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$7,700,000,000,000 Leadership Skills Bailout

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Has anyone ever written (for those of us unfamiliar with "leadership skills" jargon), a skeptical analysis of Leadership Development theory that links concepts like "innovation," "thinking outside the box," and group development theory with magical thinking and 7.7 trillion dollar bailouts?


I seem to remember that after the 2008 financial crises the International Olympic Committee kicked out all the corporate "leadership skills" experts, and replaced them with "back to basics" athletics people.







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A little thump on the side of the turn table will get that record unstuck.


We all realize that you think Wood Badge is the bane of Scouting in the US.....how could we not.


Perhaps it is time to give the constant complaining a rest and be a productive member of the forum and post some positive and helpful information.

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I find Kudu's point of view to be very refreshing and certainly different from the usual drivel.


If we didn't have a variety of opinion's, what would we discuss?


An opinion that brings up ideas outside the 'norm' certainly stimulates more thought than another bland "You're right, me too." So Kudu's contributions are MORE productive and helpful than your whines about "Hey, don't rock the boat."


Kudu: I hadn't considered the possible connection from 'Leadership Skills: take no risks and make everybody happy' inside Scouting to the current batch in DC trying to make all their friends happy. Now you've got me thinking about the parallels.

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I'm an old fashioned, back-to-basics, out-of-the-box kind of person and Kudu has been really helpful in understanding how to hang on to what's important for our boys. I have worked with young people for 40+ years and find that what Kudu has to offer very helpful! .... well, as long as you stay 300' from him. :)



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Oh, please.


Your childish hatred of leadership skills is silly. Anyone can use leadership skills, from the patrol leader up to the CEO. Such skills are not limited to those in the business/corporate environment. We know a LOT more about leadership then in B-P's time.


I doubt the IOC issue was with "leadership skills". I won't be surprised if the problem was a bunch of business types trying to apply business management concepts (which, btw, leadership and leadership development is NOT part of) in a non-profit group. That is usually a recipe for disaster.



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"Leadership Skills" as a pedantic concept may be what'sat the root of BSA's present miasma.


As politically incorrect as it may seem, not all Scouts are good leaders. No amount of book-learning is going to make all Scouts good leaders. Intelligence, charisma, wisdom and self-confidence are not 101 through 600 level courses that you check off on your way to being a good leader.


Although "Leadership Skills" may certainly boost the self-confidence of an average leader, and give them strategic tools for muddling through difficult situations; no amount of taught "Leadership Skills" will ever make a Scout (or Scouter) a good leader if he did not already have the potential to be a good leader in his basic make-up.


Hate good leadership? I don't think so. Any NCO will tell you what a pleasure it is to follow a competent leader, whether he's a butter bar or a three star.


Hold overly-processed pre-packaged "Leadership Skills" in disdain? Why sure.

Have you ever seen the certified person in charge of DayCamp walk around talking with only the vaguest idea about what's going on? Why is it that the Training chair is usually the most oblivious? (Kudu: like our Bystander-In-Chief?) What is it about two wooden beads that makes someone talk for ten minutes at roundtable about a twenty second blurb that no one cares about?


Not all boys/men are created/raised/developed equally. 'Leadership Skills" can't change that.


Flame on, Johnny Torch!

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How did BP, Green Bar Bill, and 100 years of scoutmasters and den moms, ever get anything done in scouting without all this "Leadership Science?"


And surely these well-meaning men and women of yesteryear must have fumbled about, clueless, without the profound insights provided by attending Woodbadge for the 21st Century.


The sheer quantity of "leadership/management" courses does not translate into actual leadership skill. Mainly because these classes are taught in a classroom, or camp meeting hall, by people who would rather be indoors than outside. Plenty of cocoa, and lots of soothing powerpoint presentations, which always start with a hilarious, knee slapping video clip as the "attention getting step." Lots of talk, a few games to "reinforce" the concepts, and gosh, look at the time, get ready for dinner and the diploma presentation.


Yep, that's leadership! We have lots of folks that have the certificate to prove they are leaders. Actual accomplishments, of course, are optional. Specifically for the BSA, an organization whose winning formula is "scouting is outing" experience and leadership in the outdoors is optional as well.(This message has been edited by desertrat77)

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Scouting is a big place. Offering optional, supplemental leadership development courses is not a bad thing for the program. It gets to be a bad thing when we use leadership courses in place of actual opportunities to practice real leadership.


I happen to think NYLT is, in general, a fairly decent program that can be used to build and develop leadership skills. At a higher level, I do believe that leadership techniques can be taught, developed and refined. And Scouting is not a bad place for that to happen.


What bothers me is when we spend all this time and energy providing leadership training and development, but then limit the Scouts' ability to actually engage in leadership. Putting all of the patrols together in one claustrophobic campsite, all within easy snoopy distance of the Webelos-III adult leaders... Doing away with patrol camping and hiking... Having adults leap in to supervise and "lead" anything more complicated than cooking lunch... Makes you wonder why we invest all that time in developing leadership skills in the youth at all.

