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When I was a cheerleader in high school, I desperately wanted to be the captain.

At that time, we had to write essays and have an interview with the principal … and I remember that I took an unconventional approach.

I didn’t wanna lie and say all of the flowery things I knew they wanted to hear. I could do that, but what’s the point of it, really?

Why not just tell them what I’m really thinking?

You wanna know what I said?

I said that I wanted to be captain because I wanted to be in charge.

Yep. I said that.

I can laugh it off now. And looking back I realize how big of a mistake it was and why that’s not what leadership is.

But the truth is, there are a lot of cheerleaders out there who see being captain as being in charge and that’s all. They get to be the boss.

And sure, that’s a teeny, tiny part of it that manifests mostly on the sidelines … but it’s definitely NOT the whole enchilada (as we say here in the great state of Texas).

So I wanted to jot down a few notes about what I think a good captain isn’t and what a good captain is to share with you.

Because I want to make sure your squad is in the most capable leadership hands so you can actually utilize your leaders instead of working against them.

What They’re Not:

  • The boss
  • Your best friend
  • The best cheerleader (necessarily)
  • The most popular (usually)
  • The loudest

What They Are:

  • A true leader
  • Not afraid to stand up
  • Not afraid to go against the grain
  • Wants to serve
  • Wants to learn
  • Wants and does well with responsibility
  • Respectable and respected
  • Trustworthy
  • Keeps confidences
  • Cares about her teammates

To me the best leaders are always the ones that care and desire to serve. That’s what makes you a good leader.

That’s what changes lives.

So let’s teach our captains to be more than bosses … to be true leaders.

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