LEADERSHIP 101- Purpose, Direction, and Motivation

Last time we discussed some leadership basics and we defined leadership as a process in which you influence people to do something by providing them with Purpose, Direction, and Motivation.

That essentially is Leadership. But as Lee Corso from ESPN College Game Day says “Not so fast My friend”.
Each person that you lead needs an individual Purpose, Motivation, and Direction.
You can provide Purpose and Direction to your Patrol by having them “buy in” to the goals you have set for the year. The Patrol Leaders Council (PLC) should establish a set of goals for the Troop annually.
Lets say that the PLC sets a Goal that 90% of the Troop will advance to First Class within the year. That gives them Purpose and direction.
Goal setting (which is a whole topic unto itself) is critical in establish Purpose and Direction.
Remember that your goals need to answer the following questions using the SMART tool:
Is the goal Specific?
Is the goal Measurable?
Is the goal Attainable?
Is the goal Relevant?
Is the goal Timely?
We will go into these in detail another time, but keep those questions at the fore front when providing Purpose and Direction.
As adult leaders we have a clear purpose outlined by the Boy Scouts of America. These are the goals of the BSA program. They should guide us in developing our individual unit programs.
Youth leaders establish their goals and then execute them throughout the year. The challenge is getting their peers to do the task.
Motivation is where it gets tricky. All of us are motivated differently. Some guys are motivated by free time, some are motivated by food, some are motivated by doing a job well and being satisfied with accomplishment… whatever the motivator is the leader needs to find it in his unit.
Motivation gives individuals the will to do everything they can to accomplish a task. It results in their acting on their own initiative when they see something needs to be done.
To motivate your people, give them tasks that challenges them. After all, they did not join the Boy Scouts to be bored. Get to know the guys in your Patrol and Troop and their capabilities; that way you can tell just how far to push each one. Give them as much responsibility as they can handle; then let them do the work without looking over their shoulders and nagging them. When they succeed, praise them. When they fall short, give them credit for what they have done and coach or counsel them on how to do better next time. Remember to use the Start, Stop, and Continue format.
But leaders motivate their people by more than words. The example you set is at least as important as what you say and how well you manage the task or the accomplishment of a goal. Never ask someone in your Patrol to do something you wont do. If your Patrol is setting up camp.. than the leader should be pitching in and doing it with a cheerful spirit.
This example will get you far in motivating your Patrol or Troop.

Providing Purpose, a reason to do something, Direction, how to do something, and Motivation, why and how we do something, you can lead and have success no matter what the task.
And as those you are leading see your leadership in action, you will have a high performance team ready to accomplish anything!

Happy Scouting!


  1. Wow that was unusual. Ijust wrote an incredibly long comment
    but affter I clicked submit my comment didn’t show up. Grrrr…
    well I’m not writing all that over again. Anyway,
    just wanted to say fantastic blog!


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