Remote Control

Written by Ryan Goldade
Edited by Alan Ng
Photography by Jenkin Au



With the aid of technology, the power of controlling across platforms and the ability to communicate have advanced to the extent where people are able to locate themselves anywhere in the world and still be able to function effectively. What does this mean? Surely, this improvement of communication allows people to travel more and live a more lavish and relaxed lifestyle while still handling important projects, but what are implications behind all this luxury?

The people controlling these workstations are basically using remotely controlling tasks and assignments through the World Wide Web. While this technology currently aids people in the ease of platforms that allows information to relay information back and forth, being able to control remotely requires an even higher level of discipline and skill set. Not only do you need to know how to assign tasks, you are going through a one-way communication system where you have to rely on more responsibilities to people without the advantage of being physically present to monitor tasks.

For leaders around the world, the biggest issue is raised by followers who question exactly who they are being controlled by. This serves as a big issue because this working relationship between people then deteriorates. What’s even more important is a specific level of trust that goes beyond the working commitment to a responsibility. The leader needs to have the utmost faith in their followers – in a sense the follower is an extension of his or her own arm. Without that level of trust, it is like a nerve has severed and the arm is working by itself. The leader needs to have the faith in an individual that he or she will complete the assigned task. Reciprocating that trust is that person’s commitment to follow through with their task, going beyond what is expected of them to complete those tasks.

While technology has allowed teams to function remotely, it also gave way to multitasking – one person no longer is as tied down to one project as they used to be. While multitasking is a notable feat that many people are capable of performing, the truth remains that most people cannot and should not focus on more than one or two projects. But with the advent of technology, multitasking and multi commitments spread like wildfire. With that, one person’s capability to divulge their commitment to one project diminishes and the trust level that a leader has on their followers also diminishes. The leader is left with a lingering thought in their mind of whether or not they will be able to carry through with that task.

What’s left for the leader to do is to test and test but to never expect. A leader can never expect something to be done – that is a passive way of managing their followers. What a leader needs to do is to ensure that something is done. There are far too many considerations in our world to take into account when assigning a task. Only an active leader can make the fullest out of controlling and managing a team remotely and be successful while doing so.

What kind of leader are you, passive or active?


1 Comment

  • August 12, 2011

    Winnielui Wy

    Good thoughts on the nature of leadership and delgation. I’m curious to know what you mean by active leadership. What’s the balance between letting go and supervising?

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