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  • #31
    jblake47 / Stosh - Your last post is really good and should be the philosophy of every scoutmaster when coaching his scouts. I'm fine with it.

    But ... I'm still curious how you match up the BSA GTA quoted above and what you wrote at 7:44am ... "I tell them up front that I expect the boys to prove to me and the BOR that they have done what was necessary to fulfill the POR."

    Comment


    • #32
      Originally posted by fred johnson View Post

      Josh ... I fully support expecting scouts to do something with positions of responsibility. That is good.

      I'm less comfortable with the short phrase when you wrote you expect boys to prove to you and the BOR that they have actually done what was necessary to fulfill the POR.

      BSA has made it very clear that lack of performance needs to be addressed early and NOT at the end of the term.

      BSA GTA page 28 section 4.2.3.4.5 When Responsibilities Are Not Met ... "If he is not meeting expectations, then this must be communicated early."

      BSA GTA page 28 section 4.2.3.4.5 When Responsibilities Are Not Met ... "If it becomes clear nothing will improve his performance, then it is acceptable to remove the Scout from his position. It is the unit leader’s responsibility to address these situations promptly. Every effort should have been made while he was in the position to ensure he understood expectations and was regularly supported toward reasonably acceptable performance. It is unfair and inappropriate—after six months, for example— to surprise a boy who thinks he has been doing fine, with news that his performance is now considered unsatisfactory. In this case, he must be given credit for the time."
      "BSA has made it very clear that the lack of performance needs to be addressed..." Performance is a management issue I don't worry too much about.

      "When responsibilities are not met...." Again management issues.

      Expectations are measurements of management.

      If POR's are assigned within the context of leadership, these management issues seem to disappear. At least I don't have to deal with them as SM.

      And as a tag line.... "In this case, he must be given credit for the time." I don't give credit, the boy earns credit. I have had boys journal their work at a variety of different POR's over a 6 month period to have submitted on their work to both me for review in the SMC as well as available to the BOR members. No one has ever expressed any concern on the process. It fulfills the management portion of the POR. Document the tasks done.

      Stosh

      Comment


      • #33
        The key to advancement is: Setting expectations, communicating expectations, and only certifying a requirement as complete when a scout meets the expectation. No, I'm not talking about BOR's that's not when we test scouts.

        Every POR should have a written, agreed upon, set of expectations. I like having the scout sign off on the expectations, like a contract, and take it home with him. National provides decent descriptions of the duties for each office, and this makes a good core of POR expectations. If you just go one step further, and define what "active", and "Trained" mean in your unit, you're fully within policy.

        If a scout doesn't meet the expectations he doesn't get credit for the office. An example would be: The patrol leader presides over patrol meeting, or the patrol leader attends PLC meetings. No patrol meeting = no credit for the office; failure to attend PLC meetings = no credit for the office.

        Of course you want defined and communicated expectations to cover life situation. An example would be: The patrol leader can't make a PLC because his family is on vacation. The expectation could be if you can't make a PLC meeting you must notify the SPL at least 7 days in advance, and arrange for your APL to attend in your place.

        You have to think about POR the way you would a position in your work place, then temper that with the understanding you're dealing with children.

        Rank advancement is no different. Most scout camps have some sort of first year program that covers requirements for the first several ranks. Don't check off the rank requirements in the scout's book at the end of camp, wait a few weeks, and have them demonstrate that they retained the skills, and only if they did retain them check off the books.

        We test scouts prior to certifying completion of a requirement.


        Comment


        • #34
          Servant leadership is not an expectation?

          Barry

          Comment


          • #35
            Originally posted by fred johnson View Post
            jblake47 / Stosh - Your last post is really good and should be the philosophy of every scoutmaster when coaching his scouts. I'm fine with it.

