WHAT IS LEADERSHIP?
This was something I picked up recently from an Order of the Arrow web site which featured a Leadership Course. I thought it was worthy of sharing it with you and I think a pretty good Leader Class can be made our of the material
TEN QUALITIES OF LEADERSHIP
- Leaders COMMUNICATE A VISION that captures the imagination and commitment of others.
- Leaders CREATE AN ENVIRONMENT that promotes self-motivation and self-control among followers.
- Leaders SET HIGH PERSONAL AND PROFESSIONAL STANDARDS that they consistently model by their own actions.
- Leaders POSSESS A RELATIVELY CONSISTENT, PREDICTABLE APPROACH that encourages trust and support.
- Leaders UNDERSTAND THE IMPORTANCE OF SHARING the recognition and rewards of success.
- Leaders SEEK AND NURTURE NEW IDEAS themselves, and especially from others.
- Leaders TRANSFORM IDEAS INTO ACTIONS that benefit their organizations and society.
- Leaders are VISIBLE AND ACCESSIBLE to others, fostering a mutual exchange of ideas, information, and ideals.
- Leaders RECOGNIZE THEIR OWN LIMITATIONS by relying on others to share the load.
- Leaders PREPARE for ongoing challenges BY GROOMING SUCCESSORS.
LEADERSHIP IS A PROCESS OF GETTING THINGS DONE THROUGH OTHER PEOPLE. THE QUARTERBACK MOVES THE TEAM TOWARD A TOUCHDOWN. THE SENIOR PATROL LEADER GUIDES THE TROOP TO A HIGH RATING AT A CAMP-O-REE. THE MAYOR GETS PEOPLE TO SUPPORT NEW POLICIES TO MAKE THE CITY BETTER.
Ten Tips for Being a Good Patrol Leader
- Keep Your Word. Don't make promises you can't keep.
- Be Fair to All. A good leader shows no favorites. Don't allow friendships to keep you from being fair to all members of your patrol. Know who likes to do what, and assign duties to patrol members by what they like to do.
- Be a Good Communicator. You don't need a commanding voice to be a good leader, but you must be willing to step out front with an effective "Let's go." A good leader knows how to get and give information so that everyone understands what's going on.
- Be Flexible. Everything doesn't always go as planned. Be prepared to shift to "plan B" when "plan A" doesn't work.
- Be Organized. The time you spend planning will be repaid many times over. At patrol meetings, record who agrees to do each task, and fill out the duty roster before going camping.
- Delegate. Some leaders assume that the job will not get done unless they do it themselves. Most people like to be challenged with a task. Empower your patrol members to do things they have never tried.
- Set an Example. The most important thing you can do is lead by example. Whatever you do, your patrol members are likely to do the same. A cheerful attitude can keep everyone's spirits up.
- Be Consistent. Nothing is more confusing than a leader who is one way one moment and another way a short time later. If your patrol knows what to expect from you, they will more likely respond positively to your leadership.
- Give Praise. The best way to get credit is to give it away. Often a "Nice job" is all the praise necessary to make a Scout feel he is contributing to the efforts of the patrol.
- Ask for Help. Don't be embarrassed to ask for help. You have many resources at your disposal. When confronted with a situation you don't know how to handle, ask someone with more experience for some advice and direction.
- Responding this way will make the Scout you're dealing with feel as though 'You Care' right away. This is the first & most important step in having them gain your trust.
- Respect is also a 'key'. If you don't respond to someone's question or request respectfully, you'll automatically be seen as someone who cannot help.
Let's say one of your Patrol members needs help tying a certain knot. What happens if you say something like, "What rank are you? I can't believe you need help with this"!
If you don't know how to tie it, tell the truth & help him find someone who does. If you know the knot, don't question his intelligence or abilities-he'll lose his enthusiasm if you do.
ARE YOU A BOSS...OR A LEADER?
- The boss drives the group members...the LEADER coaches them
- The Boss depends upon authority...the LEADER on good will
- The boss inspires fear...the LEADER inspires enthusiasm
- The boss says, "I"...the LEADER says, "WE"
- The boss assigns the task...the LEADER sets the pace
- The boss says, "Get there on time"...the LEADER gets there ahead of time
- The boss fixes the blame for the breakdown...the LEADER fixes the breakdown
- The boss knows how it is done...the LEADER shows how
- The boss makes work a drudgery...the LEADER makes it a game
- The boss says, "GO"...the LEADER says, "LET'S GO"!
I have found the above BOSS vs LEADER text to be a neat thing to read during a class early in the course.
ONE COMMON PROBLEM PREVELANT IN EVERY TROOP IS WHAT HAPPENS WHEN A SCOUT HITS FIRST CLASS RANK AND THEN STALLS FOR A LONG TIME.
That's usually a recipe for the Scout dropping out sooner or later. Considering how much I and you hate to see that happen, I wrote a JLT class which deals with staying focused on advancement and advancement review. I hope it may serve to inspire even one boy to...
KEEP YOUR EYE ON THE PRIZE
REMEMBER HOW WHEN YOU FIRST CAME TO SCOUTS?
You couldn't wait to advance. Getting your book 'signed off' became an important part of your life. All you could think about was going from one rank to the next OK, SO HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN IN SCOUTS NOW? ARE YOU LOSING YOUR FOCUS ON ADVANCEMENT?
Why do we do so much ADVANCEMENT REVIEW?
A few of you admitted that you're not very good at knots. Didn't you have to tie them to pass certain ranks? Did you ever really LEARN them in the first place? Are you really capable of making an arm sling out of a neckerchief? Didn't you learn that skill at some point in the 'Game'? When doctors, police, firemen or the military respond to a call-to-duty...WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME THAT YOU THINK THEY REVIEWED THEIR PROCEDURES?.....WHY SHOULD YOU BE ANY DIFFERENT?
