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Which direction?

Tim Kidd explores one of the aspects of good leadership and management in Scouting: providing direction


ver the next six issues of Focus I will be looking at each of the areas that we have identified as being key to good leadership and management in Scouting. I believe that every one of us that manages adults in Scouting has a responsibility to do so to the best of our ability, and to ensure that we drive Scouting forwards. The first area to consider is ‘providing direction’. We need to know where we are going and what we want to achieve. It might be a simple concept, but that doesn’t necessarily make it easy to do. There are five main points to consider.

1. Vision The manager should ensure that there is clearly stated vision for Scouting locally. This does not have to be grand – in fact, short is usually best. As a Group Scout Leader, you might want to open a second Scout Troop, or as a District Commissioner, it might be about helping Groups to run more adventurous programmes. Whatever it is, everyone should feel that they have helped to create the vision and that they understand it.

2. Plan Once the vision is agreed, it is important to plan to do something. Of course, once there is a plan, people will want to get on and do it, so as a manager you will need to create a plan and ensure that you organise people to get on with it. Review progress regularly and make changes to your plan as necessary.

3. Leadership To make anything happen requires commitment and enthusiasm, so the manager 14


must provide clear leadership, inspiration and motivation. Think about someone you know who is inspirational and motivational. What do they do? What do they say? And, most importantly, how do they do and say things? Inspirational people come in all types – some are loud and the centre of attention; others are quiet and unassuming. There is no one correct way to do this.

4. CoThe best work a

operation Scouting is achieved when people together. So good manager in Scouting will encourage co-operation in the Group, District or County. One of the best ways of doing this is to lead by example.

5. Policies and rules The manager is responsible for ensuring that everyone they are responsible for follows the policies and rules of The Scout Association. Simply put, it is no use rushing off and creating a vision if to achieve it we break all the rules and put ourselves or others at risk.

In summary So that’s all there is to it. I think that breaking it down into five points makes it a bit easier. My challenge to you is to reflect on how you provide direction for your local Scouting and consider how you might accomplish each of the five points above to make it even better. Good luck. For more ideas please see managers. You can also email to share good ideas and examples of what you are doing.

Tim Kidd is Chief Commissioner for England. Contact him at

Focus October/November 2011

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Scouting Magazine - Focus Supplement, October November 2011  
Scouting Magazine - Focus Supplement, October November 2011  

A new report shows the wider effects of Scouting The way ahead Development focus The first article in a new series on leadership and managem...