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Stosh

What's it going to take to make the perfect UC?

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Moderator's Note:

 

If y'all will edit yourselves some of the OT stuff away to their own topics, I'll place this in Council Relations.  There really is some good meat in with the fat here.

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JTE is an interesting concept. It appears to be quantitative in their measurement....

 

If UC's could proactively and consistently aid units in such measurements, AND help with how to FIX any short comings during the program planning phases, THAT would be a huge help to units....

I agree. The underlying issue is JTE wants SMART, quantitative measurements and a big part of scouting is qualitative. I made my own measurements and one of them is "who solves the problems - scouts or adults." If the adult committee meeting is going on for 2 hours but the PLC meeting is 20 minutes then there's a problem. That's the measurement that hit me over the head like a ton of bricks a few years ago.

 

Something that would help the UCs and SMs would be a better qualitative description of a good program. A questionnaire with a hundred questions might help people measure their own quaility. I would have really appreciated that.

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I agree. The underlying issue is JTE wants SMART, quantitative measurements and a big part of scouting is qualitative. I made my own measurements and one of them is "who solves the problems - scouts or adults." If the adult committee meeting is going on for 2 hours but the PLC meeting is 20 minutes then there's a problem. That's the measurement that hit me over the head like a ton of bricks a few years ago.

 

Something that would help the UCs and SMs would be a better qualitative description of a good program. A questionnaire with a hundred questions might help people measure their own quaility. I would have really appreciated that.

 

This is the problem BSA has. They are not very good at giving examples. Most of the training templates show how a training program should be organized, but the meaty content that would provide examples simply says "insert good example here".  :rolleyes:  :o

 

They tend to create obfuscation out of clarity much of the time. Their "rebranding" of myscouting is a perfect example. It could have simply cut from one tool to the other. Instead they monkey about and confuse people; not to mention the system does not work right....if it ever did.

 

Look at their annual meetings when they evaluation their mission, objectives and achievements. Read that and it is clear that BSA mgmt is totally out of touch with what the average Cubmaster, SM or committee chair needs to effectively run a successful unit. 

Edited by Krampus
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I'm positive this topic will end up in the I&P crapper, so I'll just start it out here.

 

A number of threads have focused around a number of issue concerning the UC role in scouting.  It seems to be the consensus that "if it ain't broke, don't fix it."  and what we have here is broke.

 

Do we need to fix it?

 

Do we need to drop it?

 

Do we just keep ignoring it?

 

What about effective training?

 

What about a listing of duties and expectations needed for the position?

 

What about maturity and experience?

 

Is all the paper work necessary?

 

With all the units out there feeling a big disconnect from the DE's and SE's is this a symptom of not having a real UC?

 

The door's open in the free-for-all section.  How's about coming up with something that would be useful to the situation instead of just griping about what's wrong with it.  Can it be fixed?

 

 

Moderator's Note:

 

If y'all will edit yourselves some of the OT stuff away to their own topics, I'll place this in Council Relations.  There really is some good meat in with the fat here.

 

As the original poster on this topic, I insist it stays here for a number of reasons.

 

1) All moderators swear an oath that all stinky topics go INTO the I&P crapper and under no circumstances are they to pull them out and put them into respectable areas of the forum.  :)

 

2) Move something from I&P to a "regular" area.  We've never done that before. :)

 

3) John-in-KC might lose his moderator privileges.

 

4) As original poster I insist that it stays here.  The purpose of this thread was to promote real thinking on this forum and if a topic arises here of particular importance, then someone is to take that idea and reformulate it for consideration in an appropriate regular area.  Leave this thread as a means to discussing UC subjects that can be identified and as a seed area for multiple ideas to be considered elsewhere.  This thread is accomplishing what I wanted it to do.

Edited by Stosh

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This is the problem BSA has. They are not very good at giving examples. Most of the training templates show how a training program should be organized, but the meaty content that would provide examples simply says "insert good example here".  :rolleyes:  :o

 

They tend to create obfuscation out of clarity much of the time. Their "rebranding" of myscouting is a perfect example. It could have simply cut from one tool to the other. Instead they monkey about and confuse people; not to mention the system does not work right....if it ever did.

 

Look at their annual meetings when they evaluation their mission, objectives and achievements. Read that and it is clear that BSA mgmt is totally out of touch with what the average Cubmaster, SM or committee chair needs to effectively run a successful unit. 

 

This problem hits squarely on my whole emphasis that everyone blows me off on.

 

THERE IS A DIFFERENCE BETWEEN MANAGEMENT AND LEADERSHIP!

 

I can see the difference but I seem to be in the minority.

