The world is full of leadership advice and best practices for becoming an effective leader. Leadership traits are not
something you learn in a quick crash course, or claim by adding a few letters after your name. Leadership is learned
at a young age, and comes in many forms.
Some of best leadership lessons I learned in life were as a Boy Scout. One of the very first things you learn and begin
living by is the Scout Law. The Scout Law was created in 1910, and adopted in 1911 in its present form, and is made up of 12 points focused on instilling ethical behavior and developing character.
When I first decided to write this post using the Scout Law as an outline I thought I would comment on each one, but the more I re-read them the more I they stood on their own and were applicable to anyone looking to improve leadership skills. When reading these, feel free to replace “Scout” with “Leader.”
1. A Scout is Trustworthy
A Scout tells the truth. He is honest, and he keeps his promises. People can depend on him.
2. A Scout is Loyal
A Scout is true to his family, friends, Scout leaders, school, and nation.
3. A Scout is Helpful
A Scout cares about other people. He willingly volunteers to help others without expecting payment or reward.
4. A Scout is Friendly
A Scout is a friend to all. He is a brother to other Scouts. He offers his friendship to people of all races and nations, and respects them even if their beliefs and customs are different from his own.
5. A Scout is Courteous
A Scout is polite to everyone regardless of age or position. He knows that using good manners makes it easier for people to get along.
6. A Scout is Kind
A Scout knows there is strength in being gentle. He treats others as he wants to be treated. Without good reason, he does not harm or kill any living thing.
7. A Scout is Obedient
A Scout follows the rules of his family, school, and troop. He obeys the laws of his community and country. If he thinks these rules and laws are unfair, he tries to have them changed in an orderly manner rather than disobeying them.
8. A Scout is Cheerful
A Scout looks for the bright side of life. He cheerfully does tasks that come his way. He tries to make others happy.
9. A Scout is Thrifty
A Scout works to pay his own way and to help others. He saves for the future. He protects and conserves natural resources. He carefully uses time and property.
10. A Scout is Brave
A Scout can face danger although he is afraid. He has the courage to stand for what he thinks is right even if others laugh at him or threaten him.
11. A Scout is Clean
A Scout keeps his body and mind fit and clean. He chooses the company of those who live by high standards. He helps keep his home and community clean.
12. A Scout is Reverent
A Scout is reverent toward God. He is faithful in his religious duties. He respects the beliefs of others.
My positive memories and experiences were because of dedicated parents and their commitment to kids on a local level. As a result many of us (myself included) earned our Eagle Scout Award. Scouting is fantastic and so are these 12 points. Hopefully we can all leverage them in our own lives, teach them to our children and even send them as a reminder to “leaders” running this country. The world would be full of true leaders and a better place.
Originally published on 12 Most - January 20, 2012.