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#41 TAHAWK

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Posted 09 December 2016 - 04:54 PM

Leaders do not always serve and the followers often do not seem to care.

 

Leaders should serve.  We speak of "public servants."   But Hitler, Stalin, Mao, and Fidel were followed, willy nilly, as were Caesar, Timur, Genghis, Alexander, Jeff Fort, Jim Jones, Francisco Solano Lopez, and Napoleon - to the death in many cases.  

 

In the real world, wonderful aspirations are not automatically met.


Edited by TAHAWK, 09 December 2016 - 04:54 PM.

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#42 Stosh

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Posted 09 December 2016 - 05:03 PM

Leadership by fear and intimidation is not the kind of approach I wish to present to my boys.

 

Hitler - Arian bigotry,  Tthere were those who were being served and they went to war for him. 

Stalin - Political paranoia

Castro - Did anyone really have a chance to do elsewise?  30 years of fleeing the country at the risk of life and/or limb? 

 

etc.

 

This is Leadership?  Look closely, not that many were really following because they wanted to and they were pretty much those who personally benefited the most from such "leadership".

 

And really, is this what anyone in BSA teaches as leadership?

 

I think there are those do more Peter F. Drucker approach and call it leadership.  I will stick with Robert Greenleaf.


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#43 TAHAWK

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Posted 09 December 2016 - 05:42 PM

Please,  Stosh, read what I posted.

 

We agree on the goal.

 

We disagree on historic reality.  People will actually follow non-servant leaders.  "You can fool some of the people some of the time and all of the people some of the time.  When we get "perfect" people, that will stop.  Until then . . . .


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#44 Stosh

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Posted 10 December 2016 - 12:02 AM

Let's look at the historic situation. 

 

Hitler -- The German people had suffered greatly and were systematically held back following the armistice of WW I.  They were held restrictive by a number of other countries around the world.  When a charismatic figure appears promising great things for the future of Germany, the purity of the German nation and a ton of other perks for the oppressed people in the middle of a double whammy, the War and the Depression, is it any wonder they flocked by the thousands to Hitler's "I'm-going-to-take-care-of-you" political emphasis.  Austria-Hungry jumped at the chance to unite into this panacea.  It was the NATIONAL SOCIALIST party, everyone's going to benefit from this new form of government.  It's the same promise that the government is going to take care of you message that's been around for about a hundred years now.

 

Stalin -- The savior of the Russian people of WW II, like Roosevelt (a beloved president) and Churchill who held out against all odds FOR THE PEOPLE!  It wasn't until after the war when political currents convinced him of the plots against him did he begin the extermination of his political rivals, or assumed political rivals.

 

Once the political situation changed from serving to mandating, it's really difficult to buck "city hall" and be the first one to question the changes that one sees occurring all around.  Of course propaganda machines of the Third Reich didn't do much FOR the people as it did AGAINST any political dissension.

 

I think that historically most of these tyrants started out with a caring cause for the people (Jim Jones) and somewhere on down the road the ball got rolling fast enough to simply jump the tracks and take on a whole different bent than that which was the original intent.

 

What happens in the political world can also happen in the religious world as well, the Inquisition, the Salem Witch trials, Jim Jones, etc. 

 

There's nothing to say that on a small scale these dynamics are still alive and well and are acted out quite literally in our governments, our schools, our social programs and our religions.

 

One just has to know the tipping point and keep as far as possible away from it.  I think that many of these tyrannical leaders historically started out with thinking they were helping people and the people thought so as well.  Over time, things change and in these cases, not for the good.


Edited by Stosh, 10 December 2016 - 12:05 AM.

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Stosh

 

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#45 TAHAWK

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Posted 10 December 2016 - 11:11 AM

Stosh, the concentrations camps later called "Gulags" held millions in the 1920s, well before WWII. Millions of Ukrainians were murdered by systematic starvation in 1932-1933.  The Great Purge of the military that put the majority of the field-level command and the upper Party leadership against the wall was in 1937-38 - over a million victims.  Stalin became the maximum leader after Lenin died by killing the other high-level leaders.  Uncle Joe is a myth of the left.  We are past that, along with the "innocence" of the Rosenbergs.  Stalin was always a monster.  

 

The Soviet Union "won" WWII for many reasons, one being that Stalin he was marginally less idiotic than Hitler, who took less and less expert advice as the war went (badly) on.  Germany could only win a short war, and Hitler's insistence on three "first priority" axis of attack, combined with relatively bad weather, made that impossible. 40% of Soviet tank strength in December, 1941 was from the UK.  Hitler's racial theories meant that millions of Ukrainians were rejected as additions to the army and made enemies instead.  The U.S. supplied the S.U. with, among other things, tens of thousands of trucks far superior to anything built in the S.U.. millions of boots, over 8000 locomotives, and thousands of miles of rails.

