Re: Changing leadership-advice needed (long)
Steven G. Tyler (sgtyler@EROLS.COM)
Tue, 1 Sep 1998 14:42:25 -0400
First, congratulations/condolences on your imminent elevation to SM! ;-)
Roman J. Smith wrote, in part:
> What do I do? How do I do it? When do I do it? The main things I see that
> need to be done are:
> 1. Work with the pastor to find a new chairman and get a full committee in
Absolutely essential, IMHO. However, there are at least three models to
The first (the "official" model) is that the CC is appointed by the CO,
and s/he is responsible for recruiting the SM and other committee
members. The second is that there is an interested group of parents and
community members, who swap Scouter hats until they fit best. The third
is the "key person" model, where one person (usually the SM but
sometimes the CC) basically runs the show.
It sounds like your unit has been operating in the third mode, and
you're hoping to convert to the second mode by acting like the first
mode. *If* you have a strong and supportive CO, asking *them* to find
you a new CC *might* work, but you might not like what you get, and you
may be waiting for a long time if they're not all *that* supportive.
Better, IMHO, is to get the parents together first, explain the
situation to them, and ask each of them to volunteer to fill a role.
>From that, you may have someone willing to fill the role that you can
suggest to the pastor. Yes, I know this is *not* the textbook model, but
it stands a better chance to get someone capable and interested to serve
> 2. Get the new committee to buy into supporting the troop needs, given my
Again, I'd try to get the "buying into the troop needs" part up front,
and select the committee from among those most willing and capable of
operating in a support capacity (good source os ASM's, too). Your
"limitations" are such only in the "key person" model -- in the second
mode, it's *expected* that everyone will participate -- it's just a
matter of how to share the burden and get the job done.
> 3. Get the junior leaders to accept a change in adult leadership culture
> without upsetting their own culture or leadership style.
Good point. The SM's job is *much* lighter if there's a trained and
confident cadre of Scout leaders -- if you've inherited such a group,
count your blessings! If not, it may be time to *change* their "culture
and leadership style"!
> 4. Find a place to house the equipment and trailer.
Secondary, IMHO. Certainly *someone* should be willing to store it on a
You may also want to take this opportunity to reevaluate your Troop's
needs, in consultation with the committee and the PLC. I've seen too
many Troops get trapped by their equipment into doing almost exclusively
"pickup truck" camping. In this case, "thinking outside the box" may
involve selling (or loaning out) the trailer and any equipment
*requiring* a trailer to transport, and distributing the remaining gear
to the patrols, in lightweight patrol boxes that can each fit in the
back of a station wagon or minivan. If your Troop can't go camping
without a trailer, you've got *way* too much gear, IMHO!
> 5. Arrange an appropriate ceremony to recognize the outgoing leadership in
> an appropriate manner.
Good idea, but *first* get the essentials in order, so you have a unit
*able* to honor them! ;-)
YIS, Steve on Cattail Creek <Steven G. Tyler>, Severna Park, MD, USA
"The Computer Counselor," Technology Consulting for the Law Office
Advancement Chair and de facto Webmaster, Troop 339,
Baltimore Area Council, BSA (http://members.aol.com/troop339/)
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City