Okay, @Eagledad, here is where we differ in our definitions of leadership and how the flow of authority in your model is different than mine.
My daughter and son-in-law are currently in a program of leadership development based on the model you have described. "Leadership is simply the act of persuading others toward change." I think that a lot of people, especially in our culture buy into this model. The flow of authority is top down and it's the leader's vision that is sought as the goal. It's up to the leader then to persuade others to get on board with his vision. I'm thinking the BSA might be using this model because it goes hand-in-hand with and doesn't conflict with management tactics. Both authority and responsibility flow from vision originating "at the top". Marketing is the classic example of this in the business environment. I have a product and it is up to me to persuade you to see what I see as to how good it would be for you to buy it. So according to the definition you provided, the a act of persuading others towards change, but my question always comes up as to change to what? That which benefits the leader or that which the leader believes benefits those being persuaded? Visionary leaders? Who's vision are we talking about here? With the examples of Alexander, Hitler, et al, I'm thinking it's the leader's vision that overrides and controls the persuasion.
So, as one who has been accused of being the BSA Gnostic heretic , I see leadership totally different. I order to facilitate my kind of leadership I have turned the BSA business model organizational chart upside down and that causes the flow of authority and responsibility to flow the opposite direction. It is at that point people plug their ears and start saying, "Na, na, na, na,.." over and over again.
Let's assume that all authority and responsibility at the top of the chart. BSA model puts that with the adults, with SPL slipped in as the top dog of the lower boy end of the spectrum. It's up to th adults to persuade the SPL to buy into their vision, and then SPL persuades the PL's to buy into that vision, and the PL's are then responsible to persuade the members of his patrol. I may be a bit off, but this is what I'm understanding of how you define leadership. Please clarify if I'm off base.
Well, what happens if the members of the patrol don't like that vision? What if the members just want adventure and fun? Maybe they just want to go of in the woods and goof off with their buddies? What if it doesn't fit into the adult vision that I get to stay with my pals that I came here to have fun with? What happens if there is ANY disconnect between the vision prescribed by the adults and what I as a paying member of the group wants?
This leads to my upside-down definition. What if all the authority and responsibility flowed from the paying customer, the individual scout? He walks through the door with the vision of fun and adventure with his buddies. Okay a boy walks up to the little group of buddies and simply asks, "So, guys, what do you want to do?" To which he gets the answer, "Well, this brochure says this is where the fun and adventure is supposed to happen." So the scout say, "Who's going to be your leader?" And the boys all laugh and say, "You are because we came to have fun and adventure and if there's any work to be done, you get to do it." To which the boy says, "Great, I can make that happen for you."
So now the PL knows the vision of his members, and they have given him full authority to fulfill that vision of theirs. He has to persuade no one to do anything beyond his control, because he only needs to control himself. He has sworn an oath that he's going to do his best to do his duty to God and Country and to help other people at all times. Well, here's his chance to help these 7 boys fulfill their vision.
So in terms of retention, who's got the better chance of keeping new boys in the program, the one who has to rely on persuasive skills to win over everyone, or the boy who only has to take care of them getting the vision they have asked for?
So as time passes, the boys realize that in order to stay with this program I have to start doing a lot of things that weren't in the brochure that are popping up all over the place. Hoops I have to jump through to get credit for things just like in school. Forget it, I signed on for my dream, not some one else's. But the other boys begin to realize that now I have someone that's going to take care of me while I have fun. It's a lot more fun to sleep outdoors in a tent, and my leader made sure we all had tents, and he made sure we all got fed, and he worked hard on making sure we all had fun.... and he's a really nice guy for doing all those things. He made MY vision work for me. That was neat how he did it and he seemed to really have fun doing it too. What does he know that I don't know about having fun? I wonder what his vision is in all this, maybe we ought to ask.
I guess over the past 40 years, that model has worked well for me. Far less complicated, far less training needed, and the satisfaction level (fulfillment of vision) is easier to obtain. It is a concept easily understood by boys without any fancy persuasive techniques and strategies they have to learn.
The only management skills a boy would need to know under my definition of leadership is what it would take to make ti work for the boys he is leading.
I'm thinking this difference in definitions is the root of where we are coming from when talking about the boy led, patrol method stuff. Knowing your definition really helps in understanding where you're coming from. Thanks for the clarity.