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A scout is Obedient....or should that be Responsible?

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Being popular isn't leading.

 

Being charismatic isn't leading.

 

Swimming in a big pond isn't  leading.

 

Swimming in a small pond isn't leading

 

Leading is leading.

 

As @@Back Pack says, "All of these kids are great Scouts. Some Eagles and some not. All took our troop and district training. Many NYLT. A few NAYLE. The best kid I have is the quietest, mousiest Scout we have...best darn leader though." 

 

And that begs the question, Is this scout popular?, charismatic?, aware of the size of the pond?, took all kinds of fancy, schmancy  training? or did he just figure out what leading is all about.

 

Leadership is not defined from the position of leading, it's defined from the position of following.   Once one figures this out, then all the other measurements and curricula go out the window because it isn't all that difficult.  It's just that most people chase it down the wrong rabbit hole.

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IMO, a boy who achieves ranks and awards in the scouting program, but who also is socially isolated and disconnected from his class mates and neighbors, is not a good scout.

 

A scout cannot do his duty to his God and his country while socially isolating himself from his church, school, and community.   

Edited by David CO

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IMO, a boy who achieves ranks and awards in the scouting program, but who also is socially isolated and disconnected from his class mates and neighbors, is not a good scout.

 

A scout cannot do his duty to his God and his country while socially isolating himself from his church, school, and community.   

 

I think it depends why he is isolating himself.  We have one kid who is so shy and quiet that he does probably does isolate himself to some degree.  When he was 11 he pretty much isolated himself in the troop as well, but he is getting better, very slowly.  I think he is now 14.  Recently I actually saw him smile.  But when I do BOR's with him I still have to strain to hear him speak, and we're sitting across a very small table from each other.  I ask him to speak up and he tries, but he doesn't really succeed.  That's just the way he is.  I don't know if he will ever be sociable, but hopefully he will at least start to speak at something close to a normal volume.  I don't think this is because he doesn't like people or his country or anything.  It's just the way he is.

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When it comes to "leadership" I have heard about it at school, at work, and on the Internet.  Many times I have asked for a definition, but have never gotten an adequate one.  Sometimes it is having a title and position, sometimes it is setting an example, sometimes it is a combination of the previous two and sometimes something else.  Leadership seems to be one of those terms that means whatever you want it to. 

 

I am afraid my perspective on leadership was become jaded over the years.  I have seen it used as an explanation and excuse for a great deal of unacceptable behavior.  Right now when I hear the word "leadership" I immediately stop listening.  This is a mistake, so I would like to know what you mean by "leadership"?

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Leadership?  Look around, is anyone willingly following ?  If not, that's not leadership.

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I suppose that is a "Chicken or the Egg" type of question.  Which came first?

 

Scouting seems to attract the social outcasts.  In some places this may be based on economic status.  In other places, it may be for totally different reasons.

 

As a scout leader, I have discouraged my scouts from using the scout unit as an island refuge to further isolate themselves from their peers.  

 

I want scouts to take the confidence and skills that they develop in scouting, and use them to reengage with their schools and communities.  I think scouting should broaden a boy's world, not narrow it.

 

I mostly agree. Scouting should be developing kids into being able to spread their wings! I do think though that while it shouldn't be used by anyone to further isolate themselves I think it should provide an element of safety. Perhaps a very vague analogy should be as a trampoline rather than a crash mat. You can fall on both quite safely but the former will help you get back to where you should be. Or something like that anyway. I'm sure you get the picture!

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When it comes to "leadership" I have heard about it at school, at work, and on the Internet.  Many times I have asked for a definition, but have never gotten an adequate one.  Sometimes it is having a title and position, sometimes it is setting an example, sometimes it is a combination of the previous two and sometimes something else.  Leadership seems to be one of those terms that means whatever you want it to. 

 

I am afraid my perspective on leadership was become jaded over the years.  I have seen it used as an explanation and excuse for a great deal of unacceptable behavior.  Right now when I hear the word "leadership" I immediately stop listening.  This is a mistake, so I would like to know what you mean by "leadership"?

 

 

The definition I like to use is from John Maxwell (I strongly recommend reading his "21 irrefutable laws of leadership")

 

The True Measure of Leadership is Influence – Nothing More, Nothing Less.  True leadership cannot be awarded, appointed, or assigned. It comes only from influence, and that cannot be mandated. It must be earned.

 

 

To paraphrase @@Stosh - if people are not following, then you are not leading.  People are willing to follow when you have earned their trust, demonstrated that you care about them and when they agree with what you are trying to accomplish.  They may also "follow" when you do not have genuine influence, but that is not leadership (i.e. you are the boss and they have to do what you say else risk losing their job).  

 

Scouting is a such great environment for developing leadership because we are all volunteers.  Everything we do is cooperative and requires genuine influence.  If people do not trust me, or think I dont care, or do not like my style, then I cannot accomplish my goals for the unit/district/camp/whatever.  Worse - if I "rub people the wrong way" they may walk away entirely.

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"The True Measure of Leadership is Influence – Nothing More, Nothing Less.  True leadership cannot be awarded, appointed, or assigned. It comes only from influence, and that cannot be mandated. It must be earned."

