Who do you think of when you hear the words “great leader”? Do you think of your coach? A teacher? The president? Your team’s captain?
Now think about what qualities make that person a great leader. Think of other great leaders you know. I’m willing to bet these people share some of the same characteristics.
Leadership is defined as “the action of leading a group of people or organization.” The role of a cheerleader is one of leadership. When you are a cheerleader, you are automatically thrust into the role of a leader during games, pep rallies, etc. But cheerleaders tend to hold the personality of a leader, even off the field. Within their classrooms, circle of friends, neighborhoods and at work, cheerleaders have the natural abilities to make a difference in the lives of others.
Though leadership comes instinctively for many of us, that doesn’t mean it can’t be polished and molded into legitimate skills. If you want to bring your leadership to the next level, take these common practices of great leaders, exercise them deliberately and make them your own.
- Take on the Attitude of a Servant
This doesn’t mean you should act like a slave. But you are expected to go through your day with the interests of others at the center of your decisions. True leaders are not bosses who direct people around, but instead are encouragers who support and help others. People perform better when they are encouraged rather than ordered.
- Be Humble
This recommendation seamlessly follows the advice above. Be humble in sharing your successes with teammates and upfront in admitting your mistakes.
- Focus on Solutions, not Problems
So there’s a problem. Most people discuss the problem and how it came about. Leaders examine the problem and discuss how to fix it.
- Don’t Tell. Show.
People in charge sometimes make decisions while leaving the hard work up to the team. Effective leaders join the team, showing and guiding them in their work while doing it with them. Showing how it’s done, versus telling, fosters an environment for growth and communication.
A community is a reflection of its leaders. A school is a reflection of its leaders. And—you guessed it—a cheerleading team is a reflection of its leaders. What do your community, school and team reflect? Make a habit of the characteristics above and that reflection will include a little bit of you!