Monthly Archives: August 2008

Comment response Manager v. Leader

In response to a comment left for the post “Manager v. Leader” by a reader of the Blog Bryan- I thought it would be fair to let everyone in on the email that went back and forth after the comment.
Bryan is a student of the Civil War and really knows his stuff. So here is the conversation. Kinda makes his comments make a little more sense.

Bryan-Thanks for your great email. And as a student of Civil war history myself, I can not argue with any of your points… other than to say, my point had less to do with WHO was in front… rather the actions taken by EFFECTIVE leaders. The post is not intended to be a history lesson, but a lesson in fundamental leadership.. sound leadership principles of providing Purpose, Direction, and Motivation.
By day 3 of the battle, the Confederate Army and the Union Army soldiers had as much reason to flee as they had to stay and fight. It took leadership to motivate the men, it took Corps commanders to get the buy in of their Divisions to communicate the urgency of the fight.I agree with you… And Armistead was a great leader, even before the Civil war he had demonstrated exceptional leadership in the Army of the United States.
Thanks for your comments.

Sorry to be so nitpicky, I just finished Gettysburg by Stephen Sears, an incredible study on the battle so the facts are fresh in my mind. What I should have said about Pickett’s charge was that it not only demonstrated leadership by Longstreet/Pickett but Pickett’s leadership illustrates the use of resources and personal relationships. While Longstreet did not agree with Lee he prepared a battle plan and gave it to Pickett (and Trumble and Pettigrew). Pickett organized his battle line as he saw fit and put the men he thought he needed where they needed to be. Armistead knew it was a forlorn hope but made the best of it and reached his goal, although costing him his life. While the end is a bit morbid it is a perfect illustration of not only Chain of Command but how even the ASPLs and Patrol Leaders need to put research and planning into everything the Troop does…
Armisead=Patrol Leader

Great points on the relationship between SM and Lee etc.
If have not yet need to read Gettysburg, a testing of courage by Noah Andre Trudeau. Great book.

Thanks again Bryan for a great discussion.
And thank all of you for being loyal readers of the blog and listeners of the podcast

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Manager v. Leader

I had dinner the other night with a very special friend of mine. Him and I spent some time together in the Army and he taught me a thing or two about leadership.
We were in a discussion about work places and went back and forth about different types of leadership and the people that we knew that best exemplified those styles. Then the subject of leadership at Gettysburg came up. During that battle many of the commanders, on both sides of the fight, relied heavily on their subordinates to achieve success.
The eyes of the Army’s, the Scouts were so decentrialized that commanders had to trust in the subordinate leaders that first the information they were gathering was correct, and second that they understood the intent. Leaders needed to know how to read terrain. They had to understand what the objective was. If they did not, they would surely put their Army in jeopardy.
In the skirmish at “The Angle”. Longstreet had to make it clear as to what he wanted the battlefield to look like when his units completed the attack. He pointed to a “Clump of Trees” and that became their focal point. Reach the trees and they would have effectively over run the Union Army.
The Scouts needed to understand this as they evaluated the terrain and sent back information to the commanders so they could ready their Army. Longstreet had to provide clear Purpose, Direction, and Motivation to his subordinate commanders. This is leadership. He could not manage them, he had to lead them. They were not resources that he could move around and punch in codes and they would do the task.
If you have ever been to Gettysburg and visited site, you could see that while attacking at “the Angle” the Confederate Army would be walking in a draw, exposed on the right, through open terrain. The ground ungulates with rolling hills, small enough to keep them visible, deep enough to provide some cover.
When Picket made his famous “Charge”. He had to know that he was leading the men and not managing them into the battle. He led from the front and set an example as he moved his Division down from Seminary ridge on the third day of the battle and into the jaws of the Union’s center.
His men understood that if they could break the center of the Union line, and if the Divisions to their left and right could accomplish their attack then the Union Army would break.
Leadership can be seen in countless actions at Gettysburg. On both sides of the battle acts of leadership were demonstrated stemming from the understanding that leaders do not manage, they lead. They know that you manage resources… Food, supplies, water, and material. You have to provide Purpose, Direction, and Motivation to people. That is how you lead them.
Success or fail, the leader must understand that basic principle, or he will never be effective.

We can learn a lot of lessons about leadership by reading and knowing what great leaders have done. They do not have to be military men, they can be astronauts, statesmen, or even Scout leaders like Baden Powell. It is important though that we do learn from them and see leadership in action. This will make us all better leaders. What you will find in every case of leadership is that they the lead the people and manage the resource. They lead by providing Purpose and showing the led Direction, and giving them the appropriate motivation to instill a willingness to do something. That’s leadership.

Have a Great Scouting day!

Categories: Leadership | 1 Comment

Having a Great Scouting Day!