            But ... I'm still curious how you match up the BSA GTA quoted above and what you wrote at 7:44am ... "I tell them up front that I expect the boys to prove to me and the BOR that they have done what was necessary to fulfill the POR."
            The problem lies in the issue of management. Management is nothing but a series of tasks that need to be done. That is easily documented by the boy. Take a notebook, put a date at the top of the page, write down all you did for that POR. I coach them to have at least one entry per week so that it adds up to 26 weeks. So as a minimum they need to do 26 things a week apart and they have earned their POR. If they miss a week in there, then add another page to the notebook and you've earned your POR. Of course, it has nothing to do with whether or not it was done well, just done.

            On the other hand, I focus more on leadership so this POR stuff is just a formality that needs to be done for advancement and it's no big deal to document the work done.

            So I have a Scout - he's a PL He comes every week and does his patrol leader thingy. At the end of the 6 months if he has perfect attendance, he gets credit for the POR. Of course, while he's doing that, he's working on making sure all his boys are being successful and having fun in scouting, coordinating instructors to come in and teach rank advancement to the boys, make sure the QM has the right equipment for his boys on the campout, and suggests to the GrubMaster the boys have a shot at a new recipe he found that sounded good. All of which is not part of his POR, but goes a long way in developing his character and leadership skills.

            Taking care of your boys is not listed in the POR management training for PL's. When you accepted the position of patrol leader, you agreed to provide service and leadership to your patrol and troop. No doubt you will take this responsibility seriously, but you will also find it fun and rewarding. As a patrol leader, you are expected to do the following:
            • Plan and lead patrol meetings and activities.
            • Keep patrol members informed.
            • Assign each patrol member a specific duty.
            • Represent your patrol at all patrol leaders' council meetings and the annual program planning conference.
            • Prepare the patrol to participate in all troop activities.
            • Work with other troop leaders to make the troop run well.
            • Know the abilities of each patrol member.
            • Set a good example.
            • Wear the Scout uniform correctly.
            • Live by the Scout Oath and Law.
            • Show and develop patrol spirit.
            Quote from Scouting.org

            Which one of the bullet points are leadership and which are management tasks?....

            Which one of those bullet points emphasizes the PL is to take care of his patrol members and help them be successful?

            Yeah, that's right, there's no leadership requirements involved in the POR. But ask yourself... If the PL is taking care of his boys, which one of the bullet points will NOT be taken care of automatically? Once my boys have that mindset established in their routine, they can take on any POR and be pretty successful at it.

            Stosh

            Comment


            • #36
              Originally posted by Eagledad View Post
              Servant leadership is not an expectation?

              Barry
              My point exactly!!!!! Neither is any other kind of "leadership"! All they need do is walk through the motions and voila, you have completed your POR!

              Stosh

              Comment


              • #37
                fred, what you relate sounds pretty bad.

                The label "merit badge mill," which I have used, is used publically by dozens of councils and also by B.S.A. What is insulting to B.S.A. and to those councils and their many thousands of Scouts and Scouters is the behavior of deliberately handing out unearned merit badges. It is a problem that B.S.A. is trying to figure out how to eliminate. B.S.A. wishes to insure that merit badges are going to persons who are not merely "good" or "young" but are also qualified as BSA defines being qualified. Pretending mills do not exist will not result in change.

                Again, what lesson it taught by allowing unearned awards to be given out as a deliberate policy? What value is served? How are we preparing youth for life by handing them unearned awards?

                As for "paper Eagle" or other things that others say - here or elsewhere, I leave defense of that label and those behaviors to those that utilize them.

                That I expressly distinguish between one camp and another by noting camps that have a policy of not being a mill belies a claim that I am stereotyping council camps. I have not thought it useful to identify the camps that are mills, such as the one that my troop attended this year.

                Your relation of the travails of the Scout regarding his project is sad. Maybe a thread discussing how councils, through their districts, should administer the G2A would be useful. I have no brief for anyone who adds to or revises requirements - or who subtracts from them or ignores them as merit badge mills systematically do.

                I cannot, of course, control the connotation you read into my words. Your experience and who your are controls that phenomenon. The personal offense that you express and the notion that "merit badge mill" somehow reflects specifically on "my scouts" is beyond my control. My belief that I did no such thing is neither here nor there.

                I have no idea what you mean by "I'm glad to let BSA requirements be the bad guy while I support and help the scout." I do not want to speculate. We are all sworn to apply "BSA requirements."

