THE QUALITIES OF 'FOLLOWERSHIP'!
What are the qualities of a good follower? Think of the people in your Troop who get the job done. You'll likely find they have some characteristics in common. The List Below is far from complete but it provides something to think about.
A GOOD FOLLOWER accepts direction & instruction.
Good followers can handle training, directions & criticism. They're open to new ideas and suggestions and do not become defensive. They are flexible.
...is ACTIVE RATHER THAN passive
Followers need the ability to acquire, evaluate and integrate information necessary to complete an assignment. They will ask questions to clarify goals or values. They contribute to discussons and participate in decision making. A Scouter takes this role as a member of a group committee; a youth member takes it as a member of his Patrol.
Good followers accept responsibility for their own actions and for decisions of the group. This may require questioning or even opposing leadership that is against the 'good of the group' or against greater values. A young person tries to talk his friends out of an act of vandalism is one exmaple. Another is the Scouter who points out possible negative consequences of a program activity.
...is Loyal & Dependable
Good followers accept being part of a whole and rcognize they cannot always have their own way. They feel good about themselves by contributing to the group and its goals and help achieve those goals.
COMING FULL CIRCLE
I expect you've noticed already that it's no coincidence that the qualities of a good follower overlap those of a good leader. A follower is able to assume leader when necessary. By training young people to be effective followers, we're training them to be good leaders.
Here's a neat little tool called 'The Par Eighteen Evaluation". It was sent to me by a fellow Scouter that I think could be useful in evaluating a group's performance, both, during training and in actual practical situations:
After you complete an activity, ask yourself the following six questions and score the group. Give the group from zero to three points for each question. The maximum score is eighteen --- make it 'par' for your group...
KEEPING A GROUP TOGETHER
___ Do your Patrol members work together?
___ Does everyone pitch in?
___ Do your Patrol members want more challenges?
GETTING THE JOB DONE
___Was the job done right?
___ Was the job done on time?
___ Did your Patrol follow a plan?
Here's some material you can use to explain Patrol Method as it may pertain to your Troop. Our Unit has a Jr. Staff who serve directly under the SPL and they, along with the Patrol Leaders, plan and run our program. Well, here it is:
In 1914, Baden Powell said, The Patrol System, after all, is merely putting your boys into permanent gangs under the leadership of one of their own number, which is their natural organization whether bent on mischief or for amusement. But to get first class results from this system you have to give the leader a real free-handed responsibility if you give only partial responsibility, you will get only partial results.
WHY IS THE TROOP DIVIDED UP INTO PATROLS?
WHY DO WE HAVE A YOUTH LEADERSHIP STAFF?
HOW MANY OF YOU TAKE NOTES DURING A SCOUT MEETING?
WHAT ARE SOME SPECIFIC POSITIONS IN A PATROL?
HOW CAN YOUR PATROL HELP RUN THE ENTIRE TROOP?
What we're trying to achieve is a true Patrol Method type of Troop. It would be great if we could ask a particular Patrol to prepare a game for a meeting or a certain activity for a campout or even prepare a menu etc.
It is also very important for the Patrol Leader to COMMUNICATE often with his Patrol and be willing to make phone calls so that not just one person has to do that. Then, report to the Senior Patrol Leader or Scoutmaster the people he didn't reach. If we could achieve this, every Scout would feel like they're more into the Loop.
PATROL FLAG - You've been told for months about how THIS IS YOUR IDENTITY it's important to make one and have with you at all Troop activities.
NEXT YEAR, SOME OF YOU WILL BE ELECTED AS PATROL LEADER, WHETHER OR NOT YOU ARE, PLEASE TAKE THESE IDEAS BACK WITH YOU TO THE TROOP. YOU'LL ALL BECOME EVEN MORE VALUABLE TO THE TROOP IF YOU DO THIS and, most likely, have more fun as well.
Remember months ago when we told you that You Make The Difference and now is the time to do that.
Counseling and Counseling Techniques. This is JLT class material featured at our graduation campout and, this year, will be taught by one of our youth staff. I hope you find this material useful. I feel that there are some very good ideas here:
Why do we counsel?
- To help people solve their problems
- To encourage or reassure
- To help a Scout reach his potential
1. Find out if there really is a problem:
If the person comes to you, there is a problem. It may be big or small but there is one.
If you THINK there might be a problem, ASK. Do it in a kind and helping way.
2. Create a climate for counseling:
Take the person aside but don’t make it obvious to other members of the group. Aim for privacy and confidence.
Help the person to relax and calm down.
Wait and see what the problem looks like.
Listen Carefully – Hear what he has to say. We are usually good listeners. You must give your undivided attention. Make it known that you are willing to take the time to hear him out.
Summarize – It is important to summarize now and then to ensure understanding and keep things on track. This allows the person to know exactly what you are hearing from him.
Add facts – There may be a need to give additional information at some point. The conflict may have resulted from a misunderstanding that can be corrected if the person understands the truth of the matter.
Check Alternatives – Encourage the person to think of different ways of handling the problem. Ask if he can think of anything else to do. Try not to let him settle on just one approach too hastily. Encourage him to think through all the possibilities.
Don’t give advice – Above all, you should NOT to try to solve the problem yourself, because it may not be the right advice for this person.
The Five ways to respond:
1. Restate his words in your own words
2. Make a statement about his feelings
3. Show that you are listening and understand]
4. Ask questions but don’t cross-examine
5. Encourage him to keep talking
NEVER yell at or discipline another Scout – this isn’t the job of the youth leader.
Always send to an adult if there is a behavior problem.
