Culture: The Ripple Effect
We’ve all seen or heard the awful results of subjecting people to toxic cultures—how the effects of hurt and frustration and hostility ripple through the world around those people and spread the damage relentlessly.
What if we could create and sustain the kind of culture that has the opposite effect—that makes people feel valued and encouraged and able to accomplish whatever is most important to them; that empowers them to make a positive difference in the world by valuing, encouraging, and empowering others?
Commissioners have that opportunity every day. They consistently build the culture they’d like to see in the world. A collaborative, inclusive culture of hope, resolve, and can-do spirit can be wonderfully contagious.
Be the Heart
“People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” –Theodore Roosevelt
Whether at a commissioner cabinet meeting, on a Zoom call with a unit committee, in a one-on-one conversation with a Scouting volunteer, at a roundtable, or during a chance encounter with a Scouting family, commissioners show heart. Being a good example is many times more effective than giving good advice. As commissioners build environments of caring, as they spark Scouting enthusiasm and commitment, as they show core Scouting values in action, the positive energy spreads and sustains itself. Throughout the unit service culture, everyone can experience what it means to have heart, to follow your heart, to warm our hearts, and to highlight the heart of the matter (i.e., what’s most important). Unit service is all about heart.
“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” –Maya Angelou
Culture is built on strong relationships that start by respecting the other person. Listening carefully and asking encouraging questions show Scouting colleagues that commissioners care about them personally, that they share values and interests, and that trust and appreciation go in both directions. One of the greatest gifts we can give to others is to help them recognize the talent and power they already have. Building Scouting relationships creates a culture of belonging that keeps welcoming others, helps everyone to engage and feel included, and encourages reaching out to share and extend the purposeful team spirit.
Change Lives“How wonderful that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.” –Anne Frank
What does it take to improve the world? A kind word makes a difference. Sharing a helpful resource makes a difference. Listening, encouraging, and expressing confidence in people can change their lives. Helping Scouting volunteers thrive and succeed results in those Scouters helping youth thrive and succeed. We will never know exactly how those youth go on to change the lives of countless others, but we know that it will happen.
Scouting makes a difference in the world. The culture that commissioners build has far-reaching impact.