Jump to content
TAHAWK

Are Scouts Really Experiencing the Patrol Method?

Recommended Posts

And one must remember that Servant LEADERSHIP focuses on others and their welfare, whereas Explain, Teach, Application and Communicating are MANAGEMENT of a task at hand.  Two entirely different animals in my zoo.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You misunderstood what TAHAWK wrote...  a rose by any other name... was his point.

Edited by RememberSchiff
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, Stosh said:

And one must remember that Servant LEADERSHIP focuses on others and their welfare, whereas Explain, Teach, Application and Communicating are MANAGEMENT of a task at hand.  Two entirely different animals in my zoo.

So Scouting in the 1950s was about "management"?  Funny how well we did since "management" is now the label for utter EEEVVVIIILLL.

Illustrates my point quite well.

What you label a thing is neither here nor there.  Blanchard - and the U.S. Military - call it "leadership," not "management."  My employer sent all of us to a Blanchard course 22 years ago on the grounds that "management" was out and "leadership" - "bottom up leadership" at that - was in.

I would like to see the servant leader perform his/her leading without communicating/communication.  I know.  So very 1960s, 1970s, 1980s, 1990s, 21st century! But, I submit, so true.

Oliver Swift had it right.  People kill over labels without even considering substance.

_____________________________________

Don't use a demonstration if the boy can do the thing.

The secret of success as a Patrol Leader?  Be a Leader.  Be a Friend.  Be ahead. 

Bill Hillcourt.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not really, Servant Leadership has very little to do with the mechanical management of tasks.  Of course if there's a task to be done and the person votes with their feet, one can pretty much be assured they are not a leader.  Teaching is a task even though it involves people, but does one teach because the student needs to get the knowledge for a grade or check box checked, or is the teaching so that it becomes something helpful in that person's life.  I havent used French since high school, but to this day I still use my Latin.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, TAHAWK said:

So Scouting in the 1950s was about "management"?  Funny how well we did since "management" is now the label for utter EEEVVVIIILLL.

Illustrates my point quite well.

What you label a thing is neither here nor there.  Blanchard - and the U.S. Military - call it "leadership," not "management."  My employer sent all of us to a Blanchard course 22 years ago on the grounds that "management" was out and "leadership" - "bottom up leadership" at that - was in.

I would like to see the servant leader perform his/her leading without communicating/communication.  I know.  So very 1960s, 1970s, 1980s, 1990s, 21st century! But, I submit, so true.

Oliver Swift had it right.  People kill over labels without even considering substance.

_____________________________________

Don't use a demonstration if the boy can do the thing.

The secret of success as a Patrol Leader?  Be a Leader.  Be a Friend.  Be ahead. 

Bill Hillcourt.

 

Hillcourt is right, he omitted be a Manager.  :)

There are many ways Leaders communicate without verbalization.  Someone's picking on of his patrol members and the PL comes up and gives the traditional Mom Stare until the bully backs off.  Yep, that's communication.  What is also "communicated" to the young victim is his PL has his back when things get dicey.  Young scout is at the campfire making pancakes looking frantically around, the PL smiles and hands him the spatula from the chuck box he had forgotten to get.  So what's the tasks being done here?  I see it as building a relationship whereas others rely on the choices, insights and strength of the leader.  So when it comes time to react, those that have seen this work, will take on those leadership traits of caring as well, thus the phrase lead by example, another non-verbal teaching moment.  There are others out there watching and when the recognize a caring person, they will naturally follow regardless of the task at hand.  People who are only interested in themselves make terrible leaders, but maybe rather good managers.  Just look at all the great Eagle projects that are spelled out in fantastically great detail, only to have no one show up to help on the day it's to be done.

That's the little nuance I see between leadership and management.  Of course there's a task to be done and the SM (i.e. Adult Extraordinaire) shows up and puts his foot down on Eagle project attendance.  The ultimate management directive is intimidation and threats.  :)   It works, but it's not leadership.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"There are many ways Leaders communicate without verbalization."


