How CEOs Can Become “Superfans” for Their Company

2. Be committed.
The distinctions between diehard fans and fair-weather fans are numerous, but one of the most outstanding differences is in their long-term view. Diehard fans know the past, present and sometimes the future of their team and never let a single game or season color their perspective. Like superfans, executives also need to have a long-term view. Know about your company’s past, present and future. Ensure that your executives and staff are all looking through the same lens, and explain to everyone how short-term problems are simply bumps on a solid, steady path.

3. Be personal.
Superfans have their own personal style. Face paint may be verboten for executives, but the commitment it represents is essential. Display your passion by meeting one-on-one with your leadership team members and face-to-face with your employees in general. Get out in the field often and get to know the people who work for you. Feel their pride in and passion for the work they do, and then carry that feeling to others. In doing so, they will witness your passion firsthand and see that you care and are committed to each person and function and understand their point-of-view.

“Get out in the field often and get to know the people who work for you. Feel their pride in and passion for the work they do, and then carry that feeling to others.”

4. Be engaged.
All superfans know and can eloquently speak about the intimate details and statistics of their favorite teams. From the roster to the positions they play to how long they’ve been with the team, where they played college ball … you get the idea. In other words, they are deeply engaged in the lives of the team members. That same deep engagement can help CEOs ensure that the right executives are in the right positions. Also, when your passion falters, being engaged with team members is one of the quickest ways to rekindle it.

5. Be humorous.
Poke fun at yourself. Athletes are known for their “touchdown dances.” While dancing may not be your thing, work becomes drudgery when we drain the fun and playfulness out of it. Consider ways you can infuse humor and enjoyment into your daily work life. If you’re working on serious proposals and projects, be intentional about creating some downtime so your team can collectively take a breath and recharge. A great place to look for ideas is in your company’s creative department. A dose of humor and silliness is not only a release, but it also can be a great catalyst for innovation and discovery.

Who is your company’s biggest superfan? A supplier? A Wall Streeter? An enthusiastic employee? An avid customer? It should be you—with your passion visible for the entire company to see.

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Ray Attiyah is the founder of Definity Partners, a hands-on, business-training firm that integrates process redesign and leadership-behavior modeling. He developed the Run-Improve-Grow system to inspire the best leaders to reach for higher-hanging fruit. His newest book is Run Improve Grow: Your Roadmap from Firefighting to Bold Business Growth.