The Mark of a Great Leader



How can you identify a great Boy Scout leader? You can’t go by age. You can’t go by gender. You can’t even go by the number of knots on his or her uniform.

Instead, the best mark of a great leader is the question mark.

Let’s say you live in Florida and your patrol leaders’ council decides it wants to go ice fishing (not a typical activity in the Sunshine State). If you simply say, “No, that’s impossible,” you shut down your youth leaders’ creativity, limit their horizons, and undermine their authority.

A better approach is to simply ask some questions. Consider these, for example:

  • Where could we do ice fishing?
  • How long would it take us to get there?
  • Could we get that far on a weekend outing or would we have to go over winter break?
  • How much would the trip cost?
  • Do we know anyone that could teach ice fishing?
  • Do we know anyone with a fish house on a northern lake?

You get the idea. By asking questions like those, you will guide them to a smart decision. More importantly, however, you will encourage your youth leaders’ creativity, broaden their horizons, and strengthen their authority. In other words, you’ll achieve the aims of Scouting.


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