New District Commissioner
Congratulations on your new job as District Commissioner in the Boy Scouts of America!
Some of my first thoughts were "Well, Stan, now you've gone and done it! One fresh cow pattie in the whole pasture and you stepped right in it!"
Seriously, congratulations! And, Good Luck!
Now, what can you do to make your success as District Commissioner less dependent on luck?
Some Secrets to Success:
- Locally... sitting through Commissioner Basic Training may be worthwhile, if it has been a while since you did it.
- College of Commissioner Service... Some Councils host annual training events called either College of Commissioner Service or University of Scouting. You may find a course on "Administration of Commissioner Service" or "Commissioner Administration" there. (Note: You can go "out of council" for this!)
- Philmont Training Center... has some excellent week-long summer conferences for Administrative Commissioners... and what better place to learn?
- Reference: Add "Commissioner Administration" to the list of BSA publications that you keep handy.
- Hats: "Box up" all (i.e. ALL) those other hats, and put them in storage. Do arrange for some form of regular "out in front of the troops" activity, such as ceremonies to present training awards at Roundtables. The key is once the ceremony is planned, it can be applied without much effort or distraction from your primary goals.
- Hit Lists: Start making up that "hit list" of prospective ADC's and Unit Commissioners... Try to get ADC's (about one for each 15 units) on-line quickly so that they can help recruit unit commissioners, and, as a group, try to recruit about two or three new unit commissioners each month (adjust up or down according to number required and expected tenure.) Train 'em, Watch 'em, Encourage 'em, and find new jobs for those who don't "work out."
- Recruit: Recruit folks for a year at a time. Be clear... be up front about it... "If we work out well together, I'll come back and ask you to serve another year. If not, I'll suggest some other possible areas of service." This reduces the need to "fire volunteers," which is never easy to do.
- Roundtable: Recruit good Roundtable Commissioners, get agreement with them on goals, and get out of their way. You can't worry about the day-to-day (or is it month-to-month) details of RT and do the rest of your job, too.
- The team: You, your boss (the District Chairman), and your advisor (the District Executive) are the key to your district's success. Mutual support will pay off.
- Smile a lot, learn as many names as you can, shake a lot of hands at RT's, tell each that you're glad that they are there.
- One last secret to success: Be sure to thank everyone for their well-meaning suggestions and to take them with a grain of salt!
If you have additional suggestion for this list, they will be appreciated.
Latest update: 12/28/99
Copyright 1997, 1999 © by Stan Pope. All rights reserved.