This is not about “raw-raw” type of cheerleading. It’s not about about being everyone’s friend all the time. It's not about alcohol, even though the Change Order Beer that Dust Bowl Brewing used to sell was pretty cool.
Leaders are always looking for ways to make really challenging things fun. This stretches teams and builds the relationships that hold teams together in good times and bad.
I was introduced to this beer a few weeks ago by a client. They had a bunch of outstanding changes to process at the end of a project. One of the management team members brought in a case and setup a simple set of milestones with the project team sharing a “Change Order Beer” after each milestone. The project got closed out successfully with a happy client.
It should be noted that this leader was not directly responsible for the project managers. Leadership is leadership - it cannot be given with lines of authority. Leadership can come from any corner and level of the organization. Leaders align teams.
Seeing this reminded me of another great leader who setup some friendly competition on a project that had a bid bust in it to boost production. She leveraged fun and a few friendly beers to help the team have fun while pushing their limits. She is now President of the company.