My son John recently earned the Boy Scouts of America’s highest rank, Eagle Scout. He wasn’t always sure he would make it. So many of his friends and fellow scouts had come close but time, priorities and distractions trip these young scouts up. All requirements must be met prior to your 18thbirthday.
John made it with only a few weeks to spare. He is no different than any other 18-year old or people in general for that matter. In fact, John is pretty average. He has a strong interest in motorcycles, cars and playing Xbox.
He typically waits to react to what happens rather than acting on things. When something doesn’t go right, his first inclination is to give up.
I helped keep him focused and intentional. But to be sure, I only created the environment he did the work.
Leadership over Management
Here is what I kept in front of John to help him succeed
Make Life Happen
When you let life happen, you are following along passively. Listen to others out of respect but believe and have faith in yourself. Write your own script. Don’t let life happen, make it happen.
Those Who Do More
The people who invest more in life get more out of life. You reap what you sow is an inescapable law of Nature. Do the things that others won’t do and enjoy a life that others can’t.
The computer/ cell phone, iPad, Instagram, Snapchat generation is bombarded with new, shiny, eye catching enticements. Email is too slow for this group! We need constant reminders to be aware of the pull of mass culture and societal norms away from what really matters in life.
The overall approach wasn’t too much different than my effort in the workplace as a leader. I managed John’s progress. I didn’t manage John. People respond much better to leadership than they do being managed.
To say or imply someone needs managed is a bit of an insult or a put down—as though they are not enough and your “management” will somehow make them enough.
The investment of leadership always pays off. We could say that’s another law of Nature.
Also, wouldn’t you agree that The Boy Scouts of America are more closely aligned with leadership than anything else ?
Leadership is an investment whereas management is a tactic. —Brian Braudis