 

 

 

I would like to express my candid opinion about Stalin’s views on whether the Red Army and the Soviet Union could have coped with Nazi Germany and survived the war without aid from the United States and Britain. First, I would like to tell about some remarks Stalin made and repeated several times when we were “discussing freely” among ourselves. He stated bluntly that if the United States had not helped us, we would not have won the war. If we had had to fight Nazi Germany one on one, we could not have stood up against Germany’s pressure, and we would have lost the war. No one ever discussed this subject officially, and I don’t think Stalin left any written evidence of his opinion, but I will state here that several times in conversations with me he noted that these were the actual circumstances. He never made a special point of holding a conversation on the subject, but when we were engaged in some kind of relaxed conversation, going over international questions of the past and present, and when we would return to the subject of the path we had traveled during the war, that is what he said. When I listened to his remarks, I was fully in agreement with him, and today I am even more so.

 

N. Khrushchev, Military Commissar of the Soviet Union 

  

The point I was trying to make is that people will follow a person, call him a "leader" or not, even though he is not a servant in any sense.  This needs to be taken into account.


Edited by TAHAWK, 10 December 2016 - 11:12 AM.

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#46 Stosh

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Posted 10 December 2016 - 11:49 AM

People have a leader whether they follow him/her or not.  The rationale for following is dependent on whether or not the individual feels they are gaining something for doing so.  It might be security, financial gain, political privilege or whatever that person deems as important enough to hang around those who provide that for them. 

 

If Joe Schmoe down the street is handing out $100 bills on the street corner of Elm and Main and the next day he hands out those bills on the street corner of Walnut and main, people will follow him and continue to do so no matter where he leads as long as he hands out $100 bills each day.  They only follow because he provides economic benefits for them.  It could be he carries a bigger gun than others in the neighborhood and so if one is looking for security, hang out nearer to him....no matter where he goes.

 

Unless people feel they are gaining a benefit of some sort from another individual they will follow them as their leader.  Once that benefit is gone, they will seek that benefit from someone else and will thus discontinuing the following of that person's leadership. 

 

On the other hand if forced to stay nearby to this "leader" because he has a gun to your head, that's not really leadership because at the first possible opportunity they find, they will go elsewhere.  Fear and/or intimidation will not maintain any sort of true leadership.  The SPL that tells a scout you will do something....or else, is not leading anyone  The patrol of older that doesn't want to go along with the other 5 patrols in the troop to go to the same summer camp now for the 6th straight year will show remarkable absenteeism when it comes time to go to camp.  They aren't following, and unless some leadership, i.e. the PL decides that they as a patrol will summer camp elsewhere, will they in turn follow their PL.  If the troop continues to provide no benefit for the older boys' patrol, that absenteeism will become more and more permanent.  I see it happening all the time.  The SM's blame it on cars, girls, sports and jobs.  I blame it on the lack of leadership in the program that was promised and not provided.

 

:)  By the way @TAHAWK the biography on Stalin is a fascinating read, too bad he didn't stay with his studies in the Orthodox priesthood.   The promise of power provided by the Communist movement must have been a big draw for him.  Lenin's leadership, not Stalin's led to his rise in power.


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Stosh

 

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#47 jrush

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Posted 16 December 2016 - 09:41 AM

thanks for the responses.  NJCubScouter, it just caught me off guard because that was not what was explained to me in the past.  I was under the impression that any boy that met rank/age requirements had an opportunity to run for a position.  This does not seem to be the case and in fact, could exclude boys from the chance depending on their popularity in the troop.  

 

...

 

What is the point in having a QM that never goes on campouts or a ASPL that has a job and can never make it to meetings?  We've had that problem, so again, it seems logical to have boys that want the position and are "hungry" for it.

 

Well, don't get caught up when the BSA puts things out as guidance,  Yes, the elected SPL can appoint his "staff".  Yes, the boys can nominate staff, who then can accept or decline before being elected.  It's largely up to the boys. 

