CEOs and business owners who are building companies and have even a few people on staff, always have plenty on their daily To Do lists: setting goals, creating strategies, dealing with personnel issues and so forth. These tasks require constant oversight and frequent adjustment along with virtually continuous communication up and down the line with investors, prospects and customers. What sometimes happens though is that leaders will overlook or even forget their first and most important job: Building and Keeping A Positive Team, i.e. being The First Cheerleader.

What does it take to do this well?

First, the “Boss” must remember that it is others’ job to do and his or her job to lead. If an executive is stumped on the best way to accomplish something, it is the CEO’s job not to step in and take on the task but rather, to be a sounding board, help figure out possible approaches, select the most promising alternative with his or her associate and then let the subordinate carry out the charge with the leader’s enthusiastic support.

Acting in this way avoids negative thinking and dispiriting attitudes. If a leader walks around seeking opportunities to lend a hand and then steps in to do the job for others, negative emotions get stirred up and the atmosphere can become one of failure rather than success. Instead, showing colleagues and staff that you have full confidence in them will create an atmosphere which encourages independent thinking, individual initiative and a positive attitude. This, in and of itself, can lift a company up with its sense of teamwork and shared mission. Even in small companies where there is much for the CEO to do, he or she must remember to lead and be the First Cheerleader for his or her colleagues’ success!


About Wilder Baker

Retired advertising agency CEO now active as management consultant with focus on marketing and marketing communications. Work with small companies and business owners to develop their business over the long term. My relationship with clients often evolves into that of trusted personal, as well as business, adviser. I also take short term projects as I can be helpful. I serve on the Board of the American Advertising Federation where I am a past Chairman and am a Trustee of the Hyde Leadership Charter School in New York City.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.


  1. Lisa Black says:

    Hello Wilder!!
    I found your message very interesting. It only makes sense for the CEO to be the cheerleader. I’m sure it makes a difference in the workplace. People would feel good about themselves if they were allowed to do their own work after a number of discussions with the boss. Cheers!!…Lisa

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s