Monday, May 10, 2010

A brief lesson in leadership

If you are a regular reader of this blog, then you know my older son recently has transitioned from Cub Scouts to Boy Scouts. And if you are familiar with the Scouting program, then you know that Cub Scouts is run differently than Boy Scouts.

My son learned a valuable lesson in how the adult leaders run the Scout meetings.

Because Cub Scouts works under the assumption that the adult leader is in charge, my son has spent the past five years watching me, his den leader and Cubmaster, operate in a very hands-on way. At times, that means making sure the Scouts are where they are supposed to be, paying attention, are quiet and otherwise behaved. (In this way I see many comparisons to an elementary school teacher.)

However, Boy Scouts works under the assumption that a patrol leader -- a Boy Scout -- is in charge. It struck my son that his Scoutmaster, who is one of the greatest men you could ever meet, was very hands-off at the weekly meetings.

My son wanted to know why.

And what he learned was a valuable lesson in leadership.

"I don't need to stand over them and watch what they do," John Welsh said. "They're in charge, and they know I trust them."

Then as he continued to look right at my son, he said, "Remember what I said. I trust my guys."

My son, satisfied with that answer, smiled and said, "Cool."

An important lesson indeed.

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