The Scout Law and Leadership

I recently posted about the 10 points of the Scout Law   and how they influenced leadership.  This is firmly  on my mind as I blog today from Bournemouth, England, just 10 mile from Brownsea Island, one of the sacred spots in Scouting.  Let’s take a look at the second 5 points and how they can have an influence on your personal and professional life.

Here are all 10 points as a refresher:

  1. Helpful
  2. Friendly
  3. Courteous
  4. Kind
  5. Obedient
  6. Cheerful
  7. Thrifty
  8. Brave
  9. Clean
  10. Reverent

Let’s start with Cheerful  

Being cheerful means that you choose to adjust your attitude to more of a “how can we overcome or fix this” versus a “let’s figure out who we can blame” frame of reference.  Too often we have leaders who are cynical and political and they are not looking for a win-win outcome, but one that is a little more on CYA, or protecting their backside.


Thrifty means using the resources you have in the most efficient and effective manner possible.  Those in small business or the private sector are usually great resources to view on this topic, but not always.  As Americans we are not always as thrifty as we might be and that continues to bother us in many ways.  Thrifty leaders get things done with the right resources, not too much.


We live in a world where being brave is a rare trait indeed.  Many times we have leaders who shy away from being brave and taking responsibility.  Instead, these leaders shun the truth and find ways to avoid bravery and hide in the shadows.  True leaders take the heat and move on.


When we talk about cleanliness we are not talking about personal hygiene, but we are talking more about keeping your life above approach.  We have a not-so-good example in the news now, Representative Anthony Weiner, who has shown time after time that he is not a clean leader.  Leaders need to view every decision they make as if they were doing it at the busiest intersection in their area.  Even when you think no one will know what you do, you are wrong.  There are no secrets, ever.


Reverence can be viewed in several ways.  One can be a spiritual or religious way and the other is more about respect.  A good leader should be proficient in both areas and they keep in mind that reverence to others and from others is earned and not given.  Reverence by a leader also shows humility, another key attribute in a good leader.

So now we have talked about them all: Helpful, Friendly, Courteous, Kind, Obedient, Cheerful, Thrifty, Brave, Clean and Reverent, the 10 points of the Scout Law.  I never cease to be amazed when I see how effective this model is in defining leadership in almost every situation.

Which of these 10 points are strong points for you-which are not so strong?

You don’t need to wear a uniform to be a great leader, but I know that you will become an even better leader if you follow the 10 point of the Scout Law.