Human beings are always working toward goals, either consciously or subconsciously. The skillful use of this built-in capability is one of the characteristics of an effective leader.
A person who has not set a specific goal will frequently tend to move toward whatever is uppermost in his mind, even though it may be a negative goal and not at all the kind of target he would set intentionally. Failure can even become a goal when a person has this foremost in his mind.
As you carry out your responsibilities in your den and pack, if you have Cub Scouting's purposes uppermost in your thoughts, then things may work out OK. But if other leaders are concentrating on pack money-making or winning popularity contests, the chances are that there will be a conflict of goals, and the results may not be all that you had hoped for.
Since people tend to move toward whatever they dwell on, it is a good idea to pinpoint specific constructive goals and program then into your system. It is equally important that your pack goals fit together and support each other; otherwise there will be a conflict of purposes.
Here are some things to keep in mind when setting pack goals:
CONSISTENT...Think of each goal as one piece of a jigsaw puzzle. As the pieces are fitted together, they should form a picture that makes sense. What you're striving for is a picture of Cub Scouting at its best.
CONSTRUCTIVE...Pack goals should represent improvements in your present den or pack operation. They should be aimed at providing better Cub Scouting for the boys. They should be relevant to the program in order to be significant.
CHALLENGING...Your goals should be challenging, but not beyond the realm of possibility. They should be high enough to excite and stimulate your pack, but not so high they are unimaginable. Each goal and the overall picture of your goal structure should be within your reach, but not within your grasp. They should be attainable, but not too easily attainable.
CLEARLY DEFINED...Your goals should be readily understood by everyone concerned. Be sure all pack leaders have a clear image of your goals. Concrete goals are easier to evaluate than intangible ones, but often the intangible goals are important and worthwhile even though it is difficult to measure their success.
PRECISE...Rather than setting a goal to increase membership, set it to increase membership by 5% or 10% or 15%. Your goals should be sufficiently flexible to take into account reasonable degrees of variability.
WRITTEN...Write down your goals. Furnish copies to the people who will be helping you reach them. This written reminder will serve as a reinforcement.