Monday, August 2, 2010

Shadow leadership

What you see in this picture is a scout leader anonymously (I intentionally chose the shot with his face hidden) helping boys learn how to handle the Unites States flag. What you don't see here is the 4 minutes prior to the picture as he let them make a few mistakes and try on their own to manage the flag ceremony. It was clear that they'd had training and some practice, but in the pressure of the moment and with parents watching, the training was momentarily forgotten. So... the leader stepped up and whispered a few well-chosen reminders in the boy's ear.

These youngsters won't be able to do a flag ceremony completely on their own after just this one experience, but after 5 or 6 more such experiences, they will. And they won't soon forget such experiences if they are allowed to do them mostly on their own most of the time. They will own both the mistakes and the successes and will be better men for them.

That's how to lead boys and young men.
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