Sunday, January 03, 2010

Pyramid of Success 8; Initiative

"With courage and initiative, leaders change things."
~Rev. Jesse Jackson

Every cheerleader needs to work on the ability to make decisions on their own and act on them. Never be afraid of failure, but learn from it. No matter what, there are going to be times when you're gonna make mistakes or when something you try isn't going to work the way you hoped. No one is perfect. If you let fear paralyze you, you'll never achieve anything.

I've never had captains because I don't want popularity contests, and I don't want political battles.

EVERY cheerleader is a leader. ANY cheerleader can begin any chant and the rest of the squad should jump on board. Besides just how they perform at a game, initiative means that cheerleaders bring their ideas and contributions to practices. It means they become the "movers and the shakers" at school because they start projects and programs, through student council or other clubs, or just sparking trends, beginning or maintaining traditions and setting an example.

Again, if you think I'm writing this because of our squad's specific dramas, you should know that I wrote it back in 2005- see for yourself at

The pyramid's bricks apply to any team, any sport, any year, middle school, high school, or college. Initiative is part of leadership. It comes easier to some than to others, but my expectation is that each and all of you will begin taking initiative. The more you do it, the more natural it will become. But for some to even be able to take initiative, it will take the help and support of everybody else. When someone starts a cheer, follow along- don't complain that you don't remember it, or call it dumb, just support them- even if you have to fake it.

7 captains, not one or even two. Consider yourselves a pretty elite force, no non-commissioned officers, no enlisted men, just all captains. But, that means that some of you need to step up and some of you may need to back off just a little once in a while.

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