Leading Fully

Patrick Ogburn's Leadership Blog

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Camping with my sons often lends perspective to matters that are relevant to us all. Most recently, I had the privilege to enjoy a full week of camping with two of my sons (ages 7 and 9) at the Heritage Scout Reservation in the Laurel Highlands of PA. The camp is operated largely by current or former Boy Scouts, ranging in age from 14 to early twenties. While there, I could not help but notice that the young scouts hang on every word coming from the counselors. When the counselors showed enthusiasm, the scouts followed. Most notable to me was a moment at dinner when Nick, one of the counselors, engaged Grant (my 9 year old son) directly in a conversation about how camp was going. In that moment, there was a visible change. Grant’s eyes brightened, and his whole attitude changed.  His participation in the camp changed qualitatively — any remaining nervousness faded away and he was free to fully engage the experience.

Nick had some awareness of his role as a leader for the young scouts. And yet, when I thanked him pointedly for the impact that he had on the boys and what he did to make a difference, he was visibly affected, and reminded of the call to leadership. So it is with each of us. Sometimes we get it right, and sometimes we don’t. Most of the time, we walk through life and work with a very limited appreciation for the impact that we have on others as leaders in our home, community, and workplace. You are always leading. As a leader, people are watching you. This presents to each of us a great opportunity – and a great responsibility. Are you leading fully… engaged, conscious, intentional?