Leadership Lessons for Managers from the Boy Scouts

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Author advocates following the leadership model taught by the Boy Scouts; he seeks input from former Boy Scouts who are now adult managers to contribute to his next leadership book

I Learned it in the Boy Scouts: A Manager's Field Guide to Authentic Leadership.

For nearly a century, over 110 million American men started learning lessons of leadership at an early age. It was in their formative years on a camping trip with the Boy Scouts when they learned lessons of character, confidence and leadership that would stay with them for the rest of their lives.

According to the Search Institute and Carnegie Council on Adolescent Development, there are six critical elements of healthy youth development, all of which are positive outcomes of scouting:

1. Strong values and character

2. Positve self-image

3. Caring and authentic relationships with others.

4. An eagerness to learn.

5. Productive time usage.

6. Social skills.

According to management consultant and leadership expert Scott Love, the leadership skill sets that are taught to youth in scouting can impact them years later when they are managers. Love says, "When it comes to developing into the type of leader that can attract and inspire followers, the model of leadership taught to youth by the Boy Scouts is the same model that is consistent with a high performing leader. When you teach a sixteen year old to lead a fifteen year old, it has to be authentic leadership and not based on a position of authority. It is this authentic leadership that works. In today's world, the position of authority is losing its effectiveness with managers as a means to get things done. Today people want to be inspired and want to follow a real leader."

Love says that people will do the minimum when led based on position of authority. But to get employees to perform at peak performance levels, it must be driven by a source that is authentic, inspiring, and congruent. According to Love, "We have no control over others. We only have control over ourselves. But if we live and work based on this model, we will positively influence those around us and inspire them to want to perform at a higher level. Management is more about how you direct the work of others. Leadership is how you manage yourself. When we learn to manage ourselves in a way which is consistent with this model, then others cannot help but follow someone like this. We are wired genetically and conditioned socially to respond to principles of legitimate influence, which is exactly why this leadership model taught to boy scouts is effective in the corporate world as well."

Love's latest book under development explores the model of leadership that is taught in scouting and why it is a model that adult managers should consider. The book title is: "I Learned it in the Boy Scouts: A Manager's Field Guide to Authentic Leadership." Currently under production with representation by ZSH Literary Agents, the book explains how this education at an early age impacts the performance of future managers by using the model of The Scout Law, the Scout Oath, and other slogans and stories unique to scouting.

Love is seeking contributions for his work from former scouts who are now managing teams of employees. If you are interested in contributing, please contact Love with your story about the lesson you learned in scouting and how that has helped you become an effective leader as an adult.

Love can be reached at 828-225-7700 or through his website at http://www.scottlove.com .

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