Legacy. In Scouting.


I am not usually one for blogging, but I have learned over the years that this is the new way people consume information.  So, I thought I would try my hand at it. These are my thoughts, ideas, experiences, and challenges from within the Scouting movement.  These words are mine and not the opinion of the national Boy Scouts of America, or whatever council I am currently working for.

Now, with that boring intro, on to the meat of this post.  I read. A lot. Specifically, I read books on management and leadership.  Call it a futile attempt at giving myself the education in business that I should have given myself when I was in college; but that is a different story for a different day.  In one of the books I was recently reading, the topic was “Legacy” and what it looks like in a business setting.  Think of Legacy in terms of football, and your legacy is your coaching tree.  The other coaches that you develop throughout your career is what will determine your legacy in the sport.  It isn’t always about the number of championships that you have one. You see this same phenomenon in basketball, baseball, and other major sports.  I figure it is easier for people to conceive a sports metaphor because most of us are not as familiar with the “coaching tree” of high level executives in the Fortune 500.  We don’t know what CEO trained which CEO, and which CEO spent years under the tutelage of another CEO.  It just isn’t common knowledge, at least not to the lay member of society.

Anyways, the point is that the topic got me thinking about Scouting, and the Legacy that we, as leaders, have the responsibility to leave. What is our proverbial coaching tree when it comes to Scouting?  The great thing about our Legacy in Scouting is that we have the ability to impact both youth and adults in our “coaching tree.” Scouting, as opposed to business, allows us to leave a much deeper and longer lasting Legacy.

Chris Musgrove says that “success is not measured by what your’re leaving to, but by what you are leaving behind.” What we have the opportunity to leave behind in Scouting is a strong group of leaders, both youth and adults, who are capable of achieving great things in their life. Leaders who have experienced failure and success.  Who know how to overcome failure and continue with successful strategies.

We have the ability to leave a Legacy of a functioning unit.  A unit where adults all work together, in different roles and capacities, to help young people be successful. Where each adult has a role, a job description, and is able to do a little so that the unit can accomplish so much more.  A unit where parents, and adults, are invested in their children, who don’t just drop their children and run.

The problem with this idea of Legacy isn’t so much why leave a Legacy, but how do we leave a Legacy? What do we have to do to leave a Legacy? What actions do we take and what steps do we make to begin to leave a Legacy?

My thoughts, for what they are worth, is that we build our Legacy around a common WHY. Why do we do Scouting? What benefit do we see in the movement, and why do we have our youth in it?  I believe the WHY of Scouting can build the How of our Legacy.  If we can verbalize the reasons WHY we participate in Scouting, share that WHY with all the adults in our unit, and work to help them discover their WHY, then we will be on the road to building our Legacy.

I know that sounds kind of simplistic, but all the great things really are simple, when you boil them down to their most basic elements.

Start small. Discover your WHY. Share it. Frequently. And begin building a great Legacy. In Scouting.

-the professional scout-


Author: theprofessionalscouter

I am a professional Scouter, having worked for the BSA for 10 years. I started my career in 2006 as a District Executive with the Nevada Area Council headquartered in Reno, Nevada. In 2009, I moved to the Chief Seattle Council, in Seattle, Washington to serve as a Senior District Executive and then as a District Director. In January of 2016, I transferred to the Great Salt Lake Council to serve as a District Director.

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