                Again, I regret your personal anguish.

                Comment


                • #38
                  When I was a new leader, my Scoutmaster said that my job was summed up by, "Keep the patrol together and get the job done." He also quoted Eisenhower to the effect that "Leadership is the art of getting someone else to do something you want done because he wants to do it." Ledership training was designed to help me learn how to accomplish these goals.

                  Jump foprward deczdes. My company sent me, and others, to a Blanchard & Assocs. "Situational Leadership" course in 1995. Blanchard explained that the employees "you most want to keep" are both the least tolerant of "directive" leadership and the most able to escape it by leaving for another employer. So, as a "leader" your goal was to cause them to have ownership of the job. Essentially, you needed to be open to their input about how the job should best be done - even if the job should be done at all. Your people, he taught, are not just your most important asset, they are the only asset that makes an enduring difference in the marketplace. Your win or lose according to how well it's their job, not just the company's. So, if anything, he stressed the importance of the people being led even more than had been the case in Scouting in the 1950's and 1960's.

                  Blanchard and Assocs., of course, wrote the original 21st Century Wood badge syllabus - since revised heavily by unidentified others.

                  So my understanding as a JLT, NYLT and Wood Badge staffer was that the job was not the ruling factor in leadership. If fact, that the Scouts and Scouters have even less motivation to put up with leaders they do not want to follow.

                  How clearly the current BSA syllibii, as rewritten, accurately reflects the orgiinal Blanchard lessons is another topic. Quality of staff, including experience, makes a difference.

                  Rather than focusing on "leadership" vs "managment," it might be more helpful to discuss desired practices and outcomes. Then we do not have to deal with different understandings of what labels mean.

                  Comment


                  • #39
                    jblake47 / Stosh ...


                    You have two parts going on here. #1 leadership. #2 fulfilling requirements. #1 Teaching leadership as taking care of your guys is great. But ...

                    #2 Evaluating POR performance after the fact is wrong.

                    You are creating something different than BSA teaches us adult leaders. BSA says scouts need to do something with their position, ... BUT ... BSA also clearly says adult leaders need to communicate early and deal with it early. It is "UNFAIR" (BSA's word) to evaluate POR performance at the end of the POR tenure. Reflect and discuss, sure. Evaluate for requirement check off, no.


                    I'm not saying it is a bad program. I'm just saying it's different than BSA documents.
                    Last edited by fred johnson; 08-20-2014, 04:22 PM.

                    Comment


                    • #40
                      I guess I don't understand what is meant by different understandings of labels. If one simply goes by definition it is easy to distinguish between the two. Quite simply they are apples and oranges and have very little to do with each other.

                      The goal of management is go get the task done using people. This is what your SM taught. "Keep your patrol together and get the job done."

                      Eisenhower wasn't much better with getting people to do the task with encouragement and motivation, maybe even trickery to a certain extent.

                      But leadership basically has nothing to do with the focus of people getting tasks done. It's focus is on whether one person follows another person and the dynamics of why they would want to do that.

                      Take a look at the statement: "I'm a leader in this company, I get the job done!" So what? He can do it himself and get the job done. And when the smoke has settled, who has he led? No one.

                      So, then why would anyone follow someone else? I follow my PL because he gives me all kinds of camp chores/tasks to do. Yeah, right!

                      My PL takes care of me. He makes sure I have a tent, food, and that I have a good time. He makes sure I get lessons to make my life easier. He makes sure I am successful in rank attainment. He goes to bat for me when others pick on me. He really listens when I'm upset. He makes sure I'm not lonely. He takes an interest in me. He never says anything bad about me to other people. He thinks I'm a nice kid but can't always do everything that needs to be done. ...... No where in that paragraph does it say I follow my PL because he is having me do anything nor he takes care of me because what I can do, but instead because of who I am. Because of that I like him and will do my best to do anything he thinks will help me to be a better person. He gives me a sense of wanting to belong and be near him because I feel comfortable around him. He's my PL, but he's also my friend, I can count on him.

