CEO Insight: Being the Ultimate Head Cheerleader for Your Team

Being CEO is an important title, which means you may have to play many roles within an organization. One of those roles is being a strong team leader. Your strength as leader of your team can make or break it for their success, and it’s your job to ensure they have all the guidance and support they need to thrive. Think of yourself as their biggest cheerleader.

Keys to Successful Leadership as CEO

No, it’s not bark orders and expect folks to jump. That’s not leadership; that’s thinly disguised dictatorship in the name of “management.” Real leadership means you motivate and inspire your team to dig deep and discover their full potential.

Be Their Biggest Cheerleader

When your team feels like you’re on their side, they’re way more likely to stay productive and engaged. This is critical, especially in a corporate setting, because you will set the tone for everyone under you. On the flip side, lead poorly, and you’ll reap poor rewards.

Supporting your team means cheering them on and offering encouragement, calling out the good you see, rewarding them for a job well done, and fostering a culture of collaboration and teamwork that everyone benefits from.

It also means you need strong communication skills to really listen to the needs and concerns of your team, actively engage with them, build trust, and create the sense of belonging that’s so important within healthy teams.

Lead with Your Own Example

Strong CEOs also commit to leading by example and understand their actions impact those around them. So, if you demonstrate things like accountability, a strong work ethic, and integrity yourself, you’ll inspire your team members to emulate you.

Set Clear Vision and Goals

As CEO, it’s your job to craft a clear vision and direction for your organization and then communicate that vision well to your team so they can catch it, too. Aim for goals that are stretchable but still attainable to help motivate your team to shoot for excellence in all they do.

Along with setting goals and casting vision, you are the one who will need to provide all they need to help your team hit those goals out of the park. Maybe it’s extra training, maybe it’s skills development opportunities, or perhaps it’s simply being the one to identify and remove obstacles in their way that may be hindering them from being successful.

Be Confident and Adaptable

Business moves at a rapid-fire pace these days, with lots of change and uncertainty. As CEO, your role is to be the port in the storm, the one who is confident and adaptable, with an ability to roll with the punches and help your team navigate rough waters.

Values Creativity and Innovation

Another key role of a killer CEO is that you must love innovation and creativity and be committed to fostering a culture that seeks to continually improve and evolve. Be an encourager and empower your team to think differently, and help them uncover ideas and solutions that may be out of the box.

Understand What Motivates People

As a CEO, part of your job is to understand people and grasp what makes them tick. Especially when it comes to keeping them motivated and encouraged. When talking about motivation, most folks operate under two types: extrinsic or intrinsic. One means motivation is based on external factors, while the other means that motivation comes from internal factors or from within. The trick is to accurately recognize these traits in your team and help foster them appropriately.

Why You Want Your Team Motivated

The short answer is that who wants a team that isn’t? Few people like boring and mundane. Keeping your team motivated means they’re on fire and are way more likely to stay in lockstep with you and your vision; they’re willing to learn and grow, and they’re likely to take initiative. All of these things will help propel your business to new heights of success.

Strategies to Keep Your Team Hyped and Motivated

There are quite a few ways to help you keep your team encouraged and motivated. Here are a few of our faves:

Cultivate Positivity

No, you don’t have to have some fake Pollyanna thing going, but the reality is people thrive in healthy work cultures where they can see a path for growth and where they feel seen and valued. No one actually likes working for boss-holes, despite what popular fiction might lead you to believe.

Reward Ingenuity and Creativity

When you give your team the freedom to be creative and innovate, they will enjoy their role more, especially when you reward their good ideas!

Make Regular Praise a Thing

People like it when other people tell them nice things and express appreciation, validation, or even just acknowledgment. They will stay more motivated, and you might even ward off some burnout when you make regular praise a practice.

Make Schedules Flexible

Folks today are big on balancing work life with life life. When you offer them flexibility within their work schedule, it can greatly improve that balance and increase their motivation and engagement when they are, in fact, working.

Teamwork Makes the Dream Work

Foster a culture of collaboration and collective achievements to help keep the whole team motivated and accountable to one another.

Keep Goals Clear and Measurable 

Your team needs goals and targets that are well-defined and achievable. Nothing feels better for keeping motivated than marketing that goal complete!

Regularly Offer Feedback and Recognition

Nothing kills team enthusiasm faster than never receiving recognition for a job well done or constructive feedback on ways to grow and improve.

Offer External Rewards

For those who aren’t intrinsically motivated, offering things like incentives and mentorship can help spark their motivation. Collabs can also be beneficial for those who aren’t self-driven.

Monitor and Measure Effectiveness

Some strategies may work better than others with your particular team. You won’t know until you know, so monitor your strategies closely and keep an eye on what seems to be working and what isn’t. Regular performance evaluations can help you determine this.

Embrace the Wonders of Tech

There is a lot of technology available today, and most of it is probably underutilized, frankly. However, you can definitely use it to help with performance tracking and connectivity with your team and to help enhance your relationships with team members.

Being CEO can be a challenging role. It’s not just team management. It’s leadership, and you’re leading individuals in all their unique glory with differing motivations and goals. To be an effective cheerleader, you must learn what makes your team tick and how you can harness that knowledge to keep them motivated and excited in their roles. Motivate them well, and you’ll be virtually unstoppable.


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