I’m Robert Agger, and I’m Director, Client Solutions here at Harmony Healthcare. Lots of people call me Bobby, but I answer to just about anything.
I come to you today to share some thoughts on leadership in our current global state of affairs and what it takes to adjust to a remote atmosphere. Since the middle of March, corporate Harmony Healthcare employees have taken our show on the road. Remote is certainly a road less traveled for us, but one Harmony has endured to the best of our abilities and one that makes this leader proud of the way his team has responded.
Leading in real time vs remote
You see, in a day and age where remote working environments are commonplace, Harmony is a little behind the times. Trust me: Harmony isn’t lacking on resources or the ability to access technology at the snap of our fingers. But our approach is more old school. It’s a get your hands dirty type of environment, a bounce ideas off of each other type of environment, a pick up on a conversation across the room and offer advice type of environment.
We believe in lifting each other up in real time when there’s a victory and holding ourselves accountable when things need adjusting. For us, accountability comes in many forms: it comes from our leadership team, from our coworkers and peers, and most importantly from ourselves. That’s the one that’s often most difficult to follow, especially when no one is looking.
I know what you’re thinking. “My company is remote” or “X company is remote, and it’s very successful and follows similar strategies.” Look, I get it. There are thousands of companies that make this work in their sleep. But for us, going remote was a big adjustment, and it continues to be handled like professionals from every layer of Harmony’s staff.
Thank you to everyone on our team who made this ambitious lift seem like child’s play. You all have shown me what I have known all along: that this is the team who will win a championship and one that will poke our heads up from these uncertain times and be ready for whatever comes next.
Rising to the challenge of change
But what I didn’t realize was how I was going to react to these changes. How would I lead from a virtual office? I’m an energy guy, a guy who loves when the floor is alive with conversations and where there is a glow from patting each other on the back during victories. It’s been quite an adjustment for me, one that has challenged me to adapt how I motivate and one that taught me how to be supportive and how to sit second chair without physically sitting second chair.
I’m still adapting, but here’s what I’ve found. Not much has changed except my delivery. I’m still here for support, I still have the ability to sit second chair, and I still have the ability to pat my teammates on the back to celebrate in their victories. We still meet every morning to touch base. We still talk about daily challenges in the afternoon. There’s only a difference if you create one.
I’m not ready to trade in my ability to celebrate a victory in person, but I’m open to the idea that this can work when needed and in fact might be a nice test run for a future hybrid schedule. Thank you again to my team for adjusting my perspective. I look forward to the day we can a share a mutual smile in the halls of the office or simply finish the line to a movie quote or song lyric in person.
Until we meet again…