 

MANAGEMENT deals with objective, measurable tasks that are taken to reach a goal.

 

LEADERSHIP deals with people and what subjective judgments are necessary for people to want to associate and follow a person of quality.

 

The whole discussion of JTE is the age old struggle between these two unique processes that are tried to blend together.  It's oil and water, people.  They are two different animals and they can work together well, but for two different reasons.

 

A person can be a good leader but a poor manager. 

 

But a poor manager will never really be a good leader.

 

A good manager can be a poor leader if the only thing that counts is the bottom line.

 

A great manager will always be seen as a good leader first.

 

So it seems the two can work independently and cooperatively if they so wish.

 

JTE by definition is a leadership idea, but the means by which BSA has chosen to pursue it is through managment objectives.  It will work, but one will need to go beyond the BSA program and add real leadership to the mission.

 

Take the thorn-in-the-side issue that I always bring up.  There are Paper Eagles and then there are Real Eagles.  Paper Eagles are the current BSA program.  You check off enough boxes in the right order, you get the Eagle pin.  The statistics now reflect more more boy who has reached the highest rank in scouting.  Everything including all the i's and t's are accounted for.  Is he a leader or did he just follow the directions spelled out to accomplish the goal?  Then we have the Real Eagles.  Yes, they have gone through all the steps in exactly the same order as the Paper Eagles, but for some reason which is "hard to explain" there's something special about them.  We don't always know how to describe it, it's just there.  One seems to be "attracted to them".  They have a certain charisma about them.  You genuinely like them and want to be around them, i.e. you want to follow them and be around them."  This is Leadership, it has a sense of people being drawn to them.  One can't always even explain it.  It is not measurable, it is not taught, there is no check box, it's just there.

 

How does one measure JTE (Excellence)  I dunno, I don't believe National knows how, I don't think statistically National even cares to try and measure it.  It's just easier to identify management objectives and leave it at that and then spin it to sound like it's "excellence".

 

Management is measured in quantity.

Leadership is measured in quality.

 

If one is to have a true Journey to Excellence, it is going to need real leadership to pull it off.  Unfortunately real leadership is not built into the program because real leadership is not just good management.  How do I know this?  Because BSA is interested in only the bottom line...... :(

Edited by Stosh

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This is the problem BSA has. They are not very good at giving examples. Most of the training templates show how a training program should be organized, but the meaty content that would provide examples simply says "insert good example here".  :rolleyes:  :o

 

YES!!!  The BSA has no problem issuing a training syllabus for a course.  But not everyone is a skilled presenter, and worse, even if you can present, it doesn't mean you can turn a syllabus into a presentation.

 

I'll give ILST as an example.  An SM's supposed to do ILST once a year for his junior leaders.  It's supposed to be a prerequisite for NYLT.  Unfortunately, there are several problems:

  • Not every scoutmaster knows of this (and worse some aren't "fans" of NYLT either)
  • It's not a JTE requirement
  • Not every scoutmaster is a gifted presenter
  • All BSA gives you is a syllabus.  No scripts, no slide decks (that may be a good thing though, it avoids death by Powerpoint).  Videos like in Scoutmaster Specifics would be helpful.
  • There should be a University of Scouting-type course to specifically teach Scoutmasters how to do ILST.  Of course that means you need another syllabus :-(
Edited by 00Eagle
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YES!!!  The BSA has no problem issuing a training syllabus for a course.  But not everyone is a skilled presenter, and worse, even if you can present, it doesn't mean you can turn a syllabus into a presentation.

 

I'll give ILST as an example.  An SM's supposed to do ILST once a year for his junior leaders.  It's supposed to be a prerequisite for NYLT.  Unfortunately, there are several problems:

  • Not every scoutmaster knows of this (and worse some aren't "fans" of NYLT either)
  • It's not a JTE requirement
  • Not every scoutmaster is a gifted presenter
  • All BSA gives you is a syllabus.  No scripts, no slide decks (that may be a good thing though, it avoids death by Powerpoint).  Videos like in Scoutmaster Specifics would be helpful.
  • There should be a University of Scouting-type course to specifically teach Scoutmasters how to do ILST.  Of course that means you need another syllabus :-(

 

The university of Scouting does help some, but it still doesn't make a bad presenter all that good. Some folks have the gift, some don't. Our training committee made a huge change simply by looking for leaders who have jobs or a lot of experience in presenting this kind of material. I know for my own Scoutmaster specific course, I found two Scoutmasters who also college teachers. The difference in quality of training made huge leaps. The problem is that it takes more effort to find these people and to recruit them. But once you do, the reputation of the training improves.

