Thursday, September 5, 2013

Challenges of leadership

I just got back from Wood Badge. This was my third time on staff. I'll post more about this experience later, I'm sure. Part of the effect of Wood Badge is that it gets me thinking.

I have now been involved in Scouting for about five and a half years. I know it's not as long as some, but I've had some pretty good experiences in that time. I've gone to just about every training available (and taught or staffed many of them). I've had lots of conversations with lots of other dedicated Scouters, and lots of not-so-dedicated other folks who I cannot properly call "Scouters." I've learned a lot. I've had a lot of ideas over the years about how to properly implement the Scouting programs. Some of them have been good. Some haven't. Some have worked in my own practice and some probably would work with someone better at the helm. In any case, I love Scouting. I believe in it as a tool we can use to really make a difference in the lives of our young men. 

I've also been struggling lately with how to get my current adult Scouting leaders to get the training they should have, and to start using the programs the way they were intended. It is so easy to judge them against my own thoughts and feelings and experiences, and to wish they were doing more. That's not to say they aren't doing anything--they each have their strengths. But it's so easy to look at the shortcomings. I keep thinking that if I got them to Wood Badge that they would become more converted and things would improve. But most of them aren't converted enough to go to round table, let alone Wood Badge. How do I get them to that point?

I wish there was some way I could just "download" everything I have learned and experienced and felt about Scouting from my mind and heart and implant it directly into the minds and hearts of the adult Scouting leaders in my ward. But I can't.

I could talk, and lecture, and beg, and plead, and try to persuade until the cows come home, but I'm not sure how much that will do. Maybe we would move somewhere, but it seems just as likely that everyone would just get sick of me "pestering" them.

I can't just transfer everything I have directly to them. As much as I might like the idea, it doesn't work that way. Everyone needs to learn and experience it for themselves. Nobody is ever going to have exactly the same experience I have had. What I currently have took years to develop. I can't expect anyone else to develop the same way. Hopefully, they will make a decision to try.

I can share with them my vision, but unless that starts a fire within them, it doesn't go anywhere. While outside influences can have an effect, ultimately it has to come from within.

1 comment:

  1. I think you go the "talk,....., and beg, and plead" road and then have the Stake YM Presidency "talk,....., and beg, and plead" too on Wood Badge. And then the Stake President. Whoever is converted should then "strengthen thy brethren" (Luke 22:32). It will take time for some but remember all you have to do is "convert" one then let him or her go back and tell the rest of the flock what an awesome time it was and how it helped with work, family, calling, etc. So maybe your goal should be to find the ONE and convert him or her and let them do some of the work for you!