Monday, August 27, 2012

The essence of leadership

I just got back from the first weekend of Wood Badge. This is my second time on staff and has been so much more relaxing than the first time. I was supposed to be a troop guide again, but we didn't have enough participants for me to have a patrol to guide. So I've been helping out wherever needed and enjoying myself.

While there I had a thought keeps coming back to me. It's a scripture in Luke chapter 22, verse 32. At the last supper, Christ tells Peter "I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren."

The thought I had was that this is the essence of Leadership. The job of the leader is to strengthen those who follow him so their faith won't fail. That's self-explanatory in a religious sense, but it could also mean faithfulness, willingness to work, reliability, etc. The leader strengthens the follower so that he is eventually "converted" and can act on his own. The strengthening and conversion comes through inspiring followers with a vision, helping them develop a plan of action, and giving them the tools necessary to follow that plan. Of course, a great leader will also be praying for those he leads, recognizing that the best help comes from above.

Finally, the purpose of leadership is to develop other leaders who can then go out and strengthen their brethren in the same way they were strengthened.

That's what we do at Wood Badge. We inspire Scouters with a vision. We help them develop a plan of action (the ticket) so that they can go out and work to accomplish their vision. We give them tools they need to do so. And then when they are converted, we ask them to strengthen those they work with by sharing the knowledge they gained. Hopefully they will eventually serve on the staff of another Wood Badge course to continue strengthening others.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Just a little lost...

I was officially released from the young men on Sunday, when we sustained the new YM president in our ward. I know he will be great for our youth and will do a fantastic job with them. I'm confident he will continue the work I started with the Venturing program in our ward and I expect he will do several things much better than I did.

The problem is that now I don't know what to do with myself. I've been living and breathing Venturing for the last four years and it is really hard to let go and turn things over to someone else.

I'm still on the Venturing round table staff for our district, but I wonder if I should let that go too. Since I'm now the chartered organization rep, I kind of think I ought to attend round tables for each of the programs, perhaps rotating through them. I think I need to learn more about the other programs.

I've wondered about replacing my Venturing green uniform with the Boy Scout khaki. I know I could wear the COR patch on my green shirt, but it doesn't match and I think it would look funny. Of course, there's a chance I won't be in that position for too long. The 1st counselor in our Bishopric is threatening to move once his boys leave on their missions in November. If past patterns are any indication I'd move to that spot when he leaves removing me from Scouts all together, so it might not be worth buying a new uniform.

I'll probably finally break down and register as a merit badge counselor, but after four years preaching that merit badges are not part of Venturing, I haven't been able to do it yet.

I'm staffing Wood Badge this weekend--that will be nice. But I'm less excited about it this year. There are a few reasons for that, but mostly it's all the changes I'm going through (I think).

I guess I just need to start over. From the top. I need to read the literature relevant to my position and get myself trained as best I can.

It's just hard to change.