And so Bill taught.  And so Wood Badge has taught in all three versions (I have staffed each.) - especially explicit in the second version. And it's still the leadership skill of communicating.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So just because leadership and management require communication, they are one and the same thing? 

The problem lies in the fact that our English language does not properly distinguish the two words.
 
Can an individual manage a task by himself?  Yep.
Can an individual manage a person by himself?  Yes and no.  Depends on whether they follow or leave.
Can an individual lead a task?  Not really, the task isn't going to follow.  (Thus the confusion in terms)
Can an individual lead a person?  Yep.
So the only two consistently reliable answers are  managing tasks and leading people.  The other two are filled with a lot of assumptions and confusion.  Definitely not reliable language.
 
In order to further understand, one has to take the context into consideration and make assumptions which may nor may not hold true.
 
During WW II we fought with German and Japan.  No one's going to argue with that statement.
Well, during WW II we fought with England and France, too.  That's a valid statement as well. 
 
So much for assumptions of context.
 
So, people can manage tasks and people?  Or do they simply use people as a resource for accomplishing the task?  and think that is leadership.  If the people don't cooperate (an assumption of leadership) the task does not get done and that kind of management wasn't leadership in the first place.
 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
16 minutes ago, TAHAWK said:

"There are many ways Leaders communicate without verbalization."


And so Bill taught.  And so Wood Badge has taught in all three versions (I have staffed each.) - especially explicit in the second version. And it's still the leadership skill of communicating.

 

No, it's the leadership skill of caring.  Take care of your boys.  If your boys know you care about them, they are more apt to follow and thus tasks will get done.  If they don't follow because the leader doesn't care, the task is more apt to not get done.  See it all the time with bossy "leaders".

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I take it you mean communication of care by displaying care.

But is "caring" is all that is required?  I suggest more is needed.  The "helicopter parents" so decried here all care.  The Scoutmaster I noted above - the one man band - cares a great deal.  He devotes many hours each week to "his" troop.  However, he simply does not have a clue about what goals Scouting says he is supposed to be working towards, much less how to get there.  But he cares.  And from caring does everything "for the boys."  He had told me if would be "cruel" to expect the Scouts to plan and lead program. They "are just kids."   Scoutmaster of the Year.

Just because management requires some of the same skills as leadership, does that mean they are the same?  If so, skill in chopping wood makes you a headsman.  :ph34r:

Bill thought leadership was accomplishing a "job" through others.  So did Ike.  Bill speaks with some authority as he pretty much invented what we call Boy Scouting here in the U.S.A., inclusive of elected leaders.  He was "the foremost influence on development of the Boy Scouting program."  Boy Scouts of America, Scouting, September, 1985 at p. 26.  "Scoutmaster to the World"  Journal of Scouting History (1993)   Ike?  Well, he accomplished some remarkable things as a leader.

Bill cared, and so he planned and led a massive leadership training program (Brownsea Double Two) as part of his effort to save Scouting from the awful "Improved Scouting Program" of 1972, and he actively supported Wood Badge, despite misgivings, for twenty years after it shifted from his preference of all Scoutcraft T-F to a focus on "leadership skills." (I suspect he would be horrified by the third, indoor version.)

"Again and again we come back to the important point that you can’t expect a gang of boys to build a good Patrol without a boy leader who has been trained to lead."  Boy Scouts of America, Scoutmaster's Handbook, (1953), W. Hillcourt, Ed.

As for Ike, he said “Leadership is the art of getting someone else to do something you want done because he wants to do it.”  Eisenhower.  I think that's a pretty good few words that means a lot to me, especially the "because he wants to" part.  

If they don't follow for whatever reason(s), the job will not get done.  (That is especially true in Scouting where most of the "players" can "vote with their feet.") 

Ike had six "rules" for the leader that sound pretty good, some of the same stuff you have taught us over the years, Stosh, if in different words.

1. Don’t take yourself seriously

Eisenhower said, “Always take your job seriously, never yourself.”