 

I can see where this quote might convey leadership in that leadership comes from influence, but as stated in the comments, the Boss exerts influence, so does the Tyrant and the Dictator.  I don't call that true leadership.  Influence is the dynamic that is useful to the one attempting to lead.  This is where the popularity and charisma "leadership" comes from, or should I simply say the effect those people have on others.  There's too much power given to the one who influences that can be abused.  Influence can be simply, either you do it or you're fired.  That's a highly motivational influence, but the person making such demands is not a leader, it is one who only seeks self gain. 

 

True leadership is not where the Leader gains benefit from the relationship, but the follower does.  I simply use the phrase, "take care of your boys" when it comes to teaching leadership.  As long as others are being taken care of they don't wander off.  :)  Parents take care of their children, the good teachers take care of their students, they have invested in the welfare of those following them.  It has nothing to do with influence and persuasion to follow. 

 

The charismatic leader that will champion the cause of their followers will be well liked.  He's looking out for them, not himself and his vested interest is not in influence of his followers, but influence in answering the needs of the followers.  Two totally different dynamics.  

 

On the other hand, the quiet leader will be there, quietly in the back ground making sure each follower is successful in what they want and need to do.  He/She offers up no directive influence, but is quick to support and assist. 

 

Personalities of all kinds can be leaders as long as they take care of others.  Ever wonder why the Scout Oath has the words "help other people at all times" in it?  It is what defines leadership.  Doing my duty to God and Country is not leadership, nor is following the Scout Law.  Keeping myself physically fit, mentally awake and morally straight isn't either.  But by helping other people at all times, means there will be many around who appreciate that help and will remain close for when the need arises again.  People seek out those who can help them, they will seek out the real leaders, those who say yes I will help you. 

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Thanks @@Stosh.  You explained that much better than I did, and you made a point that I entirely neglected to make - the "others first" or "servant" aspect.

 

Yes, often influence is an overt or intentional thing and often it is not for the good.  But by taking care of others you are building trust and showing that you care for them.  This influences them - not only to do something for me as I said, but also to not wander off or to "remain close for when the need arises again" as you said.  

 

I like the simplicity of your "take care of the boys" phrase.  It focuses attention on serving rather than influencing.  When you take care of the boys, the other things will fall into place naturally.

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If one is a leader, they have influence. Assuming one is a leader, then we can measure their effectiveness as a degree of influence.

 

But the converse is not necessarily true which is Stosh's point. If one has influence, they may (or may not) be a leader. Reaching a certain threshold of influence does not determine a leader.

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When it comes to "leadership" I have heard about it at school, at work, and on the Internet.  Many times I have asked for a definition, but have never gotten an adequate one.  Sometimes it is having a title and position, sometimes it is setting an example, sometimes it is a combination of the previous two and sometimes something else.  Leadership seems to be one of those terms that means whatever you want it to. 

 

I am afraid my perspective on leadership was become jaded over the years.  I have seen it used as an explanation and excuse for a great deal of unacceptable behavior.  Right now when I hear the word "leadership" I immediately stop listening.  This is a mistake, so I would like to know what you mean by "leadership"?

 

I agree.  As a Science guy, I tend to like goals and objectives that can be observed and measured.  Leadership is hard to define, much less measure.  

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... Leadership is hard to define, much less measure.  

So is character, but that's what we're about.

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.....and almost that loops this back around to where I thought this conversation would go when I started this topic....

the what comes first question.... or what is the one boiled-down refined word or concept that supports all the rest...

 

wow what a tangent it's rolled into!

 

Anyway, you might argue that with character, you will display and practice good leadership when appropriate.....just as a responsible person will be obedient when appropriate.

 

I figured this topic would boil down to the one word, trait, or idea that will result in all points of the law being followed

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If one looks at the word responsibility closely it simply means the ability to respond or answer back.  Obedience doesn't have that same dynamic.  I obey, but I may not have the ability to respond or answer back correctly, and thus the rub.  Am I "response able" if I have to be told every minute detail of what needs to be done?  Probably not.  An obedient person simply does the best they can what is told of them to do.

 

On the other hand a person that is able to respond can function outside the limits of obedience.

 

If one were to tell a scout to go raise the flag, they may in shear obedience run their patrol flag up the pole.  They obeyed, but it was not what the person wanted.  A respond able person goes beyond obedience and fills in the blanks with life experience, training, problem solving skills, management skills and a number of other dynamics to be more effective than just obedience.

 

A Scout that is obedient really doesn't need to do anything other than follow directions.

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BSA, in teaching leadership skills and concepts to youth, cites Dr. King as an example of living Scouting values.

 

Dr. King famously won the Nobel Prize for Peace by leading a campaign of non-violent civil DISobedience against racial laws.

 

"Obedient" should be rewritten in view of the lessons of history, starting with the Third Reich, it's duly elected leader, and it's duly-enacted laws and proceeding to American Negro Slavery, under which some duly constituted authority was as odious as the Nazis.

 

"Obedient" is contrary to our national values.  We fought the government - violently.

 

Or we can be this guy.

 

Head%20in%20sand_zpswjcyc7t6.png

 

Me, I think we're long past the Divine Right of the State - by at least 241 years.

Edited by TAHAWK

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