Off by "Miles"-But Still Okay
One of the things we did a lot was orienteering with a map and compass. We’d start at a certain spot and the goal was to end up at a specific location, following a set of instructions and compass coordinates. One time my partner and I went through the course and finished at our spot-we thought we nailed it!
Our Scoutmaster came by, informed us that we ended up in the wrong spot and if we were in a real-life situation, we would have been off by miles! We laughed about it-we were also glad we weren’t in a situation where we had to rely on our compass skills. Then we set out to figure out where we went wrong, so that the next time we would do a little better ... which we did.
We were allowed to apply what we had learned-given the opportunity to test our mettle-given permission to fail and encouraged to try and try again until we succeeded-all while being guided by someone else who already walked where we wanted to go.
When I started as a brand new Boy Scout I couldn’t even tie one knot and becoming an Eagle Scout seemed so far away. With the guidance of many and a path to be able to follow, by the time I became an Eagle Scout, I felt confident that I could set up a good campsite, cook a great meal, use an ax properly, survive in the wilderness if I got stranded or save someone’s life and tie all of those knots!
Freedom to Explore
Perhaps one of the most important things I realized, in looking back is this:
I was taught well and then given the freedom to explore and discover what I could do, with what I was taught.
To develop a leadership culture you need to:
- Teach your people well
- Create a development plan for your people: As a Scout we were given specific requirements we had to meet to be able to qualify for the next rank-that way we knew exactly where we stood on the journey to Eagle. Your people would benefit from the same thing.
- Provide opportunities for your people to live out what they’ve been taught: Start small-you obviously don’t want your leasing consultant who has been on the job for two months working on budgets, and then build more responsibilities and challenges that build upon each other.
- Give your people the freedom to spread their wings and discover what they can do! There comes a time when you have to relinquish control of a project or a responsibility, to enable your people to step up.
- Encourage failure, provide learning opportunities from failure and then celebrate successes.
- Believe in your people until they believe in themselves...and then believe in them more!
So grab a pocketknife and do some work!
Read the other articles in this series!
Part Two "Apples"
Part Four-Passing the Torch