To a large extent, the role of a leader who educates young people depends on what he is like as a person. It is the leader who creates the “atmosphere” or “climate” of the link, detachment, group for which he is responsible. And at the same time, everything he does testifies to the effectiveness of his work as a leader.
First of all, what is meant by the word “leader”?
Very often, referring to any one of the functions, for example, the leader of a patrol or flight, we expect from this person that he will fulfill a certain set of duties and develop a certain line of behavior corresponding to his role in the present. However, in many situations “leadership” must be exercised in the best possible way, whether or not the person is a “manager” ex officio. Thus, it is logical to adopt a broader concept of leadership that could apply to anyone who begins “leading” at one time or another.
To give an example: five boys from the scouting troop decide to go to the mountains, of which only one has a lot of experience in mountaineering, and the rest agree with his role of “leader”. How will he get down to business? He will probably gather a group in order to discuss the future campaign:
• What we will do?
• In what area?
• What mountains do we have to overcome?
Having defined the task in this way, the leader must then prepare for its implementation.
The whole group is involved in the hike, and the leader of the hike is obliged to make sure that everyone works together as a team, and that everyone is interested in the success of the event. The role of the leader is to simultaneously put the following three points in the center: the task, the group and the individual. Let’s try to consider this in detail.
• What does the group want to do?
• How will she do it?
• What opportunities exist for this?
• Will we travel by bus, train or car?
• What equipment do we need?
• What are the possible weather conditions?
• What are the rules for mountain climbing? The hike must be carefully prepared.
Other decisions can also be made on the spot: it turns out that the weather conditions have changed or one of the group members is out of shape. All this will lead to adjustment of plans. And then, at the end of the campaign, ask yourself questions:
• How did we come to success?
• Could we have done better?
• In light of this, should we make any new, special decisions today?
• What other Scouting activities could have been held but not taken place just because they were poorly prepared?
• How many times have we made the same mistakes in order not to repeat them in the future and in order to finally understand the educational purpose of the event?
It is formed on the basis of common interest. In the example above, it was a hike in the mountains. The success of each event depends primarily on how all its participants are imbued with the very idea, the idea of the case. All members of the group should have the feeling that this is their expedition, their event, they are the main participants in the action. To convince, to interest, to make each participant imbued with the idea of the event – this is one of the most important tasks of the leader. He will be able to solve it by creating, for example, such conditions when all members of the group will be engaged in the preparation of the campaign. Of course, the leader himself must be sure that the event will be held. All that is required of him is to cheer up the guys in time, instill in them confidence in their own strengths, and be there at the right time. In other words, he shares his responsibility with the rest of the group and does not make individual decisions.
When preparing a trip, it is necessary that the leader is well aware of the capabilities of each scout in order to maximize their use. During the campaign itself, he constantly monitors that everyone fulfills the duties assigned to him, and also coordinates the activities of the entire group. It is possible that during the preparation of the event, some aspects should be discussed by everyone together. The leader may raise these issues in a council where he needs to present the ideas and intentions of the whole group in order to make the right decisions. It follows from the above that the leader also has the responsibility to ensure the real work of the group.
What is expected from each member of the group?
Each member of the group should know exactly what to do and, if possible, have an idea of why it should be done. Here, first of all, everything depends on the personal contact of the leader of the group with each of its members. A good leader who knows his guys as different, unlike each other, will find an approach to everyone, will be able to inspire them, unite everyone with one idea. It is important that he sees a personality in each scout, be attentive to their feelings, desires, mood, etc. It is impossible for everything to be left to chance, it may happen that the scout is not able to perform certain actions, for example, put up a tent. In this case, the leader must help him master this skill by taking up the training himself or by involving other members of the group in this. In some situations, only the leader can help the scout. In this case, he comprehensively discusses the problem with the scout, helping to more clearly understand the situation, forcing him to believe in himself – in a word, to do everything to get out of a difficult situation. This is what is called a helping meeting.
The leader influences every member of the group; the example he sets must be only positive. His reaction to an unpleasant event during a campaign runs the risk of largely predetermining the reaction of other members of the group: if panic has seized him, then it will immediately be transmitted to all members of the group. In summary, it should be noted that the leader as a leader will do everything to ensure that every scout whom he can inspire can fully reveal himself and play his role selflessly.
Above, we tried to explain the dependence of the success (or failure) of an event on the personal attitude of the leader to the task itself, to the group, and to each individual. Try to apply this rule to any type of activity (or event) where you recently acted as a leader.
• Was the objective clear, well planned and executed?
• Did the group like it and was the group motivated?
• Was it really a team effort?
• Did each Scout know exactly what his responsibilities were? Are you encouraged to perform at their best? Obviously, all this is closely related.
We have shown the features only in order to better understand what the manager does and should do. This will give you the opportunity to see your weaknesses and find ways to improve them. The same method is used in teaching young people, for example, in overcoming obstacles. But it exists not only to judge whether the leader has done everything that was required of him. The importance and value of this method is that it allows the leader to improve himself. Undoubtedly, such an approach is useful for a scouting unit or patrol, since it can serve as a kind of instruction during the conduct of an event, as well as to inspire each member of the group to their “action”, but within the framework of the event. Of course, it applies to all patrol or squad meetings and any activity where you are the leader where you just have to work with other people (activities range from easiest to hardest).