transparently Decisive


Win and Have Fun!


Adopt an Agile Mindset


Failure IS an option


Mentors Matter


Overall, the concepts presented in this book work regardless of physical proximity. If your team is never in the same space and always operates together remotely, they will still benefit from the trust and respect-driven dynamic described within these pages. The same techniques can and should be applied to both in person and remote leadership. In the end, the goal is the same; foster the right culture so the team can perform at the highest level. I’m a strong proponent of the remote first method of work we watched become so successful during the COVID-19 pandemic. There were already examples that this approach was viable before 2020 (I started working remotely for Intel in 2006; half of my 20-year career there was spent working remotely), but I firmly believe that the case has been made that working in an office is no longer a requirement for everyone. There are certain jobs and certain classes of work that benefit from or even require being on-site, but there are many that do not.

The key to making any team function at its highest potential, even a remote team, is to build a team dynamic or culture. The right culture influences everything the team does; how they approach and resolve problems, how they celebrate wins, and how they recover from losses. That dynamic is massively influenced by their leader. There’s an axiom that says, “The speed of the team is the speed of the boss,” and this is a readily apparent fact you can witness. If a leader is slow and methodical, doesn’t prioritize deadlines, and generally isn’t concerned about output, the leader’s team will naturally follow that lead and deliver slowly. On the other hand, a leader who emphasizes hitting deadlines and works to remove roadblocks to success will instill in the team the drive to succeed, to meet or beat those deadlines, and to bring up issues they need help with as they’ve seen proof their leader wants to help them. Why does this happen? If your leader prioritizes one action over another, it would be strange for you to do the opposite of what the leader wants. The leader’s job is to lead and yours is to take direction based on that lead.Culture is made up of much more than just following directions, however. Culture also includes the styles, behaviors, attitudes, and even the values within the team — all shaped, informed, and guided directly by the team leader. The team culture informs how and when the work gets done and whether the way a team works together is boring and quiet or fun and exciting along the way. This all flows from the leader’s words, actions, and examples the leader sets for the team every day. When the team is remote, this culture instillment is even more critical. Consider the following nonsense example to make the point. You are leading a team of people who all work in the same office building, but each person works on a different floor. As the leader, you’ve made ‘rules’ that there is to be no

visiting of team members, no changing of floors, and no having lunch together, and the only time the team members should talk to each other is to discuss work. What sort of rapport do you think this team is going to have? How well will they know each other? Can they predict how other members of the team will react to a given scenario? I would go so far as to suggest this isn’t even a team; it’s mostly a collection of people who get their paycheck from the same place. Obviously, this isn’t a wise approach to leading a team, and yet I have watched this exact scenario develop most specifically with remote teams. It’s not intentional, of course. It tends to happen as a by-product of the leader not understanding what to focus on or what to encourage/discourage. I suspect that there are quite a number of leaders who are struggling with the remote concept just like their employees. As I’ve said, the path to making this better starts with the right culture, a team dynamic that gets people interacting and building rapport. In person you wouldn’t expect the team in the example above to naturally avoid each other every day, but if you don’t provide opportunities for team bonding/building to develop, especially with remote teams, there will be no impetus for the team to create a culture on their own. As the leader, you’re setting the example that team culture isn’t important to you, and thus it will not be important to your team.In a traditional office setting where meetings take place in conference rooms, once the meeting is over, the attendees just naturally interact either in the conference room itself or while walking back to their desks, the cafeteria, etc. This bonding time is a key part of building rapport, even if it isn’t explicitly evident to the individual employees.

About Jeff

Jeff Torello is a 30-year veteran of the technology industry, retiring from Intel Corporation after a 20-year career. He transitioned into Agile team development and software management while working to refine his leadership style. Jeff is father to an amazing daughter, and husband to a loving wife for over 25 years. He is a consummate technologist and is “the guy” that friends and family call for advice or help with their technological issues. Jeff is known for telling stories to inform, entertain, and teach, and has been a mentor to many close friends and associates over the years. Jeff earned his CISSP certification in 2016 (AKA a cybersecurity nerd) and has been pestering everyone he knows about using two-factor authentication and ad blockers ever since.