A few years ago I was the “new guy”; all I knew about Boy Scouts was what I had seen in movies and had never held any kind of leadership position in my life.
Fast-forward to now: I’ve been a Patrol Leader and a Senior Patrol Leader. As Senior Patrol Leader I led my Troop planning and running all the activities for a Spring Camporee that hundreds of Scouts attended. I’ve been through a lot and had many awesome adventures I will never forget.
It all started with a simple ambition; to be a good leader.
I joined Scouting and learned Scouting was led by the Scouts. From that moment I decided I was going to be a Scout who was a leader. If you’re reading this my guess is that you feel the same way!
Maybe you’re the new guy; maybe just older or more popular Scouts fill the leadership positions in your Troop.
Maybe you already have a leadership position but aren’t quite sure how to lead.
You want to be a good leader, but how do you get there?
All of the success I’ve had as a leader is based on one important quality I discovered during my very first position of responsibility: Quartermaster!
Being Troop Quartermaster is no picnic; it is a lot of work with very little glory. Our Troop trailer was a giant pile of broken-down camping gear. I was excited at first, but my excitement soon turned to disappointment when I saw that trailer.
Maybe leadership wasn’t all that I had imagined.
I had a decision to make. Did I want to serve myself or my Troop?
It was a hard decision for me, but I chose my Troop. I gave Quartermastership my best effort, did a really good job, and from then on there was no looking back! I am glad I made the right decision!
The answer to one question is the ‘big secret’ to true success in leadership; who are you in it for: yourself or the team?
If you want to be a leader just to be someone important, you may get a position, but neither you or your Troop will get much out of the experience.
If your goal is to serve your fellow Scouts, you will always be successful in leadership. Even if you never get any glory.
Are you in it for yourself or for the team? Leave a comment below or join the discussion at the GreenBar life forum.
In part two I’ll let you know how to build the skills that make great leaders!