The Scout Programs of Adventure Scouts USA use the form of leadership known as Active Scout Team Leadership to enable our teams to better serve our Scouts. The foundation of Active Scout Team Leadership is the Scouts themselves.
In most organizations, the president or leader does all the work. They do all the work because they lack the skill of proper delegation and do not give authority to others. Meanwhile the others complain because they have no authority to get things done; the leader does not give them authority because they never get anything done. They never get anything done because they do not feel invested in the organization because they have no authority - and round and round it goes.
Active Scout Team Leadership is structured with the elected Team Leader, who serves as the facilitator during Team meetings and is responsible for ensuring the successful implementation of the activities and programs of the team, by properly delegating all tasks and following up on them. By facilitating the meeting, the Team Leader ensures that everyone else gets the chance to talk and express their opinion; he or she does not express their own opinion unless absolutely necessary. The word "facilitate" is very important, as is the word "serve." The Team Leader's main task is to make the meeting enjoyable and efficient for others, and to serve the Scouts that he or she leads.
There are four key elements to Active Scout Team Leadership:
The parameters of responsibility
Accountability is holding oneself responsible for what one promised to do. Empowerment is the ability to be responsible for what one promised to do. Authority is what is necessary in order to be able to be responsible for what one said one would do. The parameters of responsibility let one know exactly what their responsibility is.
In the Scout Programs of Adventure Scouts USA each of the levels of Scout Team Leadership are responsible for properly delegating and following up on all tasks. The purpose of Active Scout Team Leadership is to enable the greater success of our Scout Team's operations by using Full Scout Participation and the other forms and methods used by our Teams.
When a decision has been reached, the Team Leader contacts the Assistant Team Leader, who delegates to the Activity Chair who delegates to the Scouts who take responsibility for each part of the activity. Delegating a task does not mean the Scout who delegates does nothing.
Proper delegation is giving the Scout with the task not only all the information and knowledge necessary, but the authority to get the job done. Authority is necessary to ensure the Scout can make the decision that seems best to them. For example, a Scout is sent to the market to buy carrots for a camping trip. The Scout gets there and finds there are no carrots. In many organizations, the Scout would have to call the Team Leader, wait until they got an answer, and may have to go back to the market later. When that Scout has authority to make the decision, the Scout simply buys broccoli instead. Authority is essential to get the job done efficiently. This is also a skill necessary for life. In college and in future careers, we want our Scouts to have the critical and creative thinking skills to get the job done, and to realize they do not have to wait to be led, but can lead themselves.
In the Scout Programs of Adventure Scouts USA, Team Leaders properly delegate. The Assistant Team Leaders are responsible for properly delegating all tasks and following up on them with either Crew Leaders or other Scout leaders. These Scout leaders are then expected to continue to properly delegate all tasks and follow up on them.
Our Scouts feel invested in their teams and activities because they have real say in what is done and how it is done. Our Scouts choose, organize, and lead their meetings, programs, and activities. They also have true authority through proper delegation. When people feel their opinion counts and their contribution matters, they feel the program is theirs, and they want to participate to make it the best it can be. In this way, our Scouts are invested in the FUN and the outcome of their own teams.