Taking the Lead

Module B

Objectives

This module aims to introduce you to the different concepts of leadership. It will teach you how to adapt your style so you can most effectively lead different kinds of activities.

By the end of this module, you will have an understanding of:

  • having the confidence to take on a leadership role within your chosen section
  • running programme activities that are appropriate for your role
  • different leadership styles and understanding when each should be used to best effect
  • how different styles of leadership impact an activity
  • the need for evaluation, and knowing how to implement the process as necessary

What makes an effective leader?

Think about leaders both inside and outside of Scouting – from teachers and religious leaders to Prime Ministers and football captains – are there things they do that make then great leaders?

Good Leaders…..

Can you think of other things to add to this list?

  • Encourage Others
  • Work as a Team
  • Give feedback
  • Get the best out of people
  • Plan
  • Work within the rules
  • Learn from mistakes
  • Reflect and Review
  • Ask for Help
  • Stand by their decisions
  • Take Ownership
  • Take their time

Ineffective Leaders may….

How do you feel if you are in a team with an effective leader? Are there things you can do to help when this happens?

  • Impose decisions
  • Do everything themselves and not seek help
  • Break the rules to get a result
  • Delegate everything and boss people about
  • Blame the team when things go wrong
  • Don’t learn from mistakes

Activity One

Imagine you want to run a campaign to become President of the World. Write or film yourself giving a short pitch of what qualifies you for that role. Describe which of the above leadership qualities you think you have and some examples of situations where you have demonstrated them.

Styles of Leadership

There are many different leadership styles. We’re all different and everyone can be a Leader – there isn’t a specific personality type that makes a natural leader – everyone finds it difficult. Find a way that works for you. You may even need to change style to fit different situations.

Informal
Supportive

Using this style, the young people you are leading may not be aware that you are playing a leadership role. Being there to help and support is a form of leadership.

Formal
Directive

This is a style that you would most associate with leading. It typically involves giving firm and clear instructions.

Democratic
Team Based

This style involves leading a discussion as a team and including everyone in the final decision.


Passive

This is the subtlest form of leadership. It involves knowing when to let go and when to let your youngsters take the lead. It is used when there is no risk to their safety and gives them the opportunity to make their own decisions

Choose your Style…

Different activities need different Leadership styles – low hazard activities where we want Scouts to ‘learn by doing’ are best delivered with a Passive style whereas a dangerous activity is likely to need a formal style.

An effective Leader will choose the style that is most appropriate and be prepared to switch between styles as needed.

Organiser

This is a planning style as much as a leadership style. You take responsibility for getting things organised in such a way that the outcome that you desire is achieved.

Activity Two

Read the passage below describing an evening with a Beaver Colony. Match each of the 8 paragraphs to one of the 5 leadership styles listed above.

It’s 5:45pm. The Beaver Scouts are arriving and there is a loud buzz of excitement. At school that day, the Beaver Scouts have not been able to go outside to play due to wet weather, so they are full of energy and happy to see each other. ‘Beaver Scouts!’ shouts the leader, ‘It’s time to start. Who is going to lead our opening?’

One of the Beaver Scouts volunteers and steps forward. ‘We are Beavers!’ he projects proudly.

After the opening, the Beavers play a game. The leader runs the game with the Beaver Scouts making suggestions for actions they can include too. Towards the end of the game, one of the other leaders shows the Lodge Leaders one of the activities they will be doing for the session, making bird feeders by threading cereal and blueberries on a pipe cleaner. It requires a knot at the end and the leader goes through how to do each step.

At the end of the game, the Beavers get into their Lodges and start making the bird feeders. The Lodge Leaders help others to make the feeders with the YLs and other volunteer leaders checking in on them.

Whilst checking in on how they are getting on, one of the leaders spots a disagreement between two of the Beavers over the last berry. As tempers rise, the leader calls both of the Beavers over to have a chat about what is going on.

After making the feeders, the Beavers have a discussion about where the best place to hang them would be. They decide on a few locations as a group and venture out in their Lodges to hang them.

‘Stop!’ shouts the Section Leader, ‘Look before you cross the road!’

Once reaching the trees, the Beavers hang their bird feeders up and head back for the end of the session.


Activity Three

If you’re at home do this activity with at least one family member. If you can run a face-2-face activity with Young People then try it with them in teams.

Your job is to lead the team you’ve formed to build the tallest structure out of paper and tape against the clock that can support a weight on top. If you’re in a section meeting see how each teams tackles the task.

Think about leadership techniques you can use to improve your team’s performance. Take a picture of the tower(s) and write down what went well and what didn’t. What would you change next time?

Conclusion

So this module has shown you some of the different leaderships styles and how they can be used. By adapting your leadership style you can lead different kinds of activities and help the Scouts learn new skills.