The Long-Distance Teammate: Stay Engaged and Connected While Working Anywhere
By Kevin Eikenberry and Wayne Turmel
Berrett-Koehler, 224 pp., $19.95
This book lives up to its title. It offers great advice for being "a great teammate while working at a distance from those you must collaborate with." But it goes further.
The authors provide deep insights into individual responsibilities for effective collaboration, communication, and even growth as professionals. Their recommendations direct readers to own their career and to plan and execute personal growth plans. They tell readers not to wait for the company to send them to training. Instead, the authors advise reading, seeking feedback, learning about the business, and shadowing others.
Eikenberry and Turmel also offer supervisors good practices for providing feedback, tips on how to build good relationships, as well as examples of behaviors that can demotivate teams. They couple lessons for working remotely with practical approaches to being the best at work, which also are applicable to the traditional office setting.
The book's genesis grows out of the authors' decades of work developing leaders. They detail what it takes to be considered a productive employee and how to ascertain true expectations—whether those are formal goals and objectives or the more nebulous notion of being a respected and valued team member. They give this formula: Your job = your work + your teamwork.
Eikenberry and Turmel make clear that employees should own their own engagement. Acknowledging that everyone gets demotivated, they suggest routines, habits, and even calendar mechanisms as sources for reviving energy.
The book's format ensures that readers can tap into each chapter's summary, which includes a directive to pause and reflect as well as online resources for further exploration. While The Long-Distance Teammate makes for a great gift for someone just starting their career, managers, supervisors, and team leaders likewise will find great insight into forming and becoming the best team member.