Seeds of Leadership

Joy Jones

I have learned so much in recent months as I’ve attended the National BSA meetings, the Thomas S. Monson Leadership Excellence Complex Groundbreaking at Summit Bechtel Reserve, and Philmont Scout Ranch for the two weeks of the LDS Priesthood Leadership Conference on Scouting. I have been deeply inspired as I’ve listened to great leaders repeatedly declare the vital role and significance of early leadership opportunities they experienced in their lives.

As we view our Cub Scouts, Webelos Scouts, and eleven-year-old Scouts, do we envision them as future leaders?  Do we recognize their potential? Are we planting seeds in these young boys to help them seek, embrace, and enjoy leadership opportunities?

Scouting has given us clarification of what these “seeds of leadership” might be. They include keeping your word, being fair, setting an example, praising each other for a job well done, asking for help, teamwork, using each other’s strengths, not trying to do it all alone, being reliable, keeping each other informed, encouraging others to participate, being responsible, caring for each other, helping to plan meetings and activities, supporting and assisting leaders, etc.

President Thomas S. Monson said, “The need for strong, capable leadership is critical today, both in Scouting and in the world generally.” He reminds us of the “need to provide solid foundations upon which our youth can build their lives and serve God, country, and their fellowmen” (June 15, 2016, video for the groundbreaking ceremony at the Summit).

Ask yourself, “What can I do in our next meeting or activity to help the boys have a leadership experience?” Leadership opportunities early in life prepare boys for leadership throughout their entire lives–as Scouts, as priesthood holders, as missionaries, as husbands, and as fathers. I encourage you to teach and model good leadership skills when you are working with the boys. They will learn from your good example and act accordingly when they are given opportunities to lead others. These opportunities are their seeds of leadership.

Contributed by Sister Joy D. Jones, Primary General President

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  1. Stanley Stolpe says:

    This is exactly to the point. Too often in Scouting we focus on program instead of leadership development. You learn to develop boy leaders by going to training, study, and prayer.

  2. Stanley Stolpe says:

    Sister Jones,

    This is right on point. Too often Scout leaders focus on an entertaining program and not on developing boy leaders. Developing boy leaders takes a real investment in time. You have to make time to meet with the boy leader and help him develop how he will run the program. You often need to practice it several times.
    They are the future of the Church and we should be willing to invest in that future.

  3. Jonathon says:

    I love your list of “seeds of leadership.” To me, it’s like a supplement to the points of the Scout Law. This list was shared at our recent Roundtable training. I want to go on and share these often overlooked virtues.

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