Re: Credit for leadership positions
Bruce E. Cobern (bec@PIPELINE.COM)
Fri, 6 Jun 1997 11:07:46 -0400
From: Joseph Alessi <JosephAlessi@COMPUSERVE.COM>
Date: Friday, June 06, 1997 9:44 AM
<< Jon Dixon wrote:
>> It isn't fair for them to
serve in a position for the required time only to have someone later say
that what was done wasn't sufficient. If you don't make it clear to
them what they need to do, then it is your fault they haven't done it. <<
As I stated, I "preach" national policy on this issue. The problem I
however, is that I feel that this approach is in conflict with the "boy
led" scouting, which I feel is more important. I believe that the boys
should decide when and if a youth leader needs to be replaced. Learning
pay attention to who you elect and appoint is important. Living with and
handling an SPL who doesn't do the job is a good learning experience for
the boys. >>
First of all, I agree with Jon that it would be improper to apply a
performance standard "after the fact." Any time I sit on a board and hear
complaints about how a Scout performed in a job the first question I ask
is whether he had been informed of where he was deficient and given a
chance to correct his performance.
As I said in another reply, Joe and I are almost always on the same page,
including here. I also, "preach" the national policy whenever I am asked.
However, I believe there are ways to fully comply with the letter of the
national policy and still have some quality control over the job being
done by the Scout in the position of responsibility. For example, just
because the national policy implies that if a Scout is not doing the job
he should be removed, it does not necessarily mean that it has to be the
SM or other adults who remove him. The members of the patrol or the PLC
can do that. And, maybe their willingness to tolerate the performance
level without taking action indicates that the performance is acceptable
to their standards.
<< I would rather have the PLC set down criteria for each position,
the approval of the SM. At the end of a person's term, the scout should
evaluate himself against the criteria, and sit down with the PLC to
determine if he met the criteria. If so, he gets credit.
Again, that's not policy, so that's not what I preach. It is what I'd
It might not be policy if it was unilaterally imposed, and while we cannot
add requirements, there is nothing in the policy that says the Scout, by
way of a SM conference, for example, cannot agree to certain performance
standards. If, during the SM conference you discuss with the Scout what
is expected of him and he agrees to a certain performance level, then you
have a right to hold him to that level and should periodically evaluate
with him whether he is meeting the standard that he has set for himself.
Should he not be, and admits it, then I think you can ask him why he feels
he should be given allowed to advance when he has not met the standard
that he set for himself. I think it would be perfectly appropriate to
have the PLC evaluation you mention figured into this process. Thus, the
Scout could AGREE to perform to the satisfaction of the PLC.
Clearly, any procedure like this has the possibility that a Scout can not
perform, and then demand to advance because he "held" the position.
However, your position will be much stronger for denial on Scout Spirit
grounds, and, in most cases, you should be able to get the Scout to agree
that he has not lived up to his commitments.
Bruce E. Cobern
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City