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Sentinel947

The Secret of Leadership

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It is interesting to note that when the American Red Cross is queried about their structure one can go to the web site and see all the business org charts for the American Red Cross shown in the standard chart with the Board of Director at the "top" and the employees and volunteers at the "bottom".  Looks like the standard operating flow of any managed business in America.  However, in the employee orientation training session they show quite a different story to them.  There they place a heavy emphasis on the vision and foundation of the work of the American Red Cross and the pyramid of structure is the servant leadership inverted pyramid with the people needing help (customer) at the wide top and the Chairman of the Board at the point at the bottom.  One chart is management, one chart is leadership.  What do they know that seems to be a stumbling block for leadership in the BSA?

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What do they know that seems to be a stumbling block for leadership in the BSA?

Doesn't the BSA teach "servant leadership" as well? When I have asked some of the Scouts who have attended NYLT about it, they almost all seem to know what I am talking about, so I have to conclude that if one pays attention at NYLT one learns about servant leadership. I have never attended Scoutmaster training but it is my impression that it is covered there as well. Whether a particular Scout or adult actually practices it, and to what degree, is another question, but that can be true of any skill. My guess is that the same is true in the Red Cross or any other organization. Putting principles into practice is often somewhat of a struggle.

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From the reaction of many here on the forum, I hear a lot of management dynamics posing as leadership.  I guess it boils down to what people define is servant leadership.  I keep with the principles set forth by Robert Greenleaf in his book Servant Leadership published back in the 1970's.  What he describes and what I'm hearing here don't line up very well, and I have been having trouble clarifying the difference here with my comments.  I would need to take a look at the curriculum of NYLT and SM training to see how they describe servant leadership.  I do know BSA does use the term but doesn't give any explanation as to what it means.

 

The measuring stick I have always used is, "Take care of your boys."  If the subject at hand doesn't fit that premise, then I'm not hearing servant leadership or leadership in general being discussed.  I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that people have been taught that managers and leaders are the same thing.  Just isn't true, they have two different goals in the dynamics they portray.  Such things as "Doing a good job of taking care of your boys" further confuses the issue.  :)

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This is so true! One of the biggest things about leading people is showing you trust them and you believe in them. And then getting out of the way to let them shine! One of the best books I've read on leadership that makes you and your people stand out is Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us. It categorizes your team into X-type and Y-type people, X-types being the ones who are on the team and only do the bare minimum to get by and Y-types being the ones who are self-motivated and ambitious, always exceeding expectations.

 

The trick is that it comes down to how you lead these people--are you expecting them to be lazy and not get the work done? Or are you giving them a picture of the possibilities and letting them run with it? Do they feel like everything they do has to be approved by you, or are they secure in their position (because you've instilled it in them) and make impressive decisions on their own?

 

As leaders, we have great power to influence those under our guidance. How will we use it?

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Unfortunately @@Gerred this is the definition behind the "One Minute Manager" on getting tasks accomplished.  This may work when there is a task to be accomplished, but when do people follow a leader when there isn't a task to do?  How do they hold loyalty to a person when the work is done?  This is the key.  Whereas it is one thing for the "leader" to trust the follower to do the job, when the job is done what happens to the trust and loyalty at that point?  It's gone.

 

The whole idea behind the difference between leadership and management is a person will trust, stay loyal and hang around the leader, not because of the task, but because the followers trust the leader!  The dynamic that was proposed in your post had it the other way around.

 

If a leader takes care of his people, they know that, they eventually trust that and they will stay with the leader as long as that leader continues to take care of them.  :)  It's kinda like the rude awakening for the 18 year old when they are kicked out of the nest and there's no one there that's going to take care of them like mom and dad did for those 18 years.  Where do they gravitate to?  It begins their search for a leader or they figure it out and become a leader.  A guy can get married so that his new wife will take care of him or he can take on a wife and family to take care of and have them follow him.  In this day and age of divorce, the break down of both parties wanting to be taken care of an neither wanting or even knowing how to lead is a general problem in our society today.

Edited by Stosh

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In our Troop leadership training I will always counsel the boys (new Patrol Leaders es[especially): "Rule#1 Take care of your boys, take care of your boys, take care of your boys" and give examples (help the new boy set up his tent, make sure everyone gets fed, check up on advancement 1 on 1). Though the older boys do most of the teaching.

 

I cringed one time when an adult started lecturing on Total Quality Management and handed out notebooks of 50 pages of Sigma Six notes,

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Sorry @ they allowed me only one green arrow!

 

If one needs a "business model" to follow, here's the key: The patrol members are the customer.  The PL is the salesman.  If he provides a good quality product for the customer, they will come back over and over again until the product become poor quality or the salesman doesn't want to sell anymore.  Then they will go off and find another salesman to "follow".  As TampaTurtle says, take care of the customer and they will take care of you.

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