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  • 5% ?

    Eagledad writes:

    "Less than 5% of the population has the skills to lead"

    Barry,

    You have been quoting that statistic for years. Is it from personal observation and/or somewhere else?

    In most of the units I visit and/or have been involved with, 5% are Natural Leaders. In a Troop of about 20 Scouts, there is usually one (1), sometimes two.

    It only takes a couple minutes to figure out who he is: The Scout moving around the room (or campsites) providing help where needed, OR the kid in the back of the room generating waves of disruption

    Yours at 300 feet,

    Kudu
    http://kudu.net

  • #2
    >>Eagledad writes:

    "Less than 5% of the population has the skills to lead"

    Barry,

    You have been quoting that statistic for years. Is it from personal observation and/or somewhere else?

    Comment


    • #3
      How does one define that 5%???

      Those the others follow because they want to or because they have to.

      A boss can get their employees to do just about anything if they fear losing their job, but that same employee has their ear to the ground looking to go someplace else as fast as they can arrange it. That's not leadership.

      Like Kudu says, boys will chose whom they will follow, for good or bad, and it's not SKILLS that sets them apart in as much as it is attitude. Big difference in definition here.

      A tyrant/bully has the skills to manipulate and force their will on others, but by no means are they leading anything. So much for the SPL who dictates, do this or else!

      There are a lot of things out there masquerading as leadership when it has nothing to do with it. Even the BSA has fallen victim to thinking management is leadership when it isn't at all. Just ask the cut-up in the back of the room disrupting the SPL's attempts to use the EDGE method and see who gets all the attention. Kudu is right.

      Stosh

      Comment


      • #4
        If only 5% has the ability to lead, what's the point of Woodbadge? Seems like alot of effort to teach leadership skills to folks, the majority of whom will never truly benefit from the concepts.

        Comment


        • #5
          if there is a cut up in the back disrupting the SPL's EDGE method teaching, its not EDGE's fault. Rather the cut up should be the guy presenting, I thought it was all about identifying the natural leader and using him to get things done

          Comment


          • #6
            OGE, the point being most cut-ups in the back of the room don't need to learn the skills to lead, they already have them, just listen to the boys going along with it and laughing and encouraging them. The point being, how does one channel that talent into a more positive focus as you indicate. There is nothing wrong with the boy using the EDGE method of management to do the teaching, he just may not have the leadership skills to affect the boys to follow. This is the problem with management vs. leadership, they are two entirely different set of skills.

            Management accomplishes a task, maybe even directing others to assist in that accomplishment. Leadership doesn't need to direct others, just lead them in assisting that accomplishment. A skilled leader can do both, but has two sets of skills. Sure a strong manager can insist that others follow... or else. But the first second he turns his back, everyone heads out for parts unknown. They would rather find out what "or else" is than follow. The cut-up in the back doesn't need a task, but is surely adept at getting others to follow.

            I constantly hear of SM's complaining that the boys don't listen, etc. They go to great lengths to put together a great program, but the boys don't follow. They have management skills up the whazoo, but the boys don't show up. On paper he/she has a great program, but for some reason the boys don't follow, because that SM hasn't figured out the difference between management and leadership. If WB is going to go to great lengths to teach management, that's fine, but it really doesn't answer the leadership situation. Not many SM's are going to turn their program over to the cut-up in the back of the room, but they haven't the foggiest idea of how they might do just that if they knew the secret to real leadership.

            Stosh

            Comment


            • #7
              >>f only 5% has the ability to lead, what's the point of Woodbadge?

              Comment


              • #8
                But if only 5%, one out of twenty has leadership skills, then are not the other 95% of us up the creek?

                if the boys dont listen or follow or buy into a "great Program" then the key is who says its a "great program" in the first place. If the scouts don't care, no matter how skilled the presenter, the presentation will be a flop.

                What are the reasons the boys join your troop? FOr the backpacking? The Rock Climbing? The white water rafting? The 10 consecutive months of Cabin Camping with all night gaming marathons? What compels the youth to show up? WHy are they members of the units we serve? Once that is understood, the rest should be easy... I think...

                If the reason is the softest way to Eagle, then one needs to search ones soul

                Comment


                • #9
                  In my view, one of the main purposes of Boy Scouts is to train youth in the skills needed to be a leader. So to me Scouting is dedicated to the idea that leaders are made not born.

                  Natural leaders are fine and great to have, but they need to learn the skills of being leaders too.

                  And a lot of other people can learn the skills and do a good job even if they weren't born with charismatic leadership abilities.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Okay, will rephrase: if less than 5% are natural born leaders, what is the point of WB?

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Adults can be trained in the skills of leadership too, and I think that's a largely unsung role of Scouting in addition to training youth in leadership skills.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Even when I was in high school, I was thoroughly jaded at the talk about future leaders, servant leadership, leadership skills, training for leadership, etc. I happen to believe that Scouting has gone too far overboard on this fad. It's pretty clear that not everyone is a leader, can be a leader or wants to be a leader. Some people are perfectly content being followers, members, joiners, gatherers and worker bees.

                        What Scouting should be doing is helping Scouts find their skills and talents and use them in the most productive ways possible - and, on the flip side, teach practical skills they might not otherwise have gained. Keith may be a lousy public speaker, but he's great teaching one-on-one. Tim is a natural-born fisherman, but doesn't want to take notes. Richard loves firebuilding and knots, but the idea of planning a trek makes him break out in a cold sweat. And none of them want to be the SPL, because that job is mindless and boring.

