Leadership in The American Legion is provided by some very special veterans that volunteer to guide us towards success, although at times it feels like many of our post leaders are often "volun-told" to serve. A better perspective on what a leader is, comes from John Quincy Adams, our 6th President of the Unites States of America. President Adams said, "If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader."
Within the veteran community the command and control style leadership is a familiar style of leadership from our military experience. The concept of servant leadership may be a much better fit for the volunteer world of a veterans service organization like The American Legion.
During my years of involvement in the Boy Scouts of America I did a lot of training. Early in my Scouting career most of the training was on the skills of Scouting, teaching Scouts- map & compass, fire building, first aid and the like. As time went on my involvement shifted towards leadership training for adult leaders. I served on courses like Train the Trainer, Scoutmastership Fundamentals and Wood Badge. When I moved to the central coast from Modesto, CA in 2004 my training focus shifted back to training Scouts once again. My responsibilities included training teen age Boy Scouts to teach leadership to other Boy Scouts. This required that my adult staff and I had to teach our youth staff how to train or teach the skills of leadership and we needed to teach them the skills of leadership being taught in the National Youth Leadership Training course. It was a challenge, but it was a great experience. The experience of teaching leadership within the scouting program gives me a unique backgroud to discuss servant leadership. I am still in contact with a number of the youth staff, some 10+ years later.
One of the concepts we taught during the course was titled the "Be, Know and Do" of leadership. This ideas is widely used by the United States Army in their leadership training. The application of the Army's version of the "Be, Know and Do" concept was modified to make it fit the training required for the volunteer Boy Scout leaders. It is also very adaptable for veterans service organization like The American Legion.
A short YouTube video on the Be, Know and Do of leadership from the
Boy Scouts of America's National Youth Leadership (NYLT) training.
I have created a page on each of the Be, Know and Do topics, that will give more information and then link the information directly to how the topic can impact a post.
For more background information on the Be, Know & Do of leadership, visit these links: