The network

neckerchief2This weekend I spent the better part of it at the Area 1 of the Western Region Training Conference.  This was my second time going to the conference, last year I had to go as the “back up Course Director” and this year to certify as a Course Director.
During both of the conferences I have attended I began to understand the networking while at the conference is the key.  Last year as a back up and Assistant Scoutmaster for Program, I met many Wood Badge staffers that were all in the same boat.  Preparing for course.  Many of last years “Back ups” are Course Directors for 2017, and so am I.  So the Scouters I met last year are now once again in that boat together this year.
We learned a lot this year.. or maybe I was just paying more attention.  Again, it was the networking that made my weekend.  Sharing ideas and comparing notes about the small things that we do on course.  The content (Syllabus) is king and can’t be changed.. but there are little things that are unique to each course.  It was fun to talk about our courses.
During the conference there was also training for NYLT (National Youth Leader Training), Commissioners, Membership committees, and training committees.  It is a great opportunity to met folks in the training community and learn from folks that have a lot of experience and knowledge.
As I look at my goals for the coming year and some life goals, that network of people that share values, have similar goals in training, and have the ability to open doors and expand the network are important to me.  It’s not about schmoozing or greasing the skids to get what I want.  It is about networking and learning.  It is about finding the path and setting myself on the right course.  This is what we teach our Scouts as we model values and teach them life lessons that will open their doors and expand their networks.
Here are the last questions of the 20.  Find value in them.  Remember I am sharing my answers.  They are mine.. you need to find your own answers to these questions.  From that, find your passion, your vision.
I often tell participants at Wood Badge that they need to look at their vision as a blank check.  If you never had to worry about money, commitment, or your network, what would you do?  If nothing was going to get in your way, who would you be?
That is how I approach the 20 questions.  They should prove to enlighten you and help you find your path.. your vision.

16. What are my important roles in life?
Husband and Father are my most important roles. Son and brother are very important. Then everything else falls in line behind those.
Some other roles that are important are obviously, employee, friend, Scoutmaster, Trainer.
17. In each of those roles, what are my most important lifetime goals?
As a husband, I feel that being the best partner I can is important. What does that mean? Well, in the time of life that we are in now being present for my wife, making time for time together, and supporting one another’s passions makes me better at being a husband.
As the father of three grown kids, my role for them is still being an example. Supporting them as they develop in their adult lives. Being a good example with my wife of lasting love and marriage.
As a son, being there for my parents as they grow older. Maintaining a good relationship with them.
As an employee, I need to be loyal to my employer. As a goal, I need to keep my nose to the grindstone and effort my way to retirement.
As a friend, my goal is to just be friendly. I have to make sure that my friends know that I care for and love them.
As a Scoutmaster and Trainer, my goal is to be more effective in teaching. To do more mentoring and coaching.
18. In five years, what role do I see for myself in Scouting?
Doing more training and coaching. Perhaps a Commissioner. Not certain I am ready not to be a Scoutmaster. A lot can happen in 5 years. The trail that I am currently on though is leading me to more roles in the training world.
19. What would I really like to be and to do in my life?
I would love to be a public speaker. I think that I have something to offer and can communicate well.
I would love to travel with my wife. As she is not retiring for at least 5 to 8 years. Being a speaker would offer me a way to do something I am passionate about.
20. What are the most important values I use to guide and motivate my actions?
Honesty and Trust.

I hope that as we have gone through this you have learned more about you.  I know that as I have re looked and re written my 20 questions I have learned more about myself and the direction my life has gone and is going.  I was pleasantly surprised at the growth I have experienced since 2005.  As a life long learned and one that believes in the lessons we teach at Wood Badge the 20 questions and effort one puts into a purposeful and intentional life dedicated to making others better this exercise once again showed me value.  I hope it has done the same for you.
If you have not gone to Wood Badge, consider going.  This is just the tip of the iceberg.

Have a Great Scouting Day!

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