I learned a new term at the Philmont Training Center last week: “Air Force gloves.” That’s what members of the other armed services call the pockets on Air Force uniforms, the implication being that airmen do little but stand around with their hands in their pockets. (That must make flying fighter jets challenging, but I digress….)
So why were we talking about Air Force gloves? Because I’d introduced the concept of HIP, a leadership term that stands for “hands in pockets.” Here’s the idea: if you as a troop leader or parent approach your youth leaders with your hands in your pockets, you’re much less likely to interfere with what they’re doing.
Imagine, for example, that your troop instructor is having trouble teaching the sheet bend. If you approach him with your hands free, you might be tempted to take the rope from him–and take over his responsibility. With your hands in your pockets, however, you’re limited to less invasive verbal coaching.
So the next time you arrive at a troop meeting, put your hands in your Air Force gloves and leave the leading to your youth leaders.
How do you make youth leadership work in your troop? Post your ideas below.