Monday, April 20, 2009

Reason to Hire John #526: Leadership

I grew up in the Boy Scouts and earned the rank of Eagle Scout by the age of 16. While in the scouts, I learned the importance of effective leadership. My troop was a "scout-run troop." The boys planned everything- the adults supervised, and when I say planned everything, I mean everything. We planned the camping trips, put together the food menus, duty rosters, etc.

As I got older I took on positions with the troop that required more and more leadership responsibility on my end. The highest role within the troop is the Senior Patrol Leader. The SPL looks over the Patrol Leaders and the PL's have their assistants. These duties showed how difficult managing your peers can be. Influencing different persons to work together for a common goal takes a great amount of effort. How one person is motivated is different than another. Scare-tactics might work for one team-member, positive reenforcement only works for another. As Senior Patrol Leader, I had to work with each of my Patrol Leaders differently to get the troop's overall goals achieved.

These basic leadership skills carried over into other venues. Strong leadership traits allowed me to be a successful soccer and rugby team captain, and be elected to my college fraternity's executive board. During summers 2005 and 2006, I worked as a backpacking instructor at the Philmont Scout Ranch in Cimarron, NM. Leadership in the backcountry wilderness is crucial, because mistakes in the backcountry can be life-threatening and help is hours away. However, I effectively led groups of teenagers on 10-day backpacking trips through adverse conditions and rugged terrain with no major incidents.

In 2007, I earned my fraternity's highest chapter award- the "Herman B Wells" Leadership Award, which goes to the member who best exemplifies the ideals of Sigma Nu as an undergraduate.

To this day, I continue to develop as a leader as I train to be a reserve firefighter with the Eureka Fire Protection District.

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