There is a discussion on Scout Nation, about a Cubmaster crossing over with his son and there not being a replacement…nobody is stepping up to assume the role. On the same note, the CC, an ACM and the treasurer are all crossing over at the same time. I didn’t want to write anything additional on the post, nor be the guy to bring down the tone of the post…
I am going to play devil’s advocate here…key players are leaving this year. My personal opinion, the CM, the CC and the treasurer are the Key 3 for the pack.
I don’t want to sound like I am dumping on this whole parade, sometimes, we aren’t really doing the service to a unit that we think that we are. Focusing and getting things going in a different direction, compared to how the program was run, is awesome. I have seen many pack meetings that were in need of some energy, but it doesn’t end at changing the entire program. The day you become a Cubmaster or Committee Member, you should be looking for your replacement. That’s the huge thing that leaders don’t see.
It’s not about making your program better, it’s about leaving a legacy. It’s about building that leadership tree. Ever heard of Andy Reid? Jon Gruden? Steve Mariucci? All successful coaches. They came from another great coach, Mike Holmgren…and Coach Holmgren learned from Bill Walsh. What I am saying is that we are always grooming the next leader, and that’s what we should all be doing as Scouters. We aren’t going to be here forever. Crossing with your son, a job change that requires a move, or an illness or death are events that can change the dynamic of your unit in the blink of an eye.
I pride myself on being a good judge of talent. I look around the pack, and see who is looking for a leadership role. I look for the Scout that is at every event, in full uniform and knows the Scout Law and Promise by heart. I look for the parent that lets their Scout be a Scout, and is always there. I look for the ones that are always listening and asking the good questions. Once I recognize that, I move in for the sell.
I start small…little jobs, get your toe in the water. After a bit, they are up to their waist, then their chest and neck. Always be sure that they aren’t going to go over their head. It’s that first time that they go over their head that it’s tough to bring them back.
This isn’t something that happens overnight…actually, the ones that have walked into the pack, application in hand, stating they want to be a leader hasn’t worked well in our pack. One of our last Cubmasters said that he wanted to be the CM, and told me to my face that “he was going to smoke me [meaning the program that I helped build] and be more successful than I ever was”…to which I replied, “Great! The pack is in great hands!” 18 months later, he was removed as CM by the CR and CC.
It’s going to take time to grow those leaders, but once you do, the benefits will be worth it, and help you to leave your legacy in building a successful program.
While I don’t pretend to be a know-it-all, or I run the best program in the country, I do know how to define success, and so does the BSA, with their Journey to Excellence program being used a gauge for the program, the successful recruiting that we have, the great retention rate, and our attendance at camps and troop meetings. All signs that we are doing something right. We accomplish this by making sure that we have trained leaders and that we have replacements for when other leaders can’t be there.