A Scout is Helpful. It’s right there in the Scout Law. Number three. A Scout cares about other people. He willingly volunteers to help others without expecting a reward.
Except… when helping someone takes away an opportunity for them to help themselves.
Of course we want to help. But as we know, helping others doesn’t mean doing their work for them. You wouldn’t “help” your child by doing her homework, would you?
Much of the time, we are tempted to just jump in, grab the wheel and take care of a task ourselves if we feel it’s expedient, or we know how to do it better. Continue reading “The best way to help? Don’t.”
To err is human, said the poet Alexander Pope over three hundred years ago. Everyone makes mistakes. Scouts make mistakes. In fact, the Scouting program is built partly to allow young people to safely make mistakes and learn from them. In the words of Samuel Beckett, No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.
But while making mistakes is a common and not often fatal attribute, in certain cases they can cause disruption in an organization. The fatality arises from the inability to recognize mistakes for what they are.
You’ve probably encountered someone who just can’t admit having made a mistake. Continue reading “Even leaders make mistakes”
A couple weeks ago, I was at a quarterly Court of Honor for one of the Scouts BSA troops in the area. I had been invited to give a Friends of Scouting presentation to the troop families. As was customary with the troop, the master of ceremonies asked each patrol’s Scouts to introduce themselves by name and rank and to tell their position of responsibility.
I noted that most of the Scouts would say “I don’t have a position in the troop” before concluding their introduction by telling their favorite video game. That didn’t seem right to me – there were only four or five out of thirty or so Scouts who said they had a position. Continue reading “Lead before you’re a leader”
It’s said that there are three secrets to giving a presentation: Tell them what you’re going to tell them, tell them, and tell them what you told them.
This approach is actually quite successful. You want to hook your audience with a taste of what’s to come before delving into the details of your message. You also want to make sure they don’t forget by summarizing what you just said at the end, in case their attention wandered during your talk – the too long, didn’t read version. Continue reading “Win your audience”
I’ve had the opportunity to review several Eagle Scout leadership service projects over the years. Just as each Scout is different, so is their level of preparation for their projects. Some have mapped out their projects down to every screw and nail, while others give a more general description of what is being proposed or what was actually done.
I was confronted with the same sort of thing when we were embarking on a family vacation recently. My son likes to plan every aspect of the trip, down to what, where and when, and make all the arrangements. My wife, on the other hand, likes to be more spontaneous and not cling to a fixed plan – rather, intending to decide what to do on the spur of the moment.
There are pros and cons to each sort of approach. Continue reading “Do you plan, or “wing it”?”