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Table of Contents

Section I: Understand Your Boss’s Fears, Needs, and Priorities
Section II: Blow Your Own Horn with Elegance
Section III: Stay Focused on What Is Important
Section IV: Develop a Reputation for Adding Value through Disciplined Communication
Section V: Learn to Move Ahead from a Virtual Position



#1: Approach virtual work by assuming that no one understands what you do and how you do it.

#27: Schedule a twenty-minute one-to-one phone call with your boss every week for updates.

#43: Regularly asking “How does this project help the larger organization?” positions you as a strategic thinker.

#70: Act with intention on every email, phone call, and conference call.

#101: People are hired for experience, not potential. Volunteer to get experience.

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140 Ways to Make the Virtual Organization Work for You

by Carmela Southers

Foreword by Ken Blanchard

Remote work, distributed teams, and virtual managers are a reality for many thousands in today’s workforce. Working remotely can mean zero or low commuting stress, more independence, a great work-life balance, and enhanced productivity. On the flip side, it can mean being on call 24/7, isolation, scanty career enhancement opportunities, and loss of motivation. So how do you ensure that remote work becomes a positive experience for you? Virtual work expert Carmela Southers teaches you how, in her eloquent new book, #MANAGING YOUR VIRTUAL BOSS tweet.

Carmela is no novice to virtual work. Over two decades, she built her career exclusively through virtual work. Her current manager is located 3000 miles away, a factor that she has turned into a plus for herself, her manager, and the organization. This first-person, hands-on experience is what makes her new book unique, accessible, and invaluable for anybody who works at a distance from their boss–telecommuters, work-from-home individuals, field sales personnel, managers of distributed teams–every one of them will turn the pages to find practical guidance with immediate results.

Carmela points out that, as a remote worker, you must understand your boss’s perspective. She shows you how to be more aware of what your boss needs from you, how to communicate in a way that conveys your dedication without resorting to 3 a.m. emails, how to improve personal discipline, and how to gain the trust and confidence to be perceived as a high performer who deserves flexibility and autonomy. You will learn to understand, and even empathize, with the secret fears your boss has in managing you, and master practical strategies you can use to ensure your success.

The world of work has changed before our eyes, and even more changes lie ahead. As with any change, there is potential for danger…and opportunity.

Although the title of the book specifically refers to boss, this book has great tips on how to manage anyone that you’re currently working with (i.e., project leader, project member, customer, peer, etc.). The win/win view philosophy that Carmela Southers proposes makes #MANAGING YOUR VIRTUAL BOSS tweet a must-read today.

#MANAGING YOUR VIRTUAL BOSS tweet is part of the THiNKaha series whose slim and handy books contain 140 well-thought-out quotes (tweets/ahas).

Read the review in Management Issues

Want a branded edition of #MANAGING YOUR VIRTUAL BOSS tweet for your company?


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“As the organizational model and work structure is becoming increasingly global, it is very important for the employee and the manager to leverage and maximize the benefits of a virtual work force. This book provides a very pragmatic approach to working in this complex environment. The messages can provide a huge dividend to the employees and the organization for the time invested in reading it.”

– Hari Haran, President, Persistent Systems

“This book provides great insights on how to create and maintain a strong partnership with your remote leader. I have a virtual boss and will use the suggestions from the first tweet to the last. Carmela writes in a way that is compelling and helpful. Applying her practical tips will truly make a difference.”

– Sue Muehlbach, Manager, Performance Development, Delta Air Lines

“Even if your boss works close to you, everyone needs to be able to work with customers, peers, and project managers who work virtually. This book helps you take the lead in all your relationships. I wish this book had been available when I was starting out.”

– Michele Numssen, Global Commercial Learning Leader, Merck

“If you want to help your employees win with their customers and their peers in our ever increasing virtual world, then buy Carmela’s book today.”

– John Savoie, Regional Business Director, AstraZeneca

“Carmela Southers is right on target with terrific advice on how to ‘win’ as a virtual employee. This book should be a must read for every employee who wants to gain the flexibility to work off-site or from home! (Virtual bosses need their own copies, too!)”

– Sioux Thompson, Financial Services Executive, Organizational Development and Learning

About the Author


Carmela Southers
Carmela Southers


Carmela Southers, speaker, author, and senior consultant with The Ken Blanchard Companies has built a successful career in virtual work. As an author of Blanchard’s Teaming Virtually®, Leading Virtually®, and Leading Virtual Teams® programs, she is viewed as an expert on helping organizations, leaders, and teams succeed in the world of virtual work. Her clients include American Express, Delta, Ericsson, Merck, and Freddie Mac. Carmela travels in the U.S. and overseas training, consulting, speaking, and improving the effectiveness of remote leaders, teams, individuals, and organizations.