Third in a series of thoughts about looking ahead:
Who are our key unit leaders for the next five years?
Typical Scout units change key leaders every three to five years. Anyone in a leadership position, especially key positions, should have their eye on suitable replacements. Responsible outgoing leaders should see that there is a clear plan in place for those who will take on their positions.
Several months prior to the change the new leader and the outgoing leader should be working together. New leaders should be trained before they are actually in the position and need to observe the outgoing leader actually doing the job.
Once it is time to hand things over a simple ceremonious announcement to Scouts and their families is in order (preferably at a court of honor or blue and gold banquet). This is important in reassuring everyone that the unit will continue to be healthy.
After the hand over the outgoing leader should remain involved enough to advise the new leader when advice is requested and address any concerns that may arise.
Not very transition is amicable or planned. Sometimes people suddenly quit or must be removed from their position. They can be less than gracious and cause needless drama. They may leave a key position open with no obvious replacement in sight. Scout units can die a pretty quick death in these circumstances.
We can avoid untold unpleasantness by planning and managing key leadership transitions. Looking ahead a few years by recruiting, training and supporting potential key leaders is important to a stable program.
Other articles in this series: