The Critical eye helps the leader recognize situations, see were improvements can be made, and of course see when things are going well.
The first step in the development of the Critical eye is understanding two things. The definition of leadership, principally the components that define leadership and that is providing Purpose, Direction, and Motivation. The second is knowing what “Right” looks like.
Once a leader understands those two things, the leader can observe and determine if things are going well, needs improvement, or can be sustained.
Knowing what “Right” looks like the leader can stand in the center of activity and know right away if the task is being completed to meet the purpose.
It is like trash on the ground. Most people will walk right by it, the leader understands that it does not belong there and picks it up.
Setting up camp, the leader knows the tasks that must be completed and will ensure his team does it. This “Critical Eye” does not eliminate fun, it keeps the team focused so when the time comes they can have more time having fun.
In the National Youth Leader Training (NYLT), we discuss what a leader must BE, KNOW, and DO. Developing a critical eye encompasses all three. The leader must BE an example, he must turn the critical eye to himself and ask serious questions about how he is conducting himself.
He must KNOW what Right looks like. And he must DO, leading from the Front and the middle, pulling his team along or pushing them along, the leader must provide a clear Task and Purpose, give the Patrol or Troop a Direction and Motivate them to want to complete the task.
The critical eye allows the leader the opportunity for a deep look at the progress of the unit and gives him the know how to react or better yet be proactive in leading. It allows the leader to employ the LEADING EDGE.
The Critical eye is an important element in leadership, without it finding direction becomes cloudy and the compass seems to be off. In order to be a better leader, the led need to see the leader as someone that knows what he is doing, understands the goal, and is confident in executing the task. The critical eye allows the leader to clearly see it all.