“When you encourage others, you in the process are encouraged because you’re making a commitment and difference in that person’s life. Encouragement really does make a difference.” - Zig Ziglar
Success comes easy to leaders that are able to be cheerleaders. One of the most important functions of a cheerleader is to motivate and support his or her team. Cheerleaders are usually present and ready to support and motivate their team even if no one else shows up for the game.
As a parent, I understand that I have the power as a father to break or build the spirit of my boys. I could easily break their spirit by emphasizing what they do wrong rather than what they do right.
Why do we choose to be critics rather than cheerleaders?
As leaders, we have power beyond our imagination with our teams just as parents have over their children. Just remember, you as a leader must show up to support and motivate even if no one else does.
The success of a leader lies in our ability to be a cheerleader versus a critic. Here are 3 ways to be a cheerleader, which will give you and your team the best opportunity to be successful.
1. Discover your own faults. It is easier to point out someone else’s flaws rather than looking in the mirror and pointing out our own. It’s true that success starts with leadership. Usually behind any success there is a leader that was focused on self-improvement, which flowed into his team members. To develop ourselves we must be able to critique ourselves. This attitude will lead to development of everyone on your team because you are positioning yourself to lead in a more dynamic way. French-German theologian, philosopher, and physician Albert Schweitzer simply said, “Example is leadership.” Seek to discover your faults and you find better ways of turning your weaknesses into strengths. When was the last time you pointed out your faults?
2. Work on your own faults. Once you discover you faults, you have to work on your own faults. This is another reason why we don’t have time to critique others. It’s hard working on you if you are focused on someone else’s faults. Canadian-born American motivational public speaker and self-development author Brian Tracy stated, “If you wish to achieve worthwhile things in your personal and career life, you must become a worthwhile person in your own self-development.” How are you working on your weaknesses?
3. Inspire your team. You will understand your team members and be patient with them during their difficult times when you discovered and worked on your own faults. My mother has always told me, “You will catch more flies with honey than you will with vinegar.” The best leaders have an uncanny way of inspiring their teams to have a deeper belief, be more productive, and achieve excellence. Canadian writer, leadership speaker, and former lawyer Robin Sharma mentioned, “Leadership is not about title or designation. It’s about impact, influence and inspiration. Impact involves getting results, influence is about spreading the passion you have for your work, and you have to inspire team-mates and customers.” What are you doing to inspire your team?
Whether it is personal or professional, you have to find a way to be a cheerleader. You have to choose to discourage or encourage yourself and the people around you. Your choice between the two will determine how accomplished you and your team will be. The sky will be your limit and success will be inevitable if you decide to be a cheerleader as a leader.
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