 

As to the other part, the point is the boys have the opportunity to serve actively in a position of leadership as required for advancement.  If they never showed up, the answer is "you didn't serve the unit actively in the position, you're not getting credit for this requirement".  Granted,  there is no set percentage that quantifies "active", it's subjective and up to unit leadership, and unit leadership is obligated to remove the scout from the position if the scout's neglect of his responsibility is that egregious

 

To address the problem of the "popularity contest", and the potential issue of a boy being excluded by fellow scouts by not being elected or appointed to a POR.  If there is a boy in the unit who is blacklisted by the group because of his toxic behavior toward his peers?  If 4 election cycles go by and a 1C can't even become the bugler, well, that should tell both the boy and the unit leadership something.  If it's a question of his peers are unfairly excluding him for a reason not related to his actions, SM can always appoint him to something appropriate (Troop Guide, Den Chief after talking to Cubmaster, etc). 


Edited by jrush, 16 December 2016 - 09:42 AM.

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#48 Stosh

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Posted 16 December 2016 - 09:57 AM

"While a Star Scout, serve actively in your troop for six months in one or more of the following troop positions of responsibility (or carry out a Scoutmaster-approved leadership project to help the troop)"
 
Okay.... where does it say the boy needs to be elected, selected, appointed, coerced, or whatever to gain accomplishment of the requirement??????
 
If the boy serves actively as the troop QM, he has fulfilled the requirement whether or not he was elected/selected/appointed to the position and wore a patch.
 
In my troop, if the boy does the work, he gets the requirement fulfilled. 
 
Boys do not get elected or appointed in order to fulfill rank requirements and no boy should be held back because he wasn't popular enough. 
 
A lot of troops need to review their policies along these lines to make sure they are not abusing the requirement.  Sounds like they are.
 
After all, how many troops elect boys to the POR and then whine because the boy didn't do the job?  Why not just let the boy who wants to do the job do it and then there is no need for all the extra headache of deciding whether or not the job got done after the fact!

Edited by Stosh, 16 December 2016 - 10:02 AM.

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Stosh

 

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#49 TAHAWK

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Posted 16 December 2016 - 10:35 AM

BSA requires election of certain leaders because the Scouts are supposed to be learning about democracy - including its pitfalls - so they can be better American citizens.

 

It's not about advancement.  Advancement, as most here understand, is just a tool, not an objective. (Some at BSA don't get it.)

 

It's not about the "well oiled machine."

 

If an elected leader does not function, the PLC can call another election.  The PLC has the SM's counsel and advice. ("If that's true, why not have another election?")  

 

The appointed troop leaders, such as Den Chief or Scribe, are appointed by the SPL with the advice of the SM, or so we promise. If the SM cannot lead the SPL to improve, or cannot persuade the SPL to correct, a "bad fit," that would be unusual.  ("If Joe is doing the work, why doesn't he have the title?") Learning about citizenship includes learning about bureaucracy, where appointed positions can be a problem and how to deal with those problems.  

 

We learn from experience, and in the real world much of that experience is "bad."

 

And there are those positions entirely within the SM's gift: Troop Guide, JASM, and special leadership projects.

 

Or we can try and see if Bill Scouting or Don Scouting is superior to Boy Scouting, which we are honor-bound to try our imperfect best to deliver and which is described in the Handbook.


Edited by TAHAWK, 16 December 2016 - 10:36 AM.

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#50 qwazse

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Posted 16 December 2016 - 11:44 AM

The difference between a 1 patrol troop and a 4+ patrol troop are the dynamics.

 

With a 1 patrol troop, the SM has at most 7-9 boys dissatisfied with a leader or one PL dissatisfied with his boys and it is obviously on them to fix it. The SM can provide some devoted opportunities like "Are you asking for change? Or are you asking for some pointers/practice on working with each other better?" Then, the SM can guide accordingly. That will happen occasionally. We can tell the scouts "He who does the work is holding a PoR ... patches on sleeves mean little."

 

With a 4+ patrols, democracy lessons are more relevant because such formalities allow boys to see change in action. Maybe a patrol's okay (or, at least, flying under everyone's radar), but at election time they'll see if the Next Door Patrol decides to shake things up as a means to improve their scouting experience. On top of that, they see the SPL assigning PoRs and learn the importance of paying attention to who someone appoints for the good of the troop.

 

This entire exercise should run independent of the advancement method. In other words, every first class scout (concept, not patch) will continuously take some responsibility for making the troop better. That responsibility should somewhat suit his time and talents. If that's happening, the advancement discussion may begin -- no bean counting involved. The tail should not wag the dog.

 

So, a boy makes FC two months after the elections in a troop with a 12 month cycle. Should the SPL and SM find a position or project for him? Yes! But for advancement? No! He should get a position/project because responsibility to first class scouts (concept, not patch) is like water for crops.


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#51 Stosh

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Posted 16 December 2016 - 01:43 PM

Riddle me this Joker.....