                        A good Scouting program should focus on imparting those skills - public speaking for Keith, note-taking for Tim and step-by-step planning for Richard - not through beating them over the head with the LEADERSHIP LEADERSHIP LEADERSHIP mantra, but through going on hikes, fishing trips, survival campouts, backpacking expeditions, paddling treks ... so that those other, non-Scoutcraft skills arise naturally, as almost a happy accident. When they've mastered certain skills and their confidence rises, they'll naturally step into leadership roles themselves. It will work. (And an outdoor-focused program will attract a heck of a lot more boys than will the ridiculous TIMELESS VALUES garbage, besides.)

                        Get 'em outdoors, and everything else will just happen.

                        ===========

                        Pet peeve rant:

                        The LEADERSHIP LEADERSHIP LEADERSHIP model being touted utterly ignores the fact that there are different types of leaders. Some lead from the front, very publicly. Some lead from behind the scenes. Some people are charismatic types who can pump up a group; others are more methodical planners who organize all the detail work. A one-size-fits-all model that uses vague phrases is just plan silly.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Even folks born with a natural gift for leading need to learn and apply the skills of leadership so they through trial and error develop into productive and respected leaders. Most Olympic athletes are born with above average talent, but even they had to develop their technique and practice constantly to be the best.

                          Seattle Pioneer is correct, the Scouting program offers all its participants the opportunity to develop into great leaders.

                          Barry

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Not if you're doing it right, Short. The whole point of Leading EDGE is there are different leadership styles appropriate to different situations, groups and individuals. Remember the old "big boss" video? Same thing.

                            Being a leader is not just being the alpha dog. All three of the boys you cited could be good leaders, if they understand the advantages and shortcomings of their leadership styles and were willing to adapt as the situation demanded.

                            I've seen the sterotypical type-A, alpha screamers join the troop, and flame out. Tneir directive style of leadership works early on (because little kids are accustomed to that crap from adult) but gets old fast. I overheard a couple guys talking about a kid like that running for SPL -- "why would we subject ourselves to that?" summed-up the thinking of the group. (He never got elected.) I've had other kids come in the troop who wouldn't say boo to their own shadow and who you would never imagine standing up leading a group. It usually takes them a few years, but almost all eventually find their voice. In those years they are usually developing the respect of their mates by being very competent with their skills and becoming the "go to guy" when things need to be done; and by developing relationships with individuals. My older son was like that. He spent years as a Troop Guide and by the time he was SPL had be the TG for three-quarters of the troop. All those guys he had brought along as new Scouts really respected and followed him. Of the two, it's probably more difficult to teach a "directive" leader to be more patient than it is to get a shy kid to step up.

                            I know I'm committing heresey here, but I don't particularly buy into the idea that the cut-up causing problems in the back of the room is necessary a great leader waiting to be discovered. Sometimes he's just a jackass trying to get attention. And don't confuse the other boys being entertained with being led. The cut-up may be getting a lot of laughs now, but time and time again I've had boys come to me privately and tell me they're tired of the cut-up causing problems. This really comes out on campouts when the patrol is trying to get something done (like breakfast) and the cut-up is undermining their efforts. If this guy is such a great leader and all the boys are groovin' on his natural leadership ability, how come they are complaining to the SM about him?

                            I believe what most folks consider native leadership is simply charisma -- an ability to inspire enthusaism, loyality and affection in others. I agree it's a personality trait you either have or don't have at a very young age which is near-impossible to fake (at least for very long) if you don't have it. But that's only a part of leadership.

                            Our troop defines leadership as the ability to motivate other to work for a common goal. That's a three-legged stool requiring inspiration, effort and vision. The cut-up in the back of the room may have the charisma or appeal to get others enthusiastic to follow him, but then what? A particular Scout may have great Scout skills and/or a terrific work ethic, but if he's sullen and non-communicative or comes off as a know-it-all, he's not going to inspire others to follow him. And without a vision or understanding what the group's goals, the group will just mark time. The troop just finished a term with one of our very charasmatic natural leaders as SPL. After his election, he had the whole troop motivated and enthusiastic. But the kid had absolutely no follow-through, no management skill, and, quite frankly, a pretty broad lazy streak. It was ugly. By the end of his term, the boys were tired of his empty promises and his inability to get things done.

                            Leadership training in Scouting needs to take every boy at his own level and help him develop these skills to his best potential. Sometime in their lives everyone of these boys will be in a leadership position of some sort. Our job in this regard is to give them the tools to do their best in those siuations. Some of these three-legged leadership stools may end up a bit wobbly and some may be taller than others, but it's our job to help develop leadership in all of them. I know some of you will dismiss this as "management." So be it. I'll take a highly competent manager over an inspirational idiot everyday of the week and twice on Sundays.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              5%?I'll take it. Im a leader born or not cause no one else will. Woodbadge, Edge, roundtable? Ive never been to any of these. My schedule wont allow it and my wallet wont either. I find it intresting that the eagle scouts as of lately join the military. Not to be a officer but to do the same things as a high school dropout- did eagle prepare to lead in that way? Just my 2 cents

                              Comment

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