The Four “Self” Characteristics (3 min)

The Four “Self” Characteristics

In his book, The Virtual Manager, Kevin Sheridan identifies four essential characteristics of virtual employees. A manager of a virtual team must be able to rely on their employees to stay focused and productive without their close supervision. The relationship operates on trust and so the following qualities are highly desirable, if not essential.

Self-starter points

As a self-starter points, you do not need a manager or supervisor to tell you to work and stay on task. You have an innate drive to be productive and to work for your paycheck. Self-starters are able to get up, get organized, and get the job done under their own steam and without prompting. If you find yourself without anything to do during work time, you will be pro-active about finding something
useful to door request another task from your manager.


A self-motivated employee does not need to be constantly incentivized and rewarded to keep them committed to their task. If you are self-motivated, you are able to summon an intrinsic drive to achieve and contribute to the success of your team or organization. You see and understand your part in the bigger picture, and the satisfaction of a job well done brings you pride and a sense of purpose.


As a self-disciplined person, you have developed good time-management skills, excellent focus, and an understanding of what is needed over the long term to achieve a goal. You are able to manage and avoid distractions in a home-working environment, enabling you to keep a structure around your working day that makes you productive and reliable.


A self-sufficient employee is independent and has a strong initiative. You are able to stay motivated and on task without constant encouragement or feedback from other team members. You are able to solve problems and seek out answers to questions independently and avoid messaging your manager constantly over little things.