Leadership Insights

Remote Not Distant Book by Razzetti

Five Quotes for Leaders to Reflect on from Gustavus Razzetti’s Remote, Not Distant Book

Culture is a tricky thing. Some of our best work with our clients and partners is getting into the messiness that is organizational culture. In Remote, Not Distant, author Gustavo Razzetti recognizes that we as a collective have gone through another big change – remote and hybrid work. 

For most of us, “water cooler” or over-the-cubicle-walls conversations just don’t happen often – or even at all anymore. But that’s a small change in the larger project of building and maintaining culture in a hybrid environment. Here are some quotes from Remote, Not Distant that we think highlight some of the challenges. 

On defining culture:

Culture = “The way we do things around here.”
(page 13)

Razzetti offers many definitions of culture, but this is one of his favorites. It encompasses the idea that culture is an action that involves specific repeated behaviors.

Question to ask yourself: How do you “do” your culture in your daily leadership? Where are you missing opportunities to act on your culture and values? 

On control: 

“Controlling leaders have become more controlling during the pandemic. That’s why most people are overwhelmed. Remote work doesn’t drive burnout, per se. It’s leaders’ desire to be in control that has added an unnecessary burden to people’s workload.” (page 40)

Razzetti reminds us that what really matters isn’t whether or not people are “clocking in”  on time for most organizations, but whether they are producing results that impact the organization. When leaders exert control, they often focus on the process of micromanaging each individual’s input, rather than focusing on what their impact is.  

Question to ask yourself: How can you give your team more freedom and autonomy? How do you measure results rather than input? 

On trust:

“The trust battery is slow to charge yet quick to drain.” (page 45)

We often say “trust is built in drips and lost in buckets,” and this metaphor reflects that nicely. 

Question to ask yourself: How are you charging your team’s trust battery? What actions quickly drain that battery and leave it depleted?

On belonging:

“Feeling rejected by our social system feels a lot like dying.” (page 105) 

Belonging is an essential human need and not fostering it in the workplace can have detrimental effects to the organizational culture, but also to your employee’s wellbeing. 

Question to ask yourself: How are you cultivating belonging? How do you values represent all the employees in your organization?

On performance management:

“Ask questions. Focus on understanding the situational factors behind behavior rather than judging the person.” (page 148) 

When it comes to performance, it can often be a difficult and heated conversation. Razzetti reminds us here that often it is useful to ask more questions first, then focus on how a person can improve their behaviors or reaction to a situation. 

Question to ask yourself: How does your performance feedback focus on the behavior instead of the person? What shifts can you make to ask more questions? 

Razzetti reminds us that culture is a “wicked problem” that can’t be solved, only worked on continuously. It’s a practice! It’s trial and error. His book is jampacked with ideas on how to facilitate these shifts for your teams and organizations – we couldn’t recommend it more! And if you are ready to put some of these ideas into practice, TCTM is here to help.