 

Barry

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@@00Eagle, yup that was the other glaring example. Great syllabus, lousy supporting materials.

 

My favorite is the direction "Now have a detailed discussion about the key features of good leadership". No content. Nada.

 

I use that slide with my PLC to show them what poor preparation looks like. If THAT'S what BSA wanted to accomplish, well done. ;) But I suspect they meant for something else to happen. 

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@@00Eagle, yup that was the other glaring example. Great syllabus, lousy supporting materials.

 

My favorite is the direction "Now have a detailed discussion about the key features of good leadership". No content. Nada.

 

I use that slide with my PLC to show them what poor preparation looks like. If THAT'S what BSA wanted to accomplish, well done. ;) But I suspect they meant for something else to happen. 

 

Seven blind men and an elephant.  Lovely teaching tool. 

 

By the way, poor preparation is an indicator of poor management, not leadership.   Having an SPL with a written agenda may assist him in his duties as a coordinator of patrol activities, but a charismatic SPL who supports his PL's doesn't necessarily need to go through the hassle of doing the useless task of paperwork.  I think we all know how that feels.  Dumping it on the boys isn't always a good idea.  Wasting their time is even less of a good idea.

 

Change the name to Journey to Management Excellence, and I'm on-board in a heartbeat.  Just don't use it as a substitute for Leadership Excellence.  Better yet, combine the two and one would have a Real Journey to Excellence.

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As the first course director in our district of Scoutmaster Specifics in 2001, I had to spend a lot of time trying to make the whole syllabus flow because some information contradicted itself in other chapters. A few years later I met one of the authors of the syllabus and he said there were three authors who wrote the content. They never met each other and they never saw each others contribution. National took the three authors contributions and assembled them into a syllabus without the authors help. Everything made sense once I learned that.

 

Barry

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Recruiting tells you how many scouts you are getting and losing. It does not measure the quality of the program or health of the unit. I have seen HUGE troops that were toxic places. They churned out Eagles, but the program did not resemble at any level what BSA says they want. It was adult-driven and broke just about every rule of the patrol method and boy-led. The district loved them because their numbers were always impressive (service projects. camp outs, camporee, etc). But their kids were worthless as leaders.

that's why I qualified that I believe its what they are most interested in.  head count (and its direct relationship to $)

 

Moderator's Note:

 

If y'all will edit yourselves some of the OT stuff away to their own topics, I'll place this in Council Relations.  There really is some good meat in with the fat here.

OT stuff?  help me out, another acronym I don't know...

well OT often mean "Occupational Therapy".... but I'm thinking that's not it based on context...

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that's why I qualified that I believe its what they are most interested in.  head count (and its direct relationship to $)

 

OT stuff?  help me out, another acronym I don't know...

well OT often mean "Occupational Therapy".... but I'm thinking that's not it based on context...

Off topic.

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Off topic

 

Show me a topic that stays on topic and I'll show you a post that someone put out there and no one responded to.  :)

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Maybe I'm just slow and stupid but none of the training I've seen clicked with me. This forum, and all the arguments and discussions, has been worth much more. The training seems to assume you have a working unit so you have an example to reference. Just for fun, switch the term boy led with duck, and assume you've never seen a duck before.

 

"Well, an important method to a troop is having a duck."

"What's a duck?"

"Everyone knows what a duck is. If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, then it's a duck."

"Sure, I've heard the term duck, but what would it look like if it were in my troop?"

"The scout oath and law are very important to a duck."

"Well, my scouts don't want to make a decision, how do I change that?"

"Get a duck! You can't have the patrol method without a duck."

"How do I get a duck?"

"Simple, teach ILST and send your scouts to NYLT, then you'll have a duck."

"I did that but apparently I don't have a duck because my scouts still won't make a decision."

"You should take Woodbadge. That's the ultimate in duck training."

 

That's my experience. I'd much rather see something like:

 

"A duck is important to a troop. There are different kinds of ducks that we'll talk about later but there are some common things. They have feathers and your recognizing their feathers is important. They need water. Water is very important for a duck, and you, and all the rest of the adults need to stay out of it or you'll scare off the duck. There are baby ducks and mama ducks and papa ducks. They all need different things. The whole point is for the older ducks to raise the baby ducks. A big problem is when the older ducks were never raised by other ducks, they won't know what to do. It's called the duck and egg problem. Baby ducks need a lot of attention and are happier with a smaller pond. No ducks should be allowed in the ocean, but make sure you have a big enough pond for your best ducks. Ducks make a lot of noise and that's okay, you should always listen to what they have to say. There is nothing better than a troop full of happy ducks."

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