If learning certain skills that you don't learn in school is what this is about, why should those skills be reviewed on a regular basis? What helps to make Scouting so unique is that you can review a skill like outdoor cooking and learn a new team-building or leadership skill at the same time.
SO PLEASE KEEP YOUR EYE ON THE PRIZE. IT'S COMMON TO GET DISTRACTED AT YOUR STAGE AND IT MAY EVEN GET WORSE NEXT YEAR BUT TRY TO FIGHT IT. AS YOU MOVE ALONG INTO HIGH SCHOOL AND GO THROUGH OTHER CHANGES, IT'S EASY TO LET THINGS GO ON THE BACK-BURNER. LEARN ABOUT THE MERIT BADGES THAT CAN GET YOU ON YOUR WAY. IF YOU DON'T...NO MATTER WHAT...YOU'LL BE DISAPPOINTED LATER THAT YOU DIDN'T LISTEN TO THIS ADVISE.
(Try to teach this class with true conviction. Most Scouts at the age of 12 to 14 will agree with you in their hearts. Perhaps if you can convince them that you really do understand their feelings, they just might listen to you)
This is a class I modified from an OA Training session which talks about how people may sometimes 'Challenge your Authority'. We're adding this material to our JLT campout. Here it is in its entirety. I hope you find it useful & informative:
CHALLENGING YOUR AUTHORITY
A big problem that leaders must deal with is a person that will not cooperate. There are 4 possible reasons for this:
1. The instructions you gave were unclear
2. Your instructions were misinterpreted
4. Disrespect & refusal to obey
Regardless of what the problem is, you need to take that person aside, well out of earshot and preferably out of sight and talk with him one-on-one. Don’t talk about it in front others – this might cause him to be embarrassed and hurt in front of his peers. If a Scout disobeys you, take him aside and find out why. He might explain that he doesn’t follow your instructions because he doesn’t respect your authority or he feels the task isn’t suitable for him or he shouldn’t have to do the work because others are also not working.
DISCUSS WITH HIM HOW YOU MIGHT WORK TOGETHER.
Negotiate…this might require the help of an outside neutral source like an adult leader.
Dealing with problem Scouts is a lot like pulling weeds – get to it fast or it will be out of control. …and remember, take each Scout aside and have a chat. REMEMBER THAT ANY PERSON CAN BECOME A PROBLEM AT ALMOST ANY TIME AND CAN BECOME PRODUCTIVE JUST AS QUICKLY IF YOU TALK TO HIM.
Can anyone think of times when you saw disrespect to a leader happen in the Troop? Have you ever seen anyone refuse to do something? Did you ever feel that it was unfair to have to do something when others weren’t doing anything?
If you were able to answer any of these questions, did you ever think about you would do if you were the leader in charge?
Always remember the Troop is a team and you’re a part of that team. You have your part to play in Troop leadership. A goalie may be assigned to only one specific area, but he’s part of an entire team that moves all over the ice. He has his job to do just like you.
Answers to 3 major questions
The only people who lead have a leadership job or that have a title - FALSE
You're not a leader just because you wear a leader's hat or badge of rank. You're a leader when you are getting things done through other people - Leadership is a gift... if you are not born with it, you can't lead.
Leadership does take some skill & not everyone can learn all of the skills as well as anyone else. BUT, most people can learn some of them and develop their own potential. Chances are you weren't born with leadership skills. However, if you can learn to swim, do math, cook a meal or fix a bike you can learn leadership skills. Being a leader in a Scout Troop is like being a leader anywhere else- TRUE
The important thing NOW is that Scouting gives you a chance to lead. You can learn how to lead in Scouting and practice leadership. Then you can lead other groups too. The skills you need are very much the same.
Leaders deal with just 2 things-the job & the group
Leaders, like all people, are different. No leader can take over another leader's job & do it the same way. Groups are different too. A football coach may have trouble leading an orchestra - a Marine drill sergeant may not make a good Scoutmaster. Focus on the group. When a leader changes groups, he changes the way he leads. We lead these JLT classes a little differntly than the way we lead the Troop.
Situations differ too. Leaders must change with conditions. You'll change your leadership style if a fire breaks out at a meeting place or if a safety issue is at hand. You may not lead the group the same way in bad weather as you would when it's sunny.
THE MOST IMPORTANT THING TO DO IS TO TAKE THOSE SKILLS OF LEADERSHIP THAT YOU ARE LEARNING BACK TO YOUR TROOP!
BE PREPARED FOR ANY OLD THING
What's the Scout motto? That's right, "Be Prepared. " Can anyone tell me where it came from?
Well, it was started by a man who founded the Scouting movement almost 80 years ago. His name was Robert Baden-Powell. He was an English general who took the first Scouts camping back in 1907. He was a most interesting man. Baden-Powell was once asked what the motto meant. What is a Scout supposed to be prepared for?
"Why any old thing," Baden-Powell replied.
That's a tall order. Life holds a lot of surprises and we can't be prepared for all of them. But in Scouting you're learning how to handle many surprises and crises. You learn how to give first aid, how to live comfortably outdoors, give service to your community and nation, clean up your environment, do good Turns for people and a host of other things.
Preparing you for life is what Scouting is all about. We're going to do our best to make you prepared for any old thing.
HELPING OTHERS SUCCEED:
If you see that a Scout is relying on you for direction or advice then YOU'RE BEING LOOKED UPON AS A LEADER!
SEEING THE NEED:
- One thing we do is make sure no Scout is idle during advancement time. This is one way we 'see the need' and you should help.
- In time, you'll all become instructors in one way or another. Work on developing a sense of being aware of what another Scout needs.