 

If a small troop members are all working together to get the job done with good team work and the boys are pretty much hassle free of the politics and/or personality conflicts that might arise in a small group, why is an election necessary?  Could it be nothing more than some learning experience for the boys and they don't really take it seriously in the first place?  Or maybe it's Johnny needs POR, he can wear the patch, but Pete's the real go-to-PL.

 

How much, if it ain't broken, don't fix it with some sort of BSA rules and regulations process is necessary?


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Stosh

 

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#52 NJCubScouter

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Posted 16 December 2016 - 03:06 PM

Tahawk, I agree with your post, both the specifics and the philosophy, but one little nitpick: I believe the Troop Guide is also appointed by the SPL in consultation with (or whatever the exact words are) the SM. Same as with the ASPL, Scribe, QM, Instructors, etc.

There have also been discussions in the forum of the JASM position that revealed that in some BSA publications/web pages the JASM is also appointed by the SPL, and in others the JASM is appointed solely by the SM. In our troop it has always been solely up to the SM whether to appoint a JASM and who to appoint. It really doesn't make sense for the SPL to be involved in that one. The JASM is part of the SM's staff, not the SPL's staff.
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#53 TAHAWK

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Posted 16 December 2016 - 05:57 PM

Tahawk, I agree with your post, both the specifics and the philosophy, but one little nitpick: I believe the Troop Guide is also appointed by the SPL in consultation with (or whatever the exact words are) the SM. Same as with the ASPL, Scribe, QM, Instructors, etc.

There have also been discussions in the forum of the JASM position that revealed that in some BSA publications/web pages the JASM is also appointed by the SPL, and in others the JASM is appointed solely by the SM. In our troop it has always been solely up to the SM whether to appoint a JASM and who to appoint. It really doesn't make sense for the SPL to be involved in that one. The JASM is part of the SM's staff, not the SPL's staff.

 

We have been teaching "around here" for many years that the Troop Guide is appointed by the SM.  I confess that I never "looked it up" and can find no official pronouncement now except the TOE providing that the Troop Guide reports not to the SPL but to an Assistant Scoutmaster.  Boy Scout Handbook, 13th Ed. at p. 24.  True, that TOE is a wreck, with the New Scout Patrol Leader reporting to the Troop Guide and all the other PLs reporting to an ASPL.  This situation leaves me with my customary position: if it's not clear, do what seems best.   If B.S.A. is serious about Troop Guides being appointed by the SM, they need to say so clearly.

 

7-9 boys is a patrol and should be run as one I think.  A patrol is where a Scout is to primarily experience Scouting.  Troops exist for administrative convenience of patrols and do not seem critical to Boy Scouting, even if critical to the Corporation.

 

A secret ballot for SPL is necessary because it is not unclear what the rule is.  It is clear and unequivocal:  "All members of a troop vote by secret ballot to choose their senior patrol leader [incorrect capitalization in the original]. Rank and age requirements to be a senior patrol leader [sic] are determined by each troop, as is the schedule of elections. "   \http://www.scouting....p_Positions.pdf

 

The dynamic of the secret ballot, regarded by our founders as essential to truly free elections, is a different mechanism that choosing by public acclamation.  If well-oiled machines were the goal, as the "Troop Method" adults argue, adults should run the troops and patrols.  "Working better" is the classic rationale of adults for refusing to deliver Boy Scouting.

 

As for PLs:

"The members of each patrol elect one of their own to serve as patrol leader. The troop determines the requirements for patrol leaders, such as rank and age. To give more youths the opportunity to lead, most troops elect patrol leaders twice a year. Some may have elections more often."

 

I read those words in light of American history and culture as also calling for a secret ballot.

 

Being involved in "politics" is not to be avoided as our job, in pertinent part,  is turning out good citizens, inclusive of political leaders and other participants in the "hassle" and "mess" of the political process.

 

None of this precludes what is often called "the speech: by the SM.  Example: "...  And  remember that whomever you elect will represent you to the rest of the PLs/the adults of the Committee, so you might want to vote for someone who will be respected and listened to, as opposed to someone who tells the best jokes.  If your elected representative is not respected by the PLC/Committee, your wishes about Troop program may be pretty much ignored.  Pick wisely."  If you are respected you can influence the project.  Have a light "hand."

 

The goal is electing a leader, not electing whomever the adults think is best.  And if he does not work out, the scouts had an educational experience and can hold another election.

 

It is only fair to them to point out that every adult who decides not to follow B.S.A. program and offer Bob Scouting or Joe Scouting does so because he sincerely thinks he knows better than B.S.A., including, to the largest extent, Bill Hillcourt, in whom I, personally, have great confidence.  


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