Cheerleading For Your Organization

By | October 12, 2021

[October 12, 2021]  One of the unique advantages leaders have is cheerleading for their organization. Yes, being a leader also means you must be a cheerleader, someone who aggressively promotes their people, organization, and mission at the appropriate times. This is what great leaders do … and those who do not cheerlead should have their loyalty questioned.

Much of an organization’s promotion is done using the available tools: advertising, social media, networking, giving seminars, partnering with other like organizations, etc.  Many businesses, especially larger ones, may even have a staff with the task of getting the word out on their mission.  Some call this “branding.”  Regardless, without leaders being major contributors to promoting their organization, many of these tools will not have the desired effect.

“You have to have your heart in the business and the business in your heart.” – Thomas Jefferson

It is true that to have the right motivation, the organization must reside inside the leader’s psyche.  As we say in baseball, they must have heart in the game to be a winner.  This “having heart” provides the internal drive to promote the organization.  Understanding the vision and mission – and having the ability to articulate it – are essential and make promoting the organization possible.

Cheerleading is not restricted to potential customers, and this is a critical point often overlooked. Leaders must also be a cheerleader for the most obvious people … those who work in the organization, their families, and those stakeholders who benefit from the organization in some way.  This helps build a positive reputation that will carry the organization in times of crisis or just when things are not going well.

I once worked on a small military post in the United States.  It survived many rounds of Department of Defense cuts.  It survived these cuts mainly due to the garrison commander being so outspoken to so many people.  The base is still fulfilling its mission today.  A colonel, the garrison commander, told me that he considered his primary duty to be “a cheerleader for the post.”

Cheerleading works. Leaders have an obligation to be their organization’s cheerleaders.

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Please read my newest book, “Our Longest Year in Iraq,” at Amazon (link here).

Author: Douglas R. Satterfield

Hello. I'm Doug and I provide at least one article every day on some leadership topic. I welcome comments and also guests who would like to write an article. Thanks for reading my blog.

21 thoughts on “Cheerleading For Your Organization

  1. Greg NH

    Advocacy comes with ups and downs. We must also “see” the downsides to advocacy, like being seen as biased or untrustworthy. Let’s not forget this side of the equation. Too many leaders advocate (cheerlead) for their organizations without fully reviewing the ramifications. Just thinking a little ahead of Gen. Satterfield’s article.

    Reply
    1. Tracey Brockman

      Good point, not a major point, but still good. Always try to find the second order impacts of any decision.

      Reply
      1. Dale Paul Fox

        Yes, and excellent point as well. What else can we see as the downside to cheerleading for your organization. Well, Gen. Satterfield has pointed out in the past that we could be “distracted from our primary mission [or goals].” Keep up the great comments and those taking the time to comment, thanks.

        Reply
      2. lydia truman

        I’m surely enjoying this article and the website. And, I do appreciate and look forward to reading this leadership forum each day. Gets me motivated to start my morning.

        Reply
  2. Eric Coda

    Another great article by Gen. Satterfield and one today that is spot-on. Very applicable to today’s environment. Others have brought up an idea. What happens when the leader does not cheerlead for their organization? What happens when they put their organization down and call those in it names and imply the workers are inferior? Obviously, the organization fails. Apply this “organization” to the family, a company, community or state. Failure is the result.

    Reply
    1. Tom Bushmaster

      Why would any leader do this? Ask me about PRes. Biden. Just ask.

      Reply
  3. Randy Goodman

    You don’t get to read articles like this anywhere else. Don’t believe me? Just do a google search and you will see. Many call it “promoting” your org. but I like the word “cheerlead” because it connotates much more.

    Reply
  4. Mikka Solarno

    General Satterfield, this is something I’ve not given much thought to but thanks for bringing it up. Makes a lot of sense to me. In fact, now that I look at the most successful organizations, I can see where their leaders are very visible and talk positively about their organizations.

    Reply
    1. Erleldech

      Well, here is an exception. President Biden and his sidekick K. Harris, think America is an irredeemable racist society and deserves to be kicked in the balls constantly. They don’t believe in America and spend a lot of their time denigrating us. How can America survive when its top leaders don’t support it?

      Reply
      1. corralesdon

        Good question. There is little doubt, less than one year into his presidency that Biden is the worst president ever in our history. He destroys everything he touches. Yet, people are covering for him, especially the media. There will become a point where the coverup is impossible and they will turn on him.

        Reply
        1. Scotty Bush

          The Biden-Harris “team” will not survive the four years in office if they keep up their destruction of the USA thru tyrannical means.

          Reply
  5. Boy Sue

    Excellent article this morning, Gen. Satterfield and thank you for what you do with this website of yours. I love it. Keeps me thinking too. I’ve sent this to many of those I work for and today’s article on “leaders”, boss in my words, can read it and maybe, just maybe, be a little more aggressive in promoting us.

    Reply
  6. Army Captain

    Good example using this military base to show what good, smart, dedicated, loyal cheerleading can do for any organization. Some only survive because their leader has done what is necessary to raise the profile and tell folks the importance of their mission.

    Reply
    1. Dog Man

      Correct, Army Capt. And those who do not think this is true, have little experience.

      Reply
  7. Rowen Tabernackle

    One thing that Gen. Satterfield does not say is that the leader must also be loyal to the organization. He implies it but doesn’t say it. Loyalty means a lot. That is ultimately what we are discussing here. 👍

    Reply
    1. Max Foster

      I think that is what he means when he says the leader must have “heart”. In the past, Gen. Satterfield has made it abundantly clear that to be a successful leader, one must have the “heart” … the internal fortitude, the gumption, the guts to lead, to be loyal, to be the head of others. If not, you are no leader.

      Reply
    2. Bryan Z. Lee

      I see what you are saying Rowen, but Gen. Satterfield has made this abundantly clear many times.

      Reply

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