Cheerleadership is not Leadership. Cheerleadership creates fake believers

Guest post by Ryan

Imagine for a second that your boss is miles away from the
day-to-day. A sufferer of Corner Office Syndrome he or she continues to make
command decisions without consulting the team. The decisions are astounding to
you and you start to question these far-off choices.
your attention isn’t on doing the right thing for the business, but on how to
stop the wrong thing your boss has put in play. You have two options. You could
bite your lip and go with the flow. …Or …try to address this head-on which is
no easy feat.
It could be too big of a risk to put your livelihood at stake.
Your mind drifts again — pondering if this company is the right place for you.
You wonder why you care so much. The easy thing to do would be to care less.
The truth is your faith in the business has splintered.
This inner conversation happens to many of us. When it does, you
are officially not a believer anymore. You are transgressing into a fake
When you lose belief, or don’t have something to believe in, it’s
easy to fake believe.
But as Navy SEALs Jocko Willink & Leif Babin remind us in
their book, “Extreme Ownership: How U.S. Navy SEALS Lead & Win”, “They must
believe in the cause for which they are fighting, they must believe in the plan
they are asked to execute, and most important, they must believe in and trust
the leader they are asked to follow.”
Building a cultural rocket ship is more rocket art than rocket
If your responsible for hiring talent in
your company, then you already know it comes down to creating
, retaining and sustaining
internal believers.
Why is this so important?
Because believers aren’t just wanted—they are needed in order to
create the necessary conviction that makes your organization thrive.
Consider these questions for a second: Do you often feel like you
are on an island alone in your company? Do you have coworkers you can genuinely
trust? Do you feel you’re being sucked into corporate politics? Are you in a
Watch-Your-Back Culture or a Got-Your-Back Culture?
These are the questions that need to be openly talked about with
your teams. And these are the types of conversations that are welcomed by true
This might be a good time to share a truth. I have a major gripe
with the word leadership. Make no mistake that I believe we are in dire need of
courageous leaders. However, I’ve seen too many poor leaders turn leadership
into cheerleadership.
Poor leaders start ra ra’ing to their employees, which may work
with some of your workforce, but your elite producers can see right through it.
Internal discord starts the minute you send staff down inside themselves
questioning, wondering and calling out a faulty decision. 
Management guru Ken Blanchard is spot on when he writes……“It takes
a whole team of people to create a great company but just one lousy leader to take
the whole business down the pan.”
Believers all starts at the top with what I call your Believership.
I’m sure you noticed the world choice. The clear mission of
leadership is to transform into the company’s Believership. The Believership’s
job is to create believers in all directions: making believers out of your
employees, your prospects, your customers and, when appropriate, your board.
One final reason I like calling it a “Believership” is because
successful leading is not simply about one person. There’s a checks and
balances system working together at the top – if you’re lucky, that group
shares values but brings breadth of experience to the table. Courage and
business are both team games.
Having an aligned Believership makes it easy for employees to believe.
They set the vision for the company, deliver the truth (no matter how hard
the circumstance) and create trust – the most essential ingredient – that
unlocks a successful team.
RYAN BERMAN is the author of RETURN
the Founder of
Courageous, a creative consultancy that develops
Courage Brands® and trains organizations through Courage Bootcamp. Berman
also founded Sock Problems, a charitable sock company that supports causes
around the world by “socking” problems and spreading awareness.