His first priority was getting the job done, and he knew that humor helped. He said, “A sense of humor is part of the art of leadership, of getting along with people, of getting things done.”

Leaders need to be serious and focused when pushing agendas, even agenda's that have strong support from the players, but they must have a sense of humor - especially at their own expense - throughout the process. Humor helps smooth the inevitable bumps in the road.

2. A leader doesn’t simply order people around

Eisenhower believed that leadership didn’t come from barking orders or mandating action. He said, “You do not lead by hitting people over the head. That’s assault, not leadership.” At the core of this sentiment is the idea that leadership isn’t about simply pushing your own ideas. It’s about a conversation that demands respect and listening--from both sides.

Getting people to move to where you want them to go is a subtle process that involves dialogue and interaction. It’s not about defining what you as a leader want, but discovering what everyone wants and fighting for that. 

Leaders must appreciate that leadership is about continually searching for common needs and involves conversation, both listening and talking.

3. Know that coalitions are vital

Eisenhower knew the value of patience, and that coalitions and "political" sway were necessary to accomplishing the mission - the value of building consensus.  If you have the power now to impose your will on the group now despite what they want, will that power last and what price will you pay later for using that power now? (My first SM said bossing is like pinching a watermelon seed; the harder you squeeze, the less control you have of where it will go when it pops.)

4. There are smarter people out there.

Leaders need to stop protecting their egos and learn from whomever they can.  My first Scoutmaster blessed me with a profound gift when he taught me "You don't have to always know the answer." 

5. A pat on the back is all you need

Eisenhower boosted morale not with inspirational speeches, but with simple, honest, straightforward face-to-face conversations. Instead of handing out trophies, he gave his soldiers encouraging pats on the back. It was a humble, direct way of reaching out, and it made him a favorite of the troops.

6. Be cheerful

Eisenhower made it his business to be a positive, cheery, and upbeat. He knew optimism, like pessimism, was contagious. By remaining positive and trying to “reflect the cheerful certainty of victory” he believed he could boost individual and team morale.

Leaders shouldn’t glower, whine, complain, or pout. They must demonstrate that they are excited about the larger organizational mission and work to cultivate a sense of optimism. Dour behavior from leaders has the potential to incite organizational malaise that can spread like wildfire. Be like Ike and make sure your mannerisms and speech reflect a positive attitude.  B-P too was big on "Cheerful."

(With thanks to Samuel Bacharach, co-founder of the Bacharach Leadership Group)

 
 
 
Co-founder, Bacharach Leadership Group 
 
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 minutes ago, TAHAWK said:

I take it you mean communication of care by displaying care.

Kinda, but I would phrase it, being caring thus doing caring things (for others).  The first step then is being a caring person.  Fits well into the Scout Law.  The doing caring things for others fits into the Scout Oath "help other people at all times".

But is "caring" is all that is required?  I suggest more is needed.  The "helicopter parents" so decried here all care. 

Is it always safe to say that the caring is solely about the boy or do they also want their son to be successful because if not it would reflect poorly on their parenting skills.  Or they are vicariously reaping "good things" from making sure their son is successful, especially when striving for Eagle.  Could also be a competitive thing of keeping up with the Joneses.

The Scoutmaster I noted above - the one man band - cares a great deal. 

About the boys or his own image/success?  Remember Servant Leadership is all about service/caring for others, not oneself, i.e. back to help other people at all times.  At all times doesn't leave much room for caring about oneself.

He devotes many hours each week to "his" troop.  However, he simply does not have a clue about what goals Scouting says he is supposed to be working towards, much less how to get there.  But he cares.  And from caring does everything "for the boys." 

If that be the case, why all the bling on the shirt?  Each one earned by the boys to make the SM look good.  Sorry I don't buy it "for the boys." 

He had told me if would be "cruel" to expect the Scouts to plan and lead program. They "are just kids."   Scoutmaster of the Year.

