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Leadership as "Authenticity"

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1 hour ago, ParkMan said:

I think this points to a shift in philosophy that someone practicing authentic leadership has to make.

If the BSA wanted to follow an authentic leadership approach, it would need to stop directing and instructing units.  The BSA (at the national and council level) would really need to embody more of a trusted advisor or consultant work model.  A commissioner (or other similar leader) should never come into a unit and start instructing leaders.  Instead, a commissioner would need to employ a rule of "don't offer advice, but respond to requests for help."  The commissioner should only step in unasked in cases where there is danger to youth from inaction.

Regardless of what the paperwork may say, in 2020, our culture appears to respond much better to consulting help than correction help.  This also fits better conceptually to a authentic or servant leadership model.

Even a "How are things going?" "What are some of the challenges you are struggling with?" "How can I help you?" Is better than doing what the UC did for my unit this February. Come in, observe one meeting, and then send a recommendation list. I thought I was able to smooth things over, but the other day the UC emailed me, I guess he's having a hard time reaching our CC and SM. I told him I'd do my best to help, but I'm "retired." 

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, David CO said:

My diocese encourages teenagers to attend these pro-life rallies.  I really don't care if you approve or not.  It's not your call.

 

Wow. This is where your scouting hat has to be put over your Catholic hat.  I'm Catholic, at least by tradition, and I've supported you on some of your statements because I know what it's like out there. But the diocese does not direct what scouts do. The scouts do. That's what it means by boy led. And scouting adults do not put youth in situations like that. Scouts is not a religious organization. It's a youth organization that honors the importance of religion. Many religions. There's no road map for what you are espousing. 

Edited by yknot
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1 minute ago, TAHAWK said:

Let me try being even more clear.  "Presenting the colors" meant a color guard of uniformed Scouts walking down the center aisle carrying the national and respective religious flags, posting them on command, and leaving the room..  Not a wafer to be seen during that process.  Same at either Catholic or Methodist churches.  That Archbishop went away and his rule with him.  The new Archbishop did not "see" what the former Archbishop and you "see."

I think your first comment was perfectly clear. It's a prudential judgment and it's well within the bounds of the Archbishop to allow, or not. Catholics are free to agree or disagree on whether it actually matters(I don't think it does), but A Scout is obedient, and a Catholic is obedient to the Archbishop when it's something within the Archbishops authority. Maybe his logic in not carrying the flag of a Church not in Communion with the Catholic church, is it's an endorsement or agreement of the Methodist church to carry their flag. I don't necessarily agree, but I wouldn't and don't worry about it that much. I'm surprised it even came up. I'd hope Archbishops have more pressing things to worry about. 

I brought up communion because many people( not you specifically) are confused why Catholics aren't to take communion at Churches not in communion with Rome, and why non-Catholics cannot receive the Eucharist at Catholic Churches. Figured it's good context. 

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Posted (edited)
7 minutes ago, yknot said:

Wow. This is where your scouting hat has to be put over your Catholic hat.  I'm Catholic, at least by tradition, and I've supported you on some of your statements because I know what it's like out there. But the diocese does not direct what scouts do. The scouts do. That's what it means by boy led. And scouting adults do not put youth in situations like that. Scouts is not a religious organization. It's a youth organization that honors the importance of religion. Many religions. There's no road map for what you are espousing. 

Maybe DavidCo's last comment can clarify that he's not using his troop to attend Pro Life Marches... It's part of the school he teaches at.

Maybe this thread could use a couple hours being locked so people can read through all the posts and we can get back on topic, myself included....if there is even a topic to get back to. 

Edited by Sentinel947
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5 minutes ago, yknot said:

And scouting adults do not put youth in situations like that. Scouts is not a religious organization.

This it the problem where COs view scouting as "their" program they get to run "their" way in open and flagrant defiance of BSA's rules, especially in the area of religion and politics.

 

Quote

 

Policy on Scout Participation in Political Events

Uniformed unit members and leaders may participate in flag ceremonies at political events and may lead the Pledge of Allegiance; however, they should retire after the ceremony and not remain on the speakers’ platform or in a conspicuous location where attendees or viewers could construe their presence as an endorsement or symbol of support. In addition, photos of candidates or Scouts in uniform or with BSA marks and logos are not allowed in political campaign materials of any kind.

Volunteers and professionals must be alert to situations that would imply BSA favoritism for one candidate over another. Strict observance of our longstanding policy against the active participation of uniformed Scouts and leaders in political events is mandatory.

 

And

Quote

 

Freedom

Clause 3. In no case where a unit is connected with a church or other distinctively religious organization shall members of other denominations or faiths be required, because of their membership in the unit, to take part in or observe a religious ceremony distinctly unique to that organization or church.