                      Management is what you do. I can learn the knowledge and skill to become a successful manager.

                      Leadership is what you are. I need to change my attitude and focus towards others to become a successful leader.

                      Apples and oranges...

                      Stosh

                      Comment


                      • #41
                        Stosh, I would agree that the distinction is clear if I agreed there was a clear distinction. I do not.

                        There are still very directive, very power-over managers. In that, they are way behind even the military.

                        What I got from Blancard almost twenty years ago is that accounts are managed and people are led, and they are led most effectively when an inner-group consensus is reached about what the goals should be and how they should be reached. Leaders, he said, first of all, are liked by their subordinates because they feel the leader treats them with respect, gives them what they neeed to succeed, and - off his record -- will lead them to success. In turn, they support the leader because, in making the group look good, he makes them look good.

                        I tyhink this mutual support is impossible to reliably detect unless reflected by behavior. So neither leading or following has to do with who one is in some cosmic sense but has to do with what is done. Look at your words. You describe outcomes, such a food delivered. The results may result FROM attitudes but they are only reflected in behavior.

                        Accordingly, I say that who you are is irrelevant if it does not result in somethings happening in practice.

                        I say people follow leaders to some end(s), and there are many such possible ends within the range of Scouting, where the youth are supposed to define the ends. But define they do whenever they "plan."

                        Consider what a "program" looks like with no ends, not even exercise to get fit. Would just milling around be OK simply because the followers follow the "leader" in milling around? In an emergency, do we merely STO?

                        Is a good leader one who leads the led to do nothing? Or leads them to do bad things? (I had an SPL who was very charismatic and used his influence to try to get as many Scouts as possible smoking weed.)

                        Why do we want to develop leaders? So they are merely followed or becasue they will lead the led to some behavior beyond merely following?

                        I also abolutely believe people can be taught to be better leaders. B.S.A. has been trying to do that, one way or another and for better or worse, as long as I have been in Scouting. So has every branch of the military and, more recently, so has business. I think I have seen success.

                        My Scoutmaster also liked to observe that caring for others was learned behavior and that the best leaders were characterized by how they took care of their group - by doing something(s).

                        Tell me more - please.

                        Comment


                        • #42
                          Originally posted by fred johnson View Post
                          jblake47 / Stosh ...


                          You have two parts going on here. #1 leadership. #2 fulfilling requirements. #1 Teaching leadership as taking care of your guys is great. But ...

                          #2 Evaluating POR performance after the fact is wrong.

                          You are creating something different than BSA teaches us adult leaders. BSA says scouts need to do something with their position, ... BUT ... BSA also clearly says adult leaders need to communicate early and deal with it early. It is "UNFAIR" (BSA's word) to evaluate POR performance at the end of the POR tenure. Reflect and discuss, sure. Evaluate for requirement check off, no.


                          I'm not saying it is a bad program. I'm just saying it's different than BSA documents.
                          "While a First Class Scout, serve actively in your unit for four months in one or more of the following positions of responsibility (or carry out a Scoutmaster-assigned leadership project to help the unit): ..."

                          Serve actively in your unit in a position of responsibility.... Now that can pretty much mean just about anything someone wants it to be. What's there to judge? There are no "rules" to follow so it looks like one just makes them up as they go. So if the boy journals his service as he defines it, shouldn't that count as much as the service as defined by someone else, like the SM? If it's boy-led, shouldn't the boys be defining the service? With the requirement being totally subjective, what's there to judge? As far as I'm concerned the boys can all pick their POR patches and go from there. The requirement is of no real value as stated in the book.

                          Yep, then go with the Scoutmaster-assigned leadership projects.... Sure, that's explicit. In an attempt to get a boy geared up for future Eagle leadership projects, shouldn't he be selecting his own project?

                          Giving credit to this requirement is basically like trying to nail Jello to the wall. How do I measure success?