And as long as they stay that way, he stays in the limelight.  Just kids?  Ooooh such arrogance.  His job, if he is caring FOR THE BOYS, shouldn't his efforts be towards helping them be leaders rather than stealing their opportunities to grow and mature?  Yes, my former SM that I worked under was exactly like this man and he was finally removed from his position by the COR because of abuse.

Just because management requires some of the same skills as leadership, does that mean they are the same?  If so, skill in chopping wood makes you a headsman.  :ph34r:

:)No, going out into the ax yard and chopping up enough wood so the GrubMaster can do up a nice DO dinner and enough wood for a nice evening campfire is what leadership is all about.  That scout will make himself indispensable to the others and will look to him for help and support (obviously taking him up in popularity points for one thing.)  That likability factor alone may cause another to come around the next day asking the leader if he can help cut wood too.  Just because he had a likeability to him.

Some of my scouts figure this out and really capitalize on it, others get stuck in their own concerns and really don't worry about anyone other than themselves and their perceived image.  This is why older scouts don't like babysitting the younger ones because they don't care.  Every older boy that even so much as handed out helping bread crumbs to the younger boys will find himself sought after on a regular basis.

Bill thought leadership was accomplishing a "job" through others.  So did Ike.  Bill speaks with some authority as he pretty much invented what we call Boy Scouting here in the U.S.A., inclusive of elected leaders.  He was "the foremost influence on development of the Boy Scouting program."  Boy Scouts of America, Scouting, September, 1985 at p. 26.  "Scoutmaster to the World"  Journal of Scouting History (1993)   Ike?  Well, he accomplished some remarkable things as a leader.

And of course we can all see in a heartbeat that he went and did this all for his own personal glory and fame!  I don't think so.  GBB did it for others, look at his pictures of his uniform, tell me he did all this for his own benefit!  NO, he was a walking talking example of Servant Leadership is all about, he served every boy that signed up for the program.  He dedicated his life to the boys and the people at that time knew it.

Bill cared, and so he planned and led a massive leadership training program (Brownsea Double Two) as part of his effort to save Scouting from the awful "Improved Scouting Program" of 1972, and he actively supported Wood Badge, despite misgivings, for twenty years after it shifted from his preference of all Scoutcraft T-F to a focus on "leadership skills." (I suspect he would be horrified by the third, indoor version.)

Of course he would, it's a management course, not a leadership course.  It's all focused on getting the job done. 

"Again and again we come back to the important point that you can’t expect a gang of boys to build a good Patrol without a boy leader who has been trained to lead."  Boy Scouts of America, Scoutmaster's Handbook, (1953), W. Hillcourt, Ed.

And here's where I stumble a bit with the comment.  After working with mission minded church youth, service minded scouting, and such, I really don't think one can train leadership.  How does one train someone to care about helping other people at all times.  It's a lot easier to teach them management skills, like measuring goals, identifying problems, etc, kinda things.  Those are teachable, but how does one teach someone to care?

As for Ike, he said “Leadership is the art of getting someone else to do something you want done because he wants to do it.”  Eisenhower.  I think that's a pretty good few words that means a lot to me, especially the "because he wants to" part.  

Aha, here one is mixing leadership with management.  If I want something done, I can pay someone and they will want to do it.  Or the reverse, If you don't do it, I won't pay you, i.e. could lose your job.  I can threaten someone and they will want to do it (to avoid any pain).  I can lie to them so they do it thinking there's something more there.  There's a lot of ways "leadership" is acted out and each of these examples focuses on getting the job done, and in this case with willing human resources that are motivated in many positive and negative ways, but it doesn't really matter as long as the task gets done.  I will assure everyone that if there's any other motive beyond helping other people at all times, it will run afoul of the Scout Law.

If they don't follow for whatever reason(s), the job will not get done.  (That is especially true in Scouting where most of the "players" can "vote with their feet.") 

