Each week at RemoteRated.com, we speak with leading remote CEOs to share practical insights on running and growing remote teams and companies.

This week, we speak with Corine Tan, co-founder of Kona, building innovative technology to bring more self-awareness and empathy to remote managers and leadership.

Corine is a young entrepreneur who quickly adapted to the pandemic-induced remote world — interviewing hundreds of managers and leaders to identify a key need. In the last year, she and her team have found an impactful area to focus on: empathetic leadership. The Kona team have brought Kona to market to bring ease and consistency to check-ins, making sure that remote workers feel connected, seen, and valued.

The full video of the interview is below, we’ve condensed the conversation to make the takeaways easy and practical!

Corine’s Essential Remote Advice:

  • Engage with the stakeholders as early and as extensively as you can, listen to what they’re asking for and the challenges they’re actually worried about, don’t be afraid to kill your initial ideas.
  • Recognize that we are all human, and that we have limitations, as a leader you have to be mindful of how you’re taking care of yourself and your team to not push people excessively.
  • Never be afraid to start from scratch if the data tells you to, if there’s a clear opportunity to evolve or pivot, whether it’s a policy or a product, never be scared to respond to the information and adapt.
  • Don’t over-correct on async. In many cases rapport, trust, and creativity come from real interactions and face time, especially early on, so don’t blindly eliminate these things in the pursuit of asynchronous work.
  • Hire for self-awareness, having teammates that understand their own sensitivities and strengths is a truly valuable attribute in remote teams.
  • Make sure your workspace is set up properly, invest in the fundamentals such as a good stand-up desk, sufficiently sized monitor, etc. Take care of your own ergonomics!

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