How You Become a Good Leader – at a Distance

  • Interview of Richard Moore by Dagens Industri

By Richard Moore Sofia Hjort Lönegård

Many companies plan for continued virtual working even after the pandemic. Whether fully digital or a hybrid of face to face and online, virtual leadership is here to stay. How do you become a good manager without having as many physical meetings?

– Be transparent, increase communication and build self-confidence internally, says Richard Moore, CEO of global Executive Search and Leadership Advisory company MU.

Read more about how to outperform in uncertain times here

Digitisation, working virtually and new consumption patterns are reshaping the world of work. Many companies are changing rapidly in the wake of the pandemic – and as with all change, there are great opportunities for organisations with leaders who manage to steer operations in the right direction.

But what happens to job satisfaction, commitment and efficiency when colleagues work more remotely? Richard Moore, CEO of MU, is convinced that we must have a plan for continued 'work from anywhere' – online meetings and more physical distance between some colleagues are a new reality for leader to work with –

Even when the pandemic is over, in most sectors, employees will work more remotely than before.

For advisory firms like MU, technology creates immediate opportunities to work effectively with clients and candidates –

At MU, we already work completely digitally with our clients all over the world. And in this way, we also work sustainably and climate-friendly, which is another incentive.

“Share as Much Information as You Can”

MU, which was founded in Sweden in 1967, has, like everyone else, been affected by the pandemic. But thanks to a clear and fast-paced strategy, the company has been able to shift up and hire new employees and leaders during the crisis. The key to retaining committed and motivated employees despite homework, is openness and increased communication, says Richard Moore –

Share as much information as you can with your employees. It is also more important than ever that management shows self-confidence and a clear path forward.

Using a Blog and Listener Groups to Create Dialogue

At MU, both internal and external information has increased dramatically since March 2020. Among other things, Richard Moore and members of the leadership team have started blogging weekly to reach out to all employees. He and his team also participate in significantly more listener groups, virtual meetings, which bring employees together to discuss important organisational topics.

I try to be much more inclusive in my decision-making and share my thoughts. We have a very modern and flat organisation that encourages dialogue and creative ideas. That helps – but the curiosity of our colleagues and willingness of our leaders to engage defines success.

Modern Leadership Requires Networking

Richard Moore believes that big ideas are realised when many make smaller steps together. Inclusive dialogues inspire employees to participate and shape the future. In turn, it speeds up execution when the organisation needs to change, and people need to act.

One of the most important things he has learned in the last year is that the myth of the lonely leader is just a myth –

Modern leadership means listening, getting help from experts, using your team and seeing who in your network can lift you. Going forward, a broad network will be the highest priority for success as a manager. Whilst, in the end, leaders must take their accountability – when it comes to solving problems and being inspired – you are only alone if you choose to be.

Tip: Book Meetings Without an Agenda

Richard Moore has booked significantly more meetings without an agenda this year –

The important small talk can easily disappear in agenda-driven check list orientated digital meetings. Discussing freely is a way to capture thoughts and provide inspiration, and just make and foster connections.

He believes that the pandemic is a 'stress test' for leaders, and a key stress that is tested is the ability to engage and lead a more virtual team –

The companies that can quickly switch around and be relevant have the greatest opportunities to cope. It is also good if you can develop an organisation that can be flexible, that can scale up or down as needed. Leaders need to be able to engage differently and more effectively through times of uncertainty and increased remote working.

Accurate Analysis of a Company's Needs

MU is a global Executive Search and Leadership Advisory company with customers in more than 60 countries. The company specialises in ensuring its clients have effective leaders, so they outperform. MU's leadership evaluation process has a clear quality focus and is externally certified against ISO 10667–2, which is a global quality standard for assessment services – face to face, online and hybrid. The work process is developed to find and match the most suitable leaders for business-specific needs:

  • An objective and scientific review of what the organisation needs
  • An accurate analysis of the capacity of the leader
  • Clear answers: Who is most effective to lead? What can be developed?

The right leadership is crucial for any organisation to succeed. Successful organisations are built on the right skills and talents at all levels.

Read more about how to outperform in uncertain times here

3 Questions You as a Leader Should Ask Yourself Right Now, According to Richard Moore, CEO of MU

  • What challenges do you face and what opportunities can you take advantage of?
  • How can your business organised to be as successful as possible? What changes do you need to make?
  • How can you strengthen and improve your own leadership?


About MU

  • MU was founded in Sweden in 1967 and has grown into a worldwide company operating in over 60 countries
  • Today, MU is a leading global player in Executive Search, Leadership Acquisition and Leadership Advisory
  • The goal is to help organisations attract the right leaders who deliver the best possible results, as well as to help leaders become more successful
  • With the help of unique scientific methods and expert teams, MU ensures good results for customers
  • As many as 94% of the company's assessments are successful and this places MU at the absolute top in its industry
  • MU is owned by an independent foundation