 

 

 

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Posted (edited)

"Maybe this thread could use a couple hours being locked so people can read through all the posts and we can get back on topic, myself included....if there is even a topic to get back to. " @Sentinel947

I agree. Locked.

@MattR  @John-in-KC

May the VP debate tonight be less contentious. 

~ RS

Edited by RememberSchiff

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Posted (edited)

Something to reflect on and consider applying to Scouting, the final question on tonight's VP debate came from an eighth grader.

When I watch the news, all I see is arguing between Democrats and Republicans. When I watch the news, all I see is citizen fighting against citizen. When I watch the news, all I see are two candidates from opposing parties trying to tear each other down. If our leaders can’t get along, how are the citizens supposed to get along?

Our nation’s capital is setting a poor example of unity and respect. No matter who we are and what we stand for, we all want to be heard and we all want to be acknowledged, but no one wants to listen or understand the person on the other side of the line.

Nothing is going to change until someone breaks this trend of arguments and anger. Each citizen is accountable and each citizen has their agency to not allow our country to be divided by differing opinions. Your examples could make all the difference to bring us together. How is your presidency going to unite and heal our country?

                                                                                             Brecklynn Brown, eighth grader 

Topic is unlocked.

Edited by RememberSchiff
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37 minutes ago, RememberSchiff said:

 

Nothing is going to change until someone breaks this trend of arguments and anger. Each citizen is accountable and each citizen has their agency to not allow our country to be divided by differing opinions. Your examples could make all the difference to bring us together. How is your presidency going to unite and heal our country?

                                                                                             Brecklynn Brown, eighth grader 

 

The truthful answer is that neither candidate's presidency will unite and heal our country.  One side will win the election.  One side will lose.  The anger and division will continue.  The same is true of scouting.  We will have winners and losers.  We will never have unity.

 

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, David CO said:

The truthful answer is that neither candidate's presidency will unite and heal our country.  One side will win the election.  One side will lose.  The anger and division will continue.  The same is true of scouting.  We will have winners and losers.  We will never have unity.

 

I'm OK with that too.  People passionately advocating for their beliefs and positions is just good old fashioned democracy.  I suspect that the founders of the country had as equally contentious debates as we all do today.  

To me, the lesson I work to remember in my own life is that we're people first.  Our commonalities far outweigh our differences.  We may disagree on various issues - even to the point of frustration.  Yet underneath it all we are decent people just trying to provide for our families, raise our kids, and leave the world a little better place than when we got here.

Edited by ParkMan
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Posted (edited)
14 hours ago, RememberSchiff said:

"Maybe this thread could use a couple hours being locked so people can read through all the posts and we can get back on topic, myself included....if there is even a topic to get back to. " @Sentinel947

I agree. Locked.

@MattR  @John-in-KC

May the VP debate tonight be less contentious. 

~ RS

What, a two hour break to do what? Change a mind?

I'm disappointed by how this thread has been moderated. Rare are the discussions today about ideas and experiences for developing better adult skills to aid working with the Scouts. And this is a scouting forum. We finally have a worthy discussion that could leaders provide some tools to adult leaders for helping them with their Scouts, and it gets derailed by a single member who is openly rooting for the demise of the BSA. 

It wasn't so long ago the moderators disciplined me for using the word "ignorance" in it's correct form. One member, who also had a reputation for being contentious, was ignorant of the word "ignorance" complained and I was taken to the wood shed. 

Contentious?. Read the first post on this subject and explain how this discussion could be continuous? The only way this discussion could become continuous is by someone taking the subject off of it's rails and send it off in the weeds. And it's not like this is a divided subject with several different views based on political or pop cultural ideals. One angry member is turning several scouting discussions into personal opportunities of disparaging rants at the community of members who are simply here to become better scouters. Which means it's not continuous, it's just one persons venomous spewing pulling the rest of the list into the mud.

I have a lot of respect for the challenging and difficult task of moderating fairly, but this thread is an example that if moderators don't calm the tone of members who obviously misdirect discussions into their personal black holes, no subject is safe. Well except one, I look forward holding him accountable in the Patrol Method forum. I realize there is a fine line to letting discussions take rabbit trails and holding the discussion to the subject, but there isn't a divide among members on this discussion. There is one unhappy member driving the thread for his personal agenda.

Barry

Edited by Eagledad
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31 minutes ago, Eagledad said:

What, a two hour break to do what? Change a mind?

Open some minds, at least that was my hope.

RS

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38 minutes ago, Eagledad said:

We finally have a worthy could leaders provide some tools to adult leaders for helping them with their Scouts, and it gets derailed by a single member who is openly rooting for the demise of the BSA. 