HERE'S CLASS MATERIAL ABOUT THE BENEFITS OF CHANGE
ROAD TO SUCCESS
CELL GOAL: The participants should realize that change is not a bad thing but rather that change offers the opportunity to improve our situations, whether personal or as a group.
OBJECTIVES OF THE SESSION:
- The participants will understand why people often resist even the most minute change.
- The participants will understand how to approach change in such a way as to effect change in the most beneficial way for the individual and the group.
- The participants will understand the importance of (i) recognizing and understanding the need for change in a particular situation(s), (ii) commitment to that change once it is deemed needed, and (iii) focus on effecting the change positively.
Why change? Don't we all ask this question each time we are confronted with something new or different. This is because we are all wed to that which we have always done and the way we have gone about doing it. As humans, we generally live by the mantra: "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." But that is poor leadership and an almost sure recipe for stagnation..... and failure.
I'm sure you're familiar with the cliche', "If it ain't broke, then fix it." In other words, as future Troop Leaders you should always strive to make things better than they are. The status quo is almost never good enough. Virtually everything can be improved upon. But this requires 'change', that dreaded concept.
So again, we come back to "Why change?"
Today, we are going to answer this question. We are going to explore the concept of change and why people generally avoid change unless forced to accept it. We are also going to examine how as leaders we can effect change to maximize its benefits. And, finally, we are going to figure out that--contrary to popular belief--CHANGE IS GOOD!!
Even though change as a general matter is good, it is, however, rarely easy, so we are going to examine how to maximize the benefits that can be realized by change.
[Ask the participants to offer some situations where people are forced to confront change.]
Examples of forced change:
-- parental correction/admonition
-- supervisor revisions
-- coach's instructions
-- institutional changes, e.g., mergers
-- new coach, teacher, adviser or supervisor
-- new scoutmaster or Senior Patrol Leader
Each situation represents different types of change, but all create the same general types of problems.
In each situation, you will hear:
1. If it ain't broke, don't fix it.
2. We have always done it this way, and it has worked well in the past.
3. I cannot do that. It's different.
How many times have you heard these statements? Dozens of times? Hundreds? More?
[Point out wall sign with Brandeis quote: "Most of the things worth doing in the world were declared impossible before they were done."]
While not all changes are for the better, many, if not most, are. However, there is one thing that is certain: you will never know until you try.
Even in the case of the best ideas for change, there will always be resistance, perhaps even outright revolt. BUT an effective leader knows the way to bridge gap between proponents and opponents of change.
A leader must understand the reasons underlying the need for change and must be committed to effecting the proposed change. At the same time, however, the leader must understand the needs and desires of the group he is leading to ensure the change is effected in a long-term beneficial way.
[Cite examples of the leadership of various "change" movements. For example, consider George Washington and the rag tag Continental Army taking on the most powerful military regime in the world.... and winning. Consider the commitment of the common people who stormed the Bastille igniting the French Revolution in an effort to secure that to which they were entitled as humans: freedom from tyranny and oppression. Consider Martin Luther King, Jr. and the other leaders of the 1960s civil rights movement. Consider also Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony, and the current leaders of the women's rights movement and their commitment. Consider the boldness and revolutionary character of Franklin Roosevelt as he implemented his New Deal at the height of the Great Depression.]
What do leaders who effect great change have in common? They understood the need for change. They were committed to effecting change in a way that changed the circumstances of their group for the better in the long term; they were willing to sacrifice greatly to improve their group's situation. They were able to focus on effecting positive change even in the midst of harsh and constant criticism and even physical danger.
Sometimes it takes a bold stroke, a sweeping gesture to effect change. At other times, only incremental steps are appropriate. An effective leader will consult with the group before, during, and after any transition to determine which paths are best.
[Point out wall sign with Chinese proverb: "The man who removes a mountain begins by carrying away small stones."
In order to effect beneficial change, it is important that leaders be trusted or respected by the group they are leading through transition. We are all more willing to accept advice from those whom we trust, admire or respect, e.g., parents, teachers, coaches, scoutmasters, etc. The more trust and respect a leader has earned, the more easily he will be able to effect positive change.
One way to earn the trust and respect of those you are trying to lead through change is to demonstrate your own resolve and commitment to any proposed change.
Here's some material I found in a Benefits of Team-Building course. This might be good stuff to use for older Scouts. We'll be presenting this subject matter to our old boy Staff (ages 14 to 16): a famous Army General was interviewed and asked how he would go about devloping leaders, whether it was in government, community or business. He replied:
When anyone asks me that question, I tell them I have the secret to success in life. The secret to success is to stay in love. Staying in love gives you the fire to really ignite other people, to see inside other people, to have a greater desire to get things done than other people. A person who is not in love doesn't really feel the kind of excitement that helps them get ahead and to lead others and to achieve. I don't know any other fire, any other thing in life that is more exhilarating and is more positive a feeling than love is.
The word encouragement has its root in the
Latin word cor, meaning Heart. When leaders
Encourage others through recognition and celebration
They inspire them with courage, with heart.
When we encourage others, we give them heart. And,
When we give heart to others, we give love.
You have to think about why you're here and why have you been here so long. Group celebrations create positive interactions among people, providing concrete evidence that people generally care about each other.
It always takes a group of people working together with a common purpose in an atmosphere of trust and collaboration to get extraordinary things done. All of this starts and is paced by an effective leader.
So, the best kept secret of successful leaders is love: being in love with leading, with the people who do the work, with what their Units produce and with those who honor the Unit by using its work.
Leadership is an affair of the heartâ€¦
Not of the head.