                          Oh! the boy has a journal. He thinks that doing this is appropriate way to fulfill this POR. Who am I to argue with him? Well he's put in 16 weeks (Star Requirement) of thinking about serving the troop in some fashion and this is what he's done. Yep. Looks good to me. But it also gives me insight into the attitude, character and motivation of the scout. That is probably more important than my pencil whipping the advancement record. Of course the boy doesn't need to journal his work, but most boys will need to keep records on a number of MB's and other tasks for scouting, he might as well start with his POR's. Otherwise, if he can't remember all that he's done, how can he discuss it with me and how can I give him credit for it?

                          So here's the journal for the ASPL: week 1 - 26 - SPL showed up (perfect attendance) and I had nothing to do than to show up and make sure he was there (he had perfect attendance, too). Yep, he served. He was there to back up the SPL if needed. Just because he was never needed does not mean he didn't serve. By definition of BSA instructions on advancement, he has fulfilled his responsibility and the advancement gets checked off.

                          Stosh

                          Comment


                          • #43
                            Stosh,

                            While I admit that its not without some wiggle room (which I find just fine), there is an official BSA job description for an ASPL:

                            Assistant Senior Patrol Leader

                            The assistant senior patrol leader works closely with the senior patrol leader to help the
                            troop move forward and serves as acting senior patrol leader when the senior patrol
                            leader is absent. Among his specific duties, the assistant senior patrol leader trains and
                            provides direction to the troop quartermaster, scribe, historian, librarian, instructors, and
                            Order of the Arrow representative. During his tenure as assistant senior patrol leader he
                            is not a member of a patrol, but he may participate in the high-adventure activities of a
                            Venture patrol. Large troops may have more than one assistant senior patrol leader,
                            each appointed by the senior patrol leader.
                            So we have some notion what his duties are, at least according to the B.S.A.

                            Comment


                            • #44
                              Originally posted by TAHAWK View Post
                              Stosh,
                              While I admit that its not without some wiggle room (which I find just fine), there is an official BSA job description for an ASPL:

                              So we have some notion what his duties are, at least according to the B.S.A.
                              Yep, but the requirement doesn't state that and one must not add or subtract from the requirement, and therein lies the problem.

                              And seriously? How does someone "help the troop move forward"? Can it be any less vague?

                              When discussing the POR evaluation, an ASPL that shows up regularly is in fact helping the troop move forward. I've had these discussions with youth for 30+ years. If one looks totally objectively at this requirement, the boys can justify just about anything to gain credit for serving in a POR. Why? because "serving" is just as vague as "helping the troop move forward!"

                              Those who try and direct pre-service duties will find they have no BSA backing for their opinions on what it means to serve. The boy's opinions are just as valid. If one doesn't like what they see, it's not their call to make mid-course corrections. The boys being served, how do they feel about it and shouldn't they have some say-so in any mid-course corrections? What if they really don't care what the ASPL is doing?

                              This is why I like the boys to journal/evaluate their work on the requirement. It helps me determine where the boys are at with what they think is serving. Any mid-course corrections/improvements can be handled between POR's. If there are hundreds of different styles of leadership, there are hundreds of definitions of what serving means as well. Every boy has to figure that combination out for themselves.

                              Stosh

                              Comment


                              • #45
                                Originally posted by fred johnson View Post
                                jblake47 / Stosh - Your last post is really good and should be the philosophy of every scoutmaster when coaching his scouts. I'm fine with it.

                                But ... I'm still curious how you match up the BSA GTA quoted above and what you wrote at 7:44am ... "I tell them up front that I expect the boys to prove to me and the BOR that they have done what was necessary to fulfill the POR."
                                Every boy has an opinion as to what it means to serve in any of the POR's. Their opinions of what that means are no less valid than what I think it means. So their "proof" is explaining to me what their opinion is for that POR and then working and serving as they define it. Either they can let me know up front what that is or they can explain it afterwards. But afterwards had better be pretty convincing. Not many boys wait until the end to see if what they did was sufficient. They usually pad their POR with all kinds of useful endeavors to make sure there's no questions at the end.

                                The #1 question I always use is: "Did the boys you served think you did a good job?" If they can't answer that question, I always wonder if the boys were served. If one is serving someone shouldn't they know whether or not they have been effective at it?

                                Stosh

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