That I think is key to all of this. It isn't as if this is a debate about how to make BSA better, the individual simply wants to see the demise of BSA. That's not helpful.

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11 minutes ago, RememberSchiff said:

Open some minds, at least that was my hope.

RS

Yes, and a worthy effort. I hope it works. Or a correction has to be made. Hopefully, not at the expense of the rest of the group.

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@Eagledad - I appreciate your frustration with this topic.  I found a decent amount of the posts useful to the discussion.

Pretty early on this topic made the jump to use the BSA as a case study of authentic leadership.  I found that useful as it's one thing to talk about authentic leadership in the abstract, another to have some case studies.  I believe looking at the BSA as an example of leadership and how it is, or is not, applying authentic leadership useful.  Concepts like this always find strong agreement in the abstract - it's not till you start looking at the practical applications of it that you find out the real challenges.

I really don't mind the negative posts about the BSA.  While I don't agree with them, I have heard similar things from other Scouting volunteers for years.  I saw it as a unit volunteer, I see it now as a district volunteer.  I've sat in meetings on both sides of this discussion - listening to unit volunteers complain about district volunteers, district volunteers complain about council volunteers, council volunteers frustrated with unit volunteers, everyone frustrated with national volunteers.  If I ever get involved at the national level (unlikely - but who knows), I suspect I'll hear about their frustrations too.

To me, authentic leadership is all about leaders actively working to build mindshare in confidence in their leadership vision and skills amongst those they lead.  To me, I like to believe that the negative tone in those posts is an example of a frustrated volunteer who does not buy into the leadership vision and skills of the various leadership efforts in the BSA.  They are harsher, but still representative of what I've heard countless times of the years.  Further, I've found that a number of the replies to him telling him that he's wrong, incorrect, dangerous, you name it, are also emblematic of what we see in the BSA.  

So, in short, I find so much of this conversation germaine and an example of why authentic leadership is harder to implement than the rosy article that started this topic. I'd much rather have 10 of these topics than the ones where we skirt around the core issues and keep throwing up our hands.

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Ok, to drive this back to the topic.

Authentic leadership will mean different things depending on the level of the organization. BSA's an example.

The essay I am thinking of here is Mixed Scanning Model by Etzoni.

Quote

A mixed-scanning strategy would include elements of both approaches by employing two cameras: a broad-angle camera that would cover all parts of the sky but not in great detail, and a second one which would zero in on those areas revealed by the first camera to require a more in-depth examination. While mixed-scanning might miss areas in which only a detailed camera could reveal trouble, it is less likely than incrementalism to miss obvious trouble spots in unfamiliar areas.

National in its rule making and authority needs to think and act broadly. It has to focus on the organization as a whole ("broad-angle camera") and do so sometimes without the detailed data such as happiness of unit leaders or real time data on the effectiveness.

Unit leaders, however, think in details. John or Jane Scout. This camping trip. That merit badge.

Thus both sets of leaders can be "authentic" and still come to completely different answers.

Take YPT and its hard-to-implement aspects.

National is looking broadly and trying to envision tens of thousands (millions?) of adult-and-youth interactions each year. Every time a scout is anywhere near an adult is a potential YPT issue. They are trying to set rules that will encompass the broadest cross-section. That means that yes, in some "edge cases" it will be difficult. For example when does something stop being a "Scout event" (when YPT applies) and a "family event" (when it would not). National erred on the side of caution and made an overbroad definition that encroached on "family".

Units are looking in more detail, see the impact on families, and balked. For them, National is nuts because their rule seem arbitrary in this particular detailed case/family/day/time. They come to that conclusion in an "authentic" manner.

This does not mean National is evil or the unit leader is stupid or wants to molest kids. It means that both "sides", acting in good faith, with the information they had at the time, came to different conclusions.

Far too often (and I admit to doing this a bit) the perception is that National is simply evil people trying to hurt scouting. They aren't. I said before and I'll say again; I don't think Roger Mosby has horns, fans, and a tail. But they are operating in a situation where they are trying to set policy for millions of interactions.

As for the claim "Well National shouldn't set policies" that is simply not possible FOR LEGAL REASONS. We can complain that it shouldn't be this way, but it is. In this legal environment with National and Councils facing potentially a billion dollars in liability, they are going to act to ensure/try to ensure the program stays alive in the future (broad lens/camera). That is going to be mean losing some of the details on how it will impact individual units/scouts/unit leaders, but there's no way to do both. Thus, mixed scanning; trying to be flexible and get what information they can from both levels.

That said, it is important for unit leaders to speak up and make things clear when they aren't working. Simply refusing to adhere to BSA's rules in secret doesn't change anything either.

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