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VIEWPOINT: WHO’S YOUR GREATEST SUPPORTER?

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I met a new partner at the firm I was working at a few years ago along the corridor. He looked quite young that when he asked me for directions to a meeting room, that I happened to be going to as well, I thought he was a new manager.

I soon found out he was a partner who had recently joined the firm. Little did I know I would meet my strongest supporter in the workplace, my biggest cheerleader.

They keep you staying the course

Having someone who is your biggest supporter keeps you staying the course when times are tough and doubt is prevalent. Now and again we experience low points in our career, asking ourselves what is the point of all the hard work and effort we put in every day.

Your supporter reminds you of what is important, to separate the noise from the facts, and keeps you focused on your goals.

Your supporter is a reflection of yourself on your best day. It is said that ‘the road to success is dotted with many tempting parking places’ (author unknown).

Your supporter will ensure you don’t park for too long but that you keep on moving.

They remind you of the ‘S’ on your chest

However confident you may be, it is always an added benefit to have a friend in the workplace who can make you feel like you have an ‘S’ on your chest; that is to say, you are a ‘superwoman’ or a ‘superman’. Someone to dare you to live and give your fullest.

You go the extra mile to make your supporter proud of you. You hold yourself accountable to them even if they are not there. That is the power of your supporter.

They are honest

Your greatest supporter is honest with you and gives open feedback without fearing losing your friendship. They are the third eye that shows you what it is you don’t see, your blind spot, and what it is you don’t know. When difficult feedback comes from a friend and from a good place, you no doubt will sit up and listen. Having a supporter is your source of growth.

They crowd in more sponsors behind you

Cheerleaders in sports are there to both motivate the team and to get the crowd to support their team. Your supporter will spread the good news about you, and rally the crowd behind you.

Apart from self-affirmation getting support and encouragement from others is a huge part of your leadership journey. Who is your biggest supporter? And who are you cheering on in their career?

Tips on being a cheerleader for someone

Apart from being a coach or a mentor being your manager’s greatest supporter or cheerleader will enhance their career. Being a cheerleader means:

  • Being genuinely interested in your manager’s career
  • Taking time out of your busy schedule to be there to listen
  • Wanting different goals. Having the same goals will lead to conflict as most leaders are competitive
  • Crowding in other supporters to also support your manager
  • Enjoying the journey with your manager

Author: Gugu Mtetwa CA(SA) is a Non-executive Director