What Leadership is NOT/What I learned as a Cub Scout

June 24, 2013 — Leave a comment

I was not a Boyscout. After my time as a Cub Scout, (scouting for younger children) I dropped out. On the final Cub Scout camp out, a Boy Scout troop set up camp a few hundred yards from our camp. This group frightened me and my buddies. The word “rogue” comes to mind. Screams came from those hung by their ankles in trees, or bound in their sleeping bags as bigger kids and leaders stood around laughing. They were not the model Boy Scout troop by any means. Remember the “evil” karate school from the movie Karate Kid? That’s what I’m talking about. (I’m sure this group was the exception and not the rule, that there are wonderful troops, and my perception was skewed being several feet shorter than the rough-housing teenagers.)

During my long and glorious career as a Cub Scout, I learned about earning rewards and awards. The lure of the shiny pin grabbed me, it drew me in, I thought, I must accomplish the tasks and earn the “bling.” You can think of a similar experience or example I’m sure. If you do the deed, you earn the bling.

I am grown up now, at least according to the calendar, and I know that for those in the working world, the goal goes beyond pins and medals. We think we want to be called “leaders.” Leadership, however, cannot be earned like a badge or a pin. Leadership is different from what we have been told.

Leadership cannot be obtained by completing a single or series of tasks, attending a seminar, taking a class, or reading a series of books. Many are under a great deal of pressure to figure out which tasks and deeds must be completed to reach the goal of being called a leader.

May I make a suggestion? Follow the blog at creativefollowership.com, you will hear things you probably have not heard before. You will learn more about an alternative approach, if you have already been around the block a few times, chasing the “rabbit” of the leadership development industry, cut yourself lose. Try something different, try something that really works.

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