LEADERSHIP 101- The Effective Leader

This past weekend we had a great time at our annual Leadership Development Conference (LDC) hosted and trained by our Order of the Arrow Lodge.
The event is open to all Scouts and Scouters that are interested in becoming better leaders.
A lot of Troops use the LDC as their Troop Junior Leader Training, because over the years the the training offered has been consistently that good.

This years theme centered around planning and the effective leader. What I liked was that the Scouts that taught the classes had done their homework and produced a good product that demonstrated the steps of good leadership.

There are many attributes that make up an effective leader, but here are the six steps that will ensure effective leadership:

1. Provide Vision and Direction. I have talked about this before. A good leader by definition leads by providing Purpose, Direction, and Motivation. Understanding where one wants to go and a clear understanding of how he wants to get there will ensure success. Being able to communicate that vision is key to achieving that success.

2. Find Resources. Effective leaders know that they can not do it alone. They also develop a keen sense of how to use their “tool box”. They understand that there are people and things around them that will help them on the way.

3. Determine the readiness level. You must know your people. You need to understand where they are coming from and what skill sets they have to perform the task. Skills and Motivation determine where you are in the Team Development process. High Performance teams have a lot of Motivation and high Skills.

4. Assign Responsibilities. DELEGATE DELEGATE DELEGATE… but remember you are the leader. You can delegate responsibilities, but you can not delegate accountability. Spreading the work around will make the task easier and it will get the team involved giving them ownership. But remember that you need to check and double check.. you are still the leader.

5. Perform the Task. “Get ‘er done!” Be there and be watchful as the task is being completed. Allow others to shine.. give them a job to do and let them do it. Give guidance and direction and be a good coach. Hands on is good too, but when you give someone a task, let them do it.

6. Check and Report. Use the Start, Stop, and Continue model for after action reporting. You need to discuss what went well and what went poor. Learning is what makes you better.
During the Reflection or review stay focused on what the task was, stories are fun to hear, but during reporting stay focused on learning how to do it better next time.

Following these six step will keep you focused and on track for effective leadership while performing a task. It is the essence of leadership. Leaders emerge when something needs to be done. Effective leaders get it done.

Happy Scouting!

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