After establishing the new leadership after elections, during the first meeting we establish the “Why” . During the second meeting we talk about “Vision”. It is my contention that it is harder to lead if you, yourself, don’t know where you are going. So during the second meeting, I challenge each of my leaders to come up with their “Vision” of what their Patrol will look like within the next 6 months. Usually, I get back from them a list of goals about what they want to do, so I have to explain to them the difference. To do this I share with them the Scoutmaster Vision for our Troop:
I want to see this troop boy run using the patrol method. I want the Patrol Leadership to work to create a fun filled program in which their patrol can have adventure, earn rank and merit badges, learn and use scout skills and do good turns. I want the Troop Leadership to support the Patrol Leaders, but also to challenge them to grow their sense of responsibility and to develop a sense of competition between the Patrols, where only their best will be acceptable. I want every boy in this Troop to know what it means to live by the Scout Oath and Law and for every boy in this troop to want to live by the Scout Oath and Law. I want the scouts to have fun.
After this, I share with them some of the goals like a campout every month, each Patrol earning the National Honor Patrol, Journey to Excellence goals, etc. Usually they see the difference and provide a vision that we can work with. Anyhow, here’s the lesson (by the way, I stole most of this from Troop 624 from Arlington VA’s PLC Syllabus):
One of the most important ideas that leaders can communicate is where they want to go. It is hard to lead if you do not have a destination in mind. We are at the beginning of a 6 month journey. When we reach the last day of this term, what will success look like to you?
You were elected or selected for a reason. For some of you, you have your new position because other Scouts saw that you were the best man for the job. For others, you were the only one that was willing to put the work in. Whatever the reason, you are the leaders of this troop, and it is your job to get lead the troop in the right direction. But before that happens… you need to know what that direction is!
Lance Armstrong’s story is an example of someone having Vision. The American cyclist had won the Tour de France several times. Then he was diagnosed with cancer and underwent surgery and chemotherapy that left him so weak he could barely pedal a bicycle around the parking lot. His personal vision was to again be the best cyclist he could. He was driven to succeed. He had a vision of what his own future success looked like – he saw himself back at the top of his sport. He visualized it Because he could see himself succeeding, he was able to figure out the steps he needed to take to get back in shape, to begin competing again, and then to win another Tour de France.
He succeeded because he had a vision of what his own future success looked like. Because he could see it, he could be it. You each need to have a picture of what your future looks like, both for yourselves individually and for the troop as a whole. If you can see it, you can be it.
A vision is a picture of where you want to be. When you can see your destination – when you can envision it – you can take the steps to reach it.
Here is an example of a personal vision: I see myself as a first-rate kayaker.
A vision does not say, “I want to do something,” or “I’d like to do something.” A vision says, “In the future, I clearly see myself in this picture of success.” You can see yourself doing it – running a kayak through white water, winning an award for you skill.
Challenge yourself and each other. Develop a vision that is so vivid that you can see yourself accomplishing it and all of the details that go with it. Then share your vision with others, get others to see it as well and you will be well on your way to becoming a leader!
Here’s all of the lessons if you are interested: Training for Leaders