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My take on Woodbadge and Leadership skills. Great program overmarketed. I am not a Woodbadger, so I am considered a outsider at roundtable, as if my thoughts do not count, because of a lack of knots on my neck. I have been told many times that I "need" woodbadge, because it's for the boys. I am a retired CPO who spent 18 years at sea, having gone thru CPO training and taught CPO Leadership training (3 months intense hazing). I have been in Scouts for 40 years and have been successful at all levels of Scouts (Cub, Boy Scout, OA, ASM, SM, ACM, and again ASM), and yet at roundtable I am "not from VT" and not Woodbadge. My youngest son ages out this coming year, and I will fade away.

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A few comments from my perspective.


1) I'm old school. I think BP created the greatest youth program in the world, and GBB perfected it. And yes while times and technology changes, the goals and foundation of scouting, remain the same:creating better citizens physically, mentally, and morally through an outdoor program.


2)Outdoor program attracts youth, and keeps them. You have an active program that focuses on fun and adventure, and people will join and stay. Thsi is true even at the Cub Scout Stage.


3)Leadership skill CAN be developed using the Patrol Method and an outdoor program. I've been reviewing my old Brownsea 22 syllabus, and a lot of the leadership skills were taught using outdoor skills.


4) Technology has always been part of training. I don't remember any slideshows or movies when I attended BA22 back in the day, but the syllabus does mention those items, the equivelent of laptops, projectors, and powerpoints of today, in the syllabus as training tools.


5)From what I've been hearing WB21C is focusing more on management and is not truly incorporating the outdoor skills. Again this is second hand as I have not taken WB21C, and it may be just based upon local councils and how they do things (all scouting is local), but if taking the outing out of scouting is the trend, it is a grave concern as the outdoors is a foundation of the movement.


5a) Again it appears we are moving away from the outdoors. has anyone really looked at the current BSHB and noticed that a lot fo basic outdoor skills info is no longer in it?


6)Folks are getting too caught up on advancement, management, and other things, and not focusing on the Fun and Adventure that should be scouting. Kinda sad when a new SM, when told about an exciting HA program asks what merit badges will his boys earn.


7) In some places there is WB snobery, i.e. you aint got beads, you ain't worth spit. Fortunately I have not encountered it too much, a little of that was at NCS btu not a lot, but also a lot of folks think I've already done WB. When they were promoting the course at RT, my name got mentioned as having done it, and I had to tell the staffer later, no I haven't, which surprised him greatly.


8) While the patrol competition of WB has its place, it can go overboard and be inappropriate at times. Again WB came up at NCS, and once at an OA meeting.



In a nutshell leadership training does have apart to play in Scouting, but it should not be goal of scouting, just as getting Eagle should not be the goal. And just as a mixed age patrol will have scouts of various KSAs and skill levels, our leaders have various KSAs and skill levels. We need to work together to develop out youth physically, mentally, and morally.

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I'm and old school WB'er in fact I attended both BS and CS Train The Trainer courses within a three year period of time. I'm thinking of attending the New course this coming summer only for one reason. So I know whats being taught since the course has change so much.


However, the most important thing I learned at BS WB was to sit back in my chair let the youth do all the work and be there to help guide them when needed.


I also learned scout skills and inter patrol competition is a good thing it what build strong character in youth.


In the end when I really think about my experiences in both course the one thing I learned the most was how to properly apply the program. To this day I think that is the most important item an adult leader needs. If you don't know how to properly apply the program. If you don't know how to let the youth run and lead the program. Then purpose of the program will fail.


The purpose of the program to me is: Taking boys and turning them into Men who are productive members of society.

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I don't know about you guys experience, but in the troop and Crews I serve, the youth when they bridge in don't know how to organize a one bicycle parade. It's not their fault, its something they have not been taught.


Patrol Leaders do not possess the ability to teach Orienteering just because they are Patrol Leaders. They may be excellent in Orientation skills, but may not have the best concept on how to impart that knowledge to others. They need to be trained. Green Bar Bill has such a program in the pages Kudu maintains.




It can't be bad to teach leadership, this is a quote from Kudu'd site


"Boys are steadily growing and developing. The Scoutmaster's opportunity is to help them grow into fine types of leaders. To accomplish this, one Scout may need perpetual encouragement, another restraint, one subtle suggestion, still another definite direction; but all need guidance"


I don't know how to "help them grow into fine types of leaders" without teaching them leadership skills. The issue comes down to the methods. If all you do is sit around and talk about how to do somehting, its pretty lame. If you tell someone how to do something and then show them how its done and then help them through the skill and then set up a situation where they get to use the skill. Then you may have something. Its the basis of the Patrol Leaders Training. Tell them what to do, Show them how its done, and help them through it and make sure they have the oppotunity to do the skills.



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What is being touted as "leadership" today can be likened more towards administration rather than traditional leadership.


Administration is a skill set, i.e. listening, EDGE, organization, etc.


Leadership is not a skill set, but an attitude as to how one applies administrative skills.


If I teach admin skills to a self-centered bully, he can become a super-bully on steroids! If I teach those same admin skills to a caring person, he can turn the world upside down and his followers will follow him anywhere.


I have always felt a strong disconnect between what people are defining as leadership today with a more historical definition of leadership.


An SPL with all the appropriate admin skills may or may not be a leader. How does one know if he is or not? Just ask the question, do they follow him, if not who are they following? That person is the true leader regardless of their admin skills.



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