I have received some emails asking why I changed my “Tag line” from “Happy Scouting” to “Have a Great Scouting day”.
Well the simple answer is that someone else that is prominent in the online Scouting community already uses “Happy Scouting” and while it is not a trademark phrase… I thought it would be best not confuse readers.
Then I got to thinking about the new phrase. And it really fit me better.
How do you have a great Scouting day?
Well to start you wake up Cheerful. You are Friendly and Helpful. You are Courteous and Kind. Obedient and Brave. You try to be Thrifty. My friends and acquaintances all know that I am Trustworthy and Loyal. I work to be clean in everything I do.. thought and deed. And last, but certainly not least I keep God with me all through the day, remaining Reverent in my beliefs and actions.
I do my best, which sometimes is tough. Keeping myself morally Straight and mentally awake takes some doing, especially in the world we live in that bombards us with things that can sway our judgement. While I don’t go to a gym, I stay physically fit, remembering that my body is the only one I have and I need to take care of it.
A great Scouting day… well I guess that would be a day of Scout Spirit. The kind of Spirit that makes others feel good. That rubs off on them and leaves them with a smile, or at least feeling better. A spirit that shows my community that Scouting is alive and well and that things are not as bad as the nightly news tells us.
A great Scouting day… yeah.. it fits a whole lot better than “Happy Scouting”. It pretty much sums up what every day should be.
Wouldn’t it be nice if everyone had a “Great Scouting Day”!


Have a Great Scouting Day!

Categories: Oath and Law | Leave a comment

“Each day I examine myself on three counts: whether or not I am loyal to those in whose behalf I act; whether or not I am trustworthy in my dealings with friends; whether or not I practice what is imparted.”
— Tseng Tzu

Thought this was worth passing on. Found it in my Franklin Planner. A great way of waking up every morning and setting a course for your day. Also a great way to lay your head down at night and reflect on your life of Character.
It seems that the Scout Law is not just for Scouts…

Have a Great Scouting Day!

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A Scout is….

Just words… Right?
If you have not listened to the two mp3 files in the previous posts.. STOP now and listen to them, then come back and read this one.

There are times in your life that you hear something, smell something, see something, that causes you to pause and evaluate. Either a memory or a feeling, or a way in which you want something to be.
Stumbling on the speeches by Rabbi Hyman and Admiral Carmona and hearing their message got me to thinking about Character and more specifically what makes up Character.
All organizations have what they call their Core Values. They are the set of Values that are to shape the people in the organization. Shape their attitudes and character to make the organization and those in it better. It is a simple philosophy that calls for the people in the organization to do what is right.
When I was in the Army, we were taught from the first day the Core Values of the Army. Loyalty, Duty, Respect, Selfless Service, Honor, Integrity, and Personal Courage.
These Values became a part of everyday life and a set of rules that we held each other in account with. They were shared by all, weather you came to the Army with them, or established your core once you got there. These values became the foundation of our lives. It drove us to never let the organization down and to do our best in everything we did. The values are a set of virtues that we adopted as a group that asked us to have Honor and Courage and to do what is right.
The Marines summed it up with “Semper Fidelis” (Always Faithful) with their Values of Honor, Courage, and Commitment. They share the same values which motivate a group to do what is right, not just for themselves, but more importantly for those around them. What are they faithful to? To the Marines? To the Country? To Each other? The answer… all of the above.
There is an understanding in the Core Values that there is something greater than themselves. That the good of the group and those that they serve are more important and deserve greater attention than person needs and wants.
Major Corporations also present a set of Core Values within their organizations. And they too are established to set a path for the members of the organization to succeed, to serve, and to share in living a life which guides them to do right.
For example, UPS’s values of integrity, diligence, innovation, courtesy, promptness, reliability and, yes, even appearance are the yardsticks by which every employee, product, and decision is measured.
And when the employees or members of an organization embrace the values, the people and organization are better.
And so it is within Scouting. From the beginning, Baden Powell taught the Scouts and Scout leaders the Values of Service, of Honor, of Duty to God and Country. Today we continue to teach and live the Values found within the Scout Oath and Law.
We ask that each member of our organization practice in their daily lives the core values of Duty to God and Country, to live the Scout Law, to help other people at all times and to keep the promises made about themselves; to keep themselves physically Strong, mentally awake, and morally Straight.
The Values that shape us a Scouts and Scouters; Trustworthy, Loyal, Helpful, Friendly, Courteous, Kind, Obedient, Cheerful, Thrifty, Brave, Clean and Reverent cause the member to live a decent life. A life of service to others and a life that directs them to do what is right.
Weather they are found in the Army, the Marines, UPS, or the Boy Scouts of America, Core Values are the foundation, the building blocks, the bedrock of an organization and its members.
When those values are learned, developed, and practiced, the organization is better and the people within it become people of strong Character. And that leads others to respect and admiration.

Have a Great Scouting Day!

Categories: Character, Oath and Law, Scout Law, Values | Leave a comment

Content of Character

Ok.. this may be taking the easy way out.. but when you hear something that makes you sit up and listen you need to pay attention… and share it.

Rabbi Peter Hyman
Chairman, National Jewish Committee on Scouting

“The twelfth point of the Scout law is not just about theology. It is also about community. We are a community united by a set of values, reflected on a breathtaking sea of diversity, and those values reveal our character. In our reaching up to God, we find ourselves standing closer to one another. This is the profound lesson that we, the Boy Scouts of America, teach the world.”

Listen to his speech at the National Meetings of the Boy Scouts of America.
Take the 26 minutes and hear Rabbi Peter Hyman talk about Reverence and Content of Character.

Have a Great Scouting Day!

Categories: Character, Scout Law | Leave a comment

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