Read this at Seth Godin’s blog
Compliance is simple to measure, simple to test for and simple to teach. Punish non-compliance, reward obedience and repeat.
Initiative is very difficult to teach to 28 students in a quiet classroom. It’s difficult to brag about in a school board meeting. And it’s a huge pain in the neck to do reliably.
Schools like teaching compliance. They’re pretty good at it.
To top it off, until recently the customers of a school or training program (the companies that hire workers) were buying compliance by the bushel. Initiative was a red flag, not an asset.
Of course, now that’s all changed. The economy has rewritten the rules, and smart organizations seek out intelligent problem solvers. Everything is different now. Except the part about how much easier it is to teach compliance.
Scouting teaches initiative. We aim at fostering intelligent problem solvers rather than compliant followers. The distinction between compliance and initiative reveals how well we are developing youth leadership.
Mentoring leaders who sort things out for themselves requires confidence in the underlying concepts of Scouting. Manufacturing compliance is much simpler.
Being aware of the difference between the two and how our actions and words create initiative or demand compliance is a key to successful Scoutmastership.