The Magic of Cheering

By: ALLY IMAI, Shazam

I grew up playing team sports for most my life. I was never the one who scored the most points, but I was the one looking for others who were better positioned to do that, the one cheering on my team to reach their potential while always hustling giving my 1000%.

I was (am still, I guess) competitive, I always wanted to win, but I knew I could not do that without my teammates. I cheered for them & I gave them pep talks because I believed in them, and felt that it would help elevate their game to know someone believed in them.

If I messed up, I was the first to apologize, and because the game moved so fast, I didn’t have time to dwell on it. (This is something I need to actively apply to my life today!) And although I was the hardest on myself, I never demanded perfection from others, I only wanted to see them be passionate and give their all.

If one of my team members, or anyone for that matter, fell I would be the first to lend a hand to help them up and make sure they were ok. Win or lose, I would always be a gracious sport and high-five the other team with a smile.

And I still practice this today as a literal or figurative leader of my team and in the regional office. I want to always be there for my teammates, help them be their best, pick them up when they fall, celebrate their wins, and learn from our losses all as a team.

Personally, I think part of being a good leader is cheering on the team loudly and quietly leading by example by going above and beyond (e.g. staying late sometimes to help a team out).  But regardless of the analogy, a good leader will be the ultimate team player elevating the rest of their team to be their best.