In this section, we will consider several common statements about the people who serve in leadership positions throughout our world. After you have read the statement, decide for yourself whether you feel it is true or false and why you think it is.
Here is the first one. True or false?
The only people who lead have some kind of leadership job, such as chairman, coach, or king.
Do you think that's true? Don't you believe it. It's true that chairmen, coaches, and kings lead, but people who hold no leadership position also lead. And you can find some people who have a leader's title and ought to lead. But they don't.
In other words, you are not a leader because you wear the leader's hat. Or because you wear the patrol leader's insignia on your uniform. You are a leader only when you are getting things done through other people.
Leadership, then, is something people do. Some people inherit leadership positions, such as kings, or nobles, or heads of family businesses. Some are elected: chairman, governor, patrol leader. Some are appointed, such as a coach, a city manager, or a den chief. Or they may just happen to be there when a situation arises that demands leadership. A disaster occurs, or a teacher doesn't show up when class begins, or a patrol leader becomes sick on a campout.
Try this statement. Is it true or false?
Leadership is a gift. If you are born with it, you can lead. If you are not, you can't.
Some people will tell you that. Some really believe it. But it's not so.
Leadership does take skill. Not everyone can learn all the skills of leadership as well as anyone else. But most people can learn some of them -- and thus develop their own potential.
You don't have to be born with leadership. Chances are, you weren't. But you were born with a brain. If you can learn to swim or play checkers or do math, you can learn leadership skills.
How about this statement. True or false?
"Leader" is another word for "boss."
Well, what do you mean by "boss"? A guy who pushes and orders other people around? No, a leader is not one of those. (But some people try to lead this way.)
Or do you mean a boss is somebody who has a job to do and works with other people to get it done? This is true. A leader is a boss in that sense.
True or false?
Being a leader in a Scout troop is like being a leader anywhere else.
This one is true. When you lead in a Scout troop, you will do many of the same things as any leader anywhere.
The important thing now is Scouting gives you a chance to lead. You can learn how to lead in Scouting. You can practice leadership in Scouting. Then you can lead other groups, too. The skills you will need are very much the same.