Article submitted by Nelson Lin Carter, retired Scout Executive of the Chicago Area Council and condensed from: “The Great American Success Story” George Gallup, Jr., Alec M. Gallup, William Proctor
When it comes to having successes in recruiting more families into Scouting programs or even in any of the other functions of Scouting (finance or commissioner service), the blend of self-esteem and your self-efficacy drives you to achieving extraordinary aspirations. As unit serving executives, you should have the confidence to do the job and know you have been trained to do the job right! Listed below are some identifiable traits that showcase the winning combination of accomplishing that goal.
Research pinpoints a number of traits that recur regularly among top achievers. Five of the most important include:
- COMMON SENSE – The quality possessed in abundance by achievers. It means being able to make sound, practical judgements about events that happen every day. It’s the ability to prioritize details in decision making and focus on the information that matters most. A person can develop common sense by watching how others use it and learning from mistakes. For example, when you are working with the activities committees and the focus should be on dealing with how many of the troops will be participating and what the program should be, instead of spending the majority of the time at the meeting on what the patch will look like.
- KNOWING ONE’S FIELD – Having a specialized knowledge in one’s field, a practical understanding of the crafts of the business. Doing homework reduces risks and acts as insurance for personal ability. “To achieve success, you have to want it, and then you must work to keep it.” Remember, you are the professional Scouter, and you know the Scouting program. Guiding volunteers through the nuances of setting up an effective Fall Recruitment Roundup is key.
- SELF-RELIANCE – Top achievers rely primarily on their own resources and abilities. They have an ability to take definitive action to get things moving in their lives through willpower and an ability to set goals. Successful people have clear goals, are self-starters and persevere after a project has begun. They have the guts and stamina to work the hours required to accomplish objectives. The Mission, The Program, The Youth – is what drives us as professional Scouters. The Scout Executive Code has set the direction for us to develop and grow – independently as we become a better professional.
- GENERAL INTELLIGENCE – Natural ability to comprehend difficult concepts quickly and to analyze them clearly and incisively. In addition to I.Q., general intelligence includes extensive vocabulary, excellent reading and writing skills and an inquiring mind with broad ranging interests. How we articulate the data to our volunteers and get on the same page to accomplish the goal is essential. The need to fill the district committee, adding to the depleted commissioners’ staff and identifying more people to the membership committee are all related to the bottom line of recruiting more youth in the program.
- ABILITY TO GET THINGS DONE – Organizational ability, good work habits and diligence are essential in accomplishing critical tasks. Our staff leaders are training and directing us to what must be done. Juggling many balls is a normal day in a district executive daily task. Following the work behaviors that will build on future successes is key. Prospecting, cold calling, monthly planning schedule, etc.
Additionally, other factors include leadership, creativity, relationships with others and luck. But, common sense, knowing one’s field, self-reliance, intelligence and the ability to get things done stand out in “success personalities.” If these traits are cultivated, chances are that success will be achieved!
Scouting Wire would like to thank Lin for submitting this story.