We tend to focus only on directive leadership roles when we are thinking about engaging our Scouts in leadership, but every Scout can (and ought to) be a leader. Here’s some thoughts you can use to encourage all of your Scouts to engage in leadership.
Leadership is much more than standing in front of the group giving directions.
There are four ways every Scout is a leader –
First you lead yourself, second you follow cooperatively, third you help your fellow Scouts, and fourth you shape the directions and plans for your patrol and troop. You may be all four kinds of leader at once, other times you may be focused on a particular way of leading, all four ways are equally important.
Self-leadership means being prepared in whatever you do, having personal initiative and character, taking care of yourself spiritually, mentally and physically.
If you are prepared, you’ll be able to participate actively and help your fellow Scouts. Being prepared means you don’t have to depend on others so that others or can depend on you.
Examples of self-leadership:
- When you go camping you have the gear you need, and know where to find it.
- You have practiced the skills required to take care of yourself and help your fellow Scouts.
- During any activity you are focused on participating rather than just watching.
- Cooperative Leadership
Being cooperative means supporting each other in working towards a goal.
Examples of cooperative leadership:
- Listening attentively to directions, and asking questions when you don’t understand.
- Being patient and cheerful when things are difficult.
- Doing your best to contribute to the activity, being active and aware of what is going on around you.
- Supportive Leadership
Supportive leaders actively assist their leaders and fellow Scouts by being kind, friendly and helpful at every opportunity.
Examples of supportive leadership:
- Help another Scout carry out a task.
- Share your skills and knowledge with other Scouts.
- Help a fellow Scout when they are discouraged.
- Directive Leadership
Once you can lead yourself, follow cooperatively and help your fellow Scouts you are ready to guide your patrol and troop. You will help direct them during activities and make plans to help your troop and patrol.
Examples of directive leadership:
- Plan a camping trip, patrol meeting, or other activity.
- Direct your fellow Scouts so they have fun and get the most out of what you have planned.
- Work with each kind of leadership in every Scout.
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