The Guiding Principles of Leadership: Get Result Build TrustThe Boy Scouts of America are founded on the Scout Oath and Scout Laws. They are what businesses call “guiding principles” for behavior and success in an organization. The Scout Oath and Scout Laws are designed to help youth make ethical and moral decisions throughout their life. but how do the Scout oath and Scout Law stand up to being used in the workforce? As it turns out, pretty well.
There is a company called Focus 3 that provides leadership, culture and behavior training and coaching to elite organizations. As I learned about their tools I wondered how they aligned to the Scout Oath and Laws and how we might use these as tools to guide our youth through the program.
There is truth to this in some part. The Boy Scouts of America strive to create a culture of discipline and fun through outdoor adventuring and learning. IN the BSA, the leaders are the youth, the adults are just the guides under the design of the Patrol Method. So do youth create culture? You bet. Culture is what you promise, promote and permit. That means if you say your culture is about integrity and respect and then you disrespect people your culture is broken – you promise it, but you do not deliver it. Leaders in organizations are judged by 2 principles: Achieving Results and Building Trust. In the Boy Scouts of America, youth are judged on how they live the Scout Oath and Laws that coincidentally line up very well.
Do My Duty
to Obey the Scout Laws
to God and My Country
Mentally Awake and Morally Straight
To keep Myself Physically Strong
To Help Other People at All Times
The Culture the Scouts create drives the behavior that they get. If the culture permits poor behavior, then the unit will have poor behavior. That poor behavior, among young people often results in stress, arguing, disrespecting others and dysfunctional units and that dysfunction erodes trust in each other and the unit falls apart. Culture is set by leaders. When youth join the Scouts, they go through the process of setting culture in their Patrols. The older youth leaders set their culture in the Senior Patrols and hold the Scouts to that performance. When that happens, the unit thrives, the Scouts succeed, outings are adventures and not “drags” and technology falls away in favor of camaraderie and the outdoors.
The Boy Scouts of America works to build the future leaders of our country, our communities and even the world. But the culture only works when it exists in and with the Scouts regardless of where they are and regardless of who is around. An Oath is your word, a solemn promise to do something, to be something. Scouting is about fun, adventure and learning to lead yourself so that you can learn to lead others. Your Scout will set Culture, and that culture determines if the unit succeeds or falls behind. It determines who stays and who might leave. And it determines if they get the Results of Eagle Scout by building Trust among Scouts or miss the mark and have some fun camping trips to remember without the award of Eagle Scout.
As an adult leader, my job is to guide youth on Leadership, Culture and Behavior using the Scout Oath and Scout Laws to set those behaviors. The results when the unit works well together is success among all Scouts that benefits the youth, the community and the nation. Welcome to BSA Troop 759.