When I was a Patrol Leader, Bill (the Senior Patrol Leader) and I weren’t seeing eye to eye. Bill was a good Scout who took his responsibilities seriously, but he ordered us around, picked on little details, and lectured my Patrol if we overlooked something.
If we didn’t do it Bill’s way, his displeasure fell like a cold rain on our whole Patrol.
Another Senior Patrol Leader, Jules, was the exact opposite. Jules gave a general order or two, but not much else. His laid-back personality was friendly, but he left his Scouts unsure of exactly what he expected.
Most leadership styles fall somewhere between the extremes of being way too particular (like Bill) or way too easy-going (like Jules).
As a Patrol Leader, I tended to ‘micromanage’ like Bill, until I learned of a third option.
The third option isn’t easy at first, but anyone can learn how with practice. In fact, I think learning the third option is the difference between a successful Patrol Leader and a failed Patrol Leader.
It’s the most vital job in a Patrol and the Patrol Leader is the only one with the authority to make it happen. Without the third option, a Patrol will be a disorganized, uninspired mess.
Have you guessed what the third option is yet? It’s so simple most Patrol Leaders miss it.
The third option is: The Patrol Leader delegates responsibilities to every member of the Patrol.
You can’t be a successful Patrol if only one or two Scouts do all the work and the rest are just along for the ride.
A real Patrol is a whole team working together. Everyone wants to be important; delegation makes each Scout vital to the success of the Patrol.
Each Scout in your patrol is like a gear in a giant mechanical clock. A clockmaker assembles the gears to make a working clock; the Patrol leader delegates responsibilities to each individual Scout to make a working Patrol.
How, precisely, does this work? Over the next couple of articles I’ll share what I have learned about the third option.
Does your personality affect your leadership? Are you ‘laid-back’ like Jules or are you the ‘strictly business’ type like Bill? Which extreme do your lean towards the most? Leave a comment below and let me know!