You are correct, but the issue here is not just getting the job done, but the fact that no one is following.  LEADership means there's people out there following.  If no one is following, the job can still get done, you just have to do it yourself because you have no followers.  And keep it in mind that voting with feet works both ways.  Follower feet walk towards the leader and now what in the world would motivate that?  He's a good planner?  The job's pleasant?  or I like that leader and want to do nice things for him because he as done nice things for me.  We're back at square #1, caring.

Ike had six "rules" for the leader that sound pretty good, some of the same stuff you have taught us over the years, Stosh, if in different words.

1. Don’t take yourself seriously

Eisenhower said, “Always take your job seriously, never yourself.”

If you are going to help other people at all times, don't take your job serious, take other people's concerns seriously and help them at all times.

His first priority was getting the job done, and he knew that humor helped. He said, “A sense of humor is part of the art of leadership, of getting along with people, of getting things done.”

A corps of people around you that like you because you're nice to them will do more for you getting the job done than people who don't like you because you don't care about them in the first place.

Leaders need to be serious and focused when pushing (or shared agendas because people want to be part of what you're doing) agendas, even agenda's that have strong support from the players, but they must have a sense of humor - especially at their own expense - throughout the process. Humor helps smooth the inevitable bumps in the road.  But everyone can be dead serious when tasked with a difficult task when everyone cares about each other.

2. A leader doesn’t simply order people around

Eisenhower believed that leadership didn’t come from barking orders or mandating action. He said, “You do not lead by hitting people over the head. That’s assault, not leadership.” At the core of this sentiment is the idea that leadership isn’t about simply pushing your own ideas. It’s about a conversation that demands respect and listening--from both sides.  If you care first, they will respond in like kind.  One doesn't need to demand respect, it is freely given because they received it first, and they will thus want to listen and share in the experience.

Getting people to move to where you want them to go is a subtle process that involves dialogue and interaction. It’s not about defining what you as a leader want, but discovering what everyone wants and fighting for that. BINGO, a good leader already knows what everyone else wants because he cared enough to find out first.

Leaders must appreciate that leadership is about continually searching for common needs and involves conversation, both listening and talking.  Yes, that goes without saying!

3. Know that coalitions are vital

Eisenhower knew the value of patience, and that coalitions and "political" sway were necessary to accomplishing the mission - the value of building consensus. One looks pretty crumby if the leader cares about you and you don't care about him. If you have the power now to impose your will on the group now despite what they want. No, you have the power because you are doing what they want done in the first place.  You have beat them to the punch. will that power last and what price will you pay later for using that power now? Nope, you've already got them on your side because you are doing it for them.  (My first SM said bossing is like pinching a watermelon seed; the harder you squeeze, the less control you have of where it will go when it pops.)  That is true, but if that seed is entrusted with real trust to someone else, it will get to where it is supposed to without needing to pinch anything.  :)

4. There are smarter people out there.

Leaders need to stop protecting their egos and learn from whomever they can.  My first Scoutmaster blessed me with a profound gift when he taught me "You don't have to always know the answer." A good leader is an even better follower.  Teamwork is knowing which person is the best leader for the task at that precise moment.  The PL lets the Grubmaster "run the show" at meal time, DUH!

5. A pat on the back is all you need

Eisenhower boosted morale not with inspirational speeches, but with simple, honest, straightforward face-to-face conversations. Instead of handing out trophies, he gave his soldiers encouraging pats on the back. It was a humble, direct way of reaching out, and it made him a favorite of the troops. is a pat on the back nothing more than letting someone know you recognize them and care about them?

6. Be cheerful

Eisenhower made it his business to be a positive, cheery, and upbeat. He knew optimism, like pessimism, was contagious. By remaining positive and trying to “reflect the cheerful certainty of victory” he believed he could boost individual and team morale.

Leaders shouldn’t glower, whine, complain, or pout. They must demonstrate that they are excited about the larger organizational mission and work to cultivate a sense of optimism. Dour behavior from leaders has the potential to incite organizational malaise that can spread like wildfire. Be like Ike and make sure your mannerisms and speech reflect a positive attitude.  B-P too was big on "Cheerful."

LOL!  Who wants to follow a grumpy nay-sayer?  How is that taking care of your people?  Grumpy people are the classic example of self-indulged immaturity.  That is not in the formula for leadership or even management for that matter.

(With thanks to Samuel Bacharach, co-founder of the Bacharach Leadership Group)

(With thanks to Robert K Greenleaf, founder of the Greenleaf Center for Servant Leadership)

Good post @TAHAWK, we agree more than you think we do and I realize it too.

 
 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The future struggle of Patrol Method is evident just in the discussion.

Can a group of youth grow from their experience of working together? Of course, I have experienced it as a youth and monitored it as an adult. But in both experiences, I know what I was looking at, and looking for. I'm not sure the BSA can do much toward encouraging Patrol Method practice to future generations that haven't experienced it, much less know what it looks like. Books! I've suggested on this forum many times to letting scouts run their patrols using only the BSA handbooks, only to be judged as an adult telling scouts what to do (I guess because the books were written by adults).

 If adults here don't trust the handbooks (and why are they even in the BSA), then how can we hope for some kind of national consistency of applying Patrol Method.  Probably 50% of my posts on this forum  go toward balancing theories of applying Patrol Method. For example, I am amazed at the pontification just for how scouts should select their leaders.  If the adult has that much invested just for leader selection, imagine their struggle with the rest of a scout's experience.  The guidelines for selecting leaders are clearly given in their handbooks. 

I just don't see how the BSA can bring the adult membership as a whole together on Patrol Method without some great effort at a national level. And since Patrol Method isn't viewed as political, I don't see National giving it a lot of attention.

Barry

  • Upvote 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Eagledad said:

The future struggle of Patrol Method is evident just in the discussion.

Can a group of youth grow from their experience of working together? Of course, I have experienced it as a youth and monitored it as an adult. But in both experiences, I know what I was looking at, and looking for. I'm not sure the BSA can do much toward encouraging Patrol Method practice to future generations that haven't experienced it, much less know what it looks like. Books! I've suggested on this forum many times to letting scouts run their patrols using only the BSA handbooks, only to be judged as an adult telling scouts what to do (I guess because the books were written by adults).

 If adults here don't trust the handbooks (and why are they even in the BSA), then how can we hope for some kind of national consistency of applying Patrol Method.  Probably 50% of my posts on this forum  go toward balancing theories of applying Patrol Method. For example, I am amazed at the pontification just for how scouts should select their leaders.  If the adult has that much invested just for leader selection, imagine their struggle with the rest of a scout's experience.  The guidelines for selecting leaders are clearly given in their handbooks. 

I just don't see how the BSA can bring the adult membership as a whole together on Patrol Method without some great effort at a national level. And since Patrol Method isn't viewed as political, I don't see National giving it a lot of attention.

Barry

Thanks, Barry.  All good points.

And, yes, I think we do need a national figure head to give guidance to Scouters on how to ensure the Patrol Method is properly utilized in their respective Troops.  Maybe he/she could write monthly articles in Boys' Life lifting up the Patol Leaders and encouraging Scouts to make the most of their Patrol fun and adventure.  Wait, this sounds like a familiar concept...;)

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 minutes ago, LeCastor said:

Maybe he/she could write monthly articles in Boys' Life lifting up the Patol Leaders and encouraging Scouts to make the most of their Patrol fun and adventure.  Wait, this sounds like a familiar concept...;)

I just submitted a request to Boys Life to start that up again. I told them I knew some people that could write the columns. We'll see!

  • Upvote 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
22 minutes ago, MattR said:

I just submitted a request to Boys Life to start that up again. I told them I knew some people that could write the columns. We'll see!

Thanks, @MattR!  I hope you'll let us know what you hear back!

Also, these Boys' Life reprints of Green Bar Bill's articles are pure gold.  I'm lucky to have found them in our Troop storage closet where they had been languishing for far too long.

IMG_3123.JPG

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×