Be the Best at Being Number Two

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( — December 6, 2017) Clearfield, Utah —We can learn a lot from those devoted to the cause rather than their own recognition.

You may not have had the goal to be No. 2. However, many of the greatest leaders that I know succeeded by understanding what it means to be a No. 2. Those that are able to see the big picture and go beyond usual ego-centric desires, tend to reap more personal satisfaction from their daily efforts

Recently I was shown a crazy video on YouTube.  This featured a crowd of people on a hillside watching the Sasquatch music festival outdoor concert. (

Of note was one individual that was not content just listening, but had stood up and was dancing to his heart’s content. The video showed how small groups of attendees would glance over at this person and would smile or laugh while enjoying the music. All of a sudden, a second person ran over to the area and started dancing like crazy by the first dancer. You then sensed a change in the onlooker’s attitudes, from silent scoffing to a feeling of silly fun. Quickly, a third dancer joined, then a fourth, fifth and so on. Soon hundreds of people were dancing with no embarrassment or fear of being mocked.

Many people who saw the same video commented that this first dancer was a courageous pioneer. Without knocking that idea, I believe the courage was portrayed strongest by the second person. He added the support that was needed to get others to follow and to produce a viral effect causing the whole hillside to be full of happy dancers.


Most of us grew up with the teachings that to be successful you must be the person in charge. In business, we often strive to be the main decision maker or the person recognized as the top leader. However, many successful leaders have learned the rewards and benefits of being a strong piece of the leadership team. Focusing on serving and lifting the other leadership members lifts the entire team and company.

As a vice president of a large $2.5billion company, I quickly saw how my efforts of support for the president didn’t only lift his credibility but it also lifted the credibility of the entire company. Although we have a close relationship, I saw how when I showed respect to his position in front of employees, clients, board members or the media, they also gave more respect to the person and the office. It made our company seem more professional and better able to solve the required needs.


What skills or traits do you need to be a great second in command?

A good Deputy understands that they create the level of support for the No.1 by their example.

Doesn’t need the spotlight to be motivated. Understands that the spotlight needs to be on the company not an individual.

Take satisfaction in knowing the wins of many behind the scene battles will help win the overall war. As a leader, they can influence the atmosphere around them.

Great Listeners. Quite often the truth of a situation can come out to a deputy where it may have been watered down to a No. 1.

Willing to challenge the No.1 to help make the right decisions.

Able to bring both Bad News and Good News to the forefront quickly to enable some thought into decision making and strategic direction (protects No.1’s from surprises).

Is the first to jump forward and show support.

Many times, when you see a CEO that does not have respect or support, it is because they have a lousy ego-centric number two.

I personally witnessed this as with one company with whom I worked the CEO was looked at as a genius and a great instigator of change for the future. Later on, the person in the number 2 position became jealous of the spotlight and began sabotaging the image of the CEO. Before long, the company and the CEO as well as the No. 2 were all looked at as people that could not get the job done.


I work closely with many small business owners and as I have discussed this concept several have expressed their desire to have a great number 2. If you are the top leader as well as the only employee in your company, how do you gain the benefits to be had by having a number two? 

BE A NUMBER 2 – If you’re a real estate agent then be the number two from the examples above to a mortgage loan officer or to a title agent. Just because you are not in the same company, it doesn’t mean you can’t show support and serve those with whom you trust and do business. Most times when you explain what you plan to do with your trusted business referral partners, they in turn will do the same for you.

Small Businesses need this more than larger businesses! The third-party validation effect can benefit greatly in building credibility. There are certain areas where it is better if someone else besides the owner communicates to the public.

For example: If you are the owner of your own business and want to portray the honesty and integrity that you demand, it would not go over well if you communicated “I am Honest.”  It would be so much better if those with whom you work stated publicly their experience with your integrity and honesty.  

How important is the support of a strong number two in the marketplace?


A couple decades ago the best marketing campaigns were based on interruption style marketing. This is where the medium (TV, Radio, Print) played the supportive role to give the advertiser credibility. Meaning – If the commercial was on TV then the company and product must be of good quality.

Then came the growth of competition – Competition quadrupled with the internet providing competitors into the marketplace that may not have the same type of store-front, or the same experience.  As advertising and marketing increased to seep into every aspect of our lives, DVR’s were invented and other technology to help us avoid some of the advertising clutter. During this time, people’s trust was challenged by the number of companies that did not live up to ethical business standards and quality control. Soon we all developed a skepticism of most ads.

Today we seek out recommendations and product or service reviews from our family and friends and those that we trust before we purchase. The opinions of other regular people seem to hold more credibility than that of celebrities or actors.

Great Marketers make Great No.2’s because they already know how to give the limelight and recognition to a product or service.


I know that I now feel empowered to share my opinion regularly on the businesses that I see exhibiting greatness. It is no longer the size of a company that determines its ability to compete. But, it is the principles each company exhibits that reflect a better product or service. If people are looking to hear from the average-joe, then as an average-joe, I’m excited to share the results of my interactions.   

Those that see and hear today’s calling to be a supporter – see their roles in an important way.  Many of today’s consumers understand the responsibility of being a recommender, a reviewer and a supporter. In a University class, I witnessed people stating that if you believe in a company, a product, a person or a service, then you are ethically responsible to share your findings with those within your personal network.

From my point of view, I do feel that I can do a better job supporting those businesses that have served me well, by being a No. 2. By being early to jump up and support. By showing loyalty because I believe they will make the marketplace better.

Your support and efforts of others should be based on how you really feel about them. People will feel if you say someone is great but you don’t really respect or like them. However, those with whom you have had business dealings and you find them honest, hard-working, creative or inspirational; share your feelings about these people.




Be the first to show support by serving others, always backing the credibility of leaders, referral partners or others with whom I work.

Understand my role is to actively promote our leaders, fellow employees or referral partners. This means not just avoiding saying negative things, but proactively look for ways and opportunities to promote them.

In the marketplace always refer to these individuals in a positive and respectful manner.

Understand my role in influencing the moral and atmosphere. I will proactively strive to influence the opinions and perceived image of those I serve.

Be a great listener to identify the needs of others, the employees, clients and the board of directors, etc.

Build a relationship of respect with the other leaders; knowing that we can discuss issues, disagreements or controversial items.

Recognize in today’s marketplace it is my job to regularly give positive reviews and testimonials to those that have earned it.

R Marketing Dept.

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Suite B3
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