Tuesday, 25 February 2020 02:36

What Successful People Have in Common

Article submitted by Nelson Lin Carter, retired Scout Executive of the Chicago Area Council and condensed from: “The Great American Success Story” George Gallup, Jr., Alec M. Gallup, William Proctor

When it comes to having successes in recruiting more families into Scouting programs or even in any of the other functions of Scouting (finance or commissioner service), the blend of self-esteem and your self-efficacy drives you to achieving extraordinary aspirations. As unit serving executives, you should have the confidence to do the job and know you have been trained to do the job right! Listed below are some identifiable traits that showcase the winning combination of accomplishing that goal.

Research pinpoints a number of traits that recur regularly among top achievers. Five of the most important include:

  1. COMMON SENSE – The quality possessed in abundance by achievers. It means being able to make sound, practical judgements about events that happen every day. It’s the ability to prioritize details in decision making and focus on the information that matters most. A person can develop common sense by watching how others use it and learning from mistakes. For example, when you are working with the activities committees and the focus should be on dealing with how many of the troops will be participating and what the program should be, instead of spending the majority of the time at the meeting on what the patch will look like.
  2. KNOWING ONE’S FIELD – Having a specialized knowledge in one’s field, a practical understanding of the crafts of the business. Doing homework reduces risks and acts as insurance for personal ability. “To achieve success, you have to want it, and then you must work to keep it.” Remember, you are the professional Scouter, and you know the Scouting program. Guiding volunteers through the nuances of setting up an effective Fall Recruitment Roundup is key.
  3. SELF-RELIANCE – Top achievers rely primarily on their own resources and abilities. They have an ability to take definitive action to get things moving in their lives through willpower and an ability to set goals. Successful people have clear goals, are self-starters and persevere after a project has begun. They have the guts and stamina to work the hours required to accomplish objectives. The Mission, The Program, The Youth – is what drives us as professional Scouters. The Scout Executive Code has set the direction for us to develop and grow – independently as we become a better professional.
  4. GENERAL INTELLIGENCE – Natural ability to comprehend difficult concepts quickly and to analyze them clearly and incisively. In addition to I.Q., general intelligence includes extensive vocabulary, excellent reading and writing skills and an inquiring mind with broad ranging interests. How we articulate the data to our volunteers and get on the same page to accomplish the goal is essential. The need to fill the district committee, adding to the depleted commissioners’ staff and identifying more people to the membership committee are all related to the bottom line of recruiting more youth in the program.
  5. ABILITY TO GET THINGS DONE – Organizational ability, good work habits and diligence are essential in accomplishing critical tasks. Our staff leaders are training and directing us to what must be done. Juggling many balls is a normal day in a district executive daily task. Following the work behaviors that will build on future successes is key. Prospecting, cold calling, monthly planning schedule, etc.

Additionally, other factors include leadership, creativity, relationships with others and luck. But, common sense, knowing one’s field, self-reliance, intelligence and the ability to get things done stand out in “success personalities.” If these traits are cultivated, chances are that success will be achieved!

Scouting Wire would like to thank Lin for submitting this story.

Please join us in congratulating Matt Hart, who will serve  as Scout executive of the Northwest Georgia Council in Rome, Georgia, effective March 15, 2020.

Matt began his Scouting career in 1994 as a district executive at the Northwest Georgia Council after completing the BSA National Internship Program. He was later promoted to senior district executive, program director, and finally field director. In 2002, he was selected to serve as the Scout executive of the Alapaha Area Council in Valdosta, Georgia, and then in 2007, as the Scout executive of the Suwannee River Area Council in Tallahassee, Florida. In 2009, he returned to the Alapaha Area Council as Scout executive, and in 2012, led the successful efforts that began the South Georgia Council, the position he most recently held.

Matt is an Eagle Scout, Vigil Honor member of the Order of the Arrow, and Founder’s Award recipient who enjoys traveling and camping. He is also a past Rotary president and Paul Harris Fellow.

Matt and his wife, Kimberly, have two grown Eagle Scout sons: Dalton and Dustin.

Please help us send Matt our well wishes in the comments below as he joins in partnership with the volunteers and staff of the Northwest Georgia Council to deliver quality Scouting experiences to the young people of the communities they serve.

Please join us as we congratulate Gary Decker, who will serve as Scout executive of the Greater Niagara Frontier Council in Buffalo, New York, effective March 1, 2020.

Gary began his Scouting career as a district executive at the Baden-Powell Council in Binghamton, New York. He was later promoted to program director and then to field director before moving on to become the director of field service of the Seneca Waterways Council in Rochester, New York. In 2016, he was selected to serve as Scout executive of the Five Rivers Council in Horseheads, New York.

Gary is an Eagle Scout and Vigil Honor member of the Order of the Arrow who enjoys hunting, hiking, and spending time with his family.

Gary and his wife, Lisa, have two children: Matthew (Eagle Scout) and Gary (Arrow of Light Scout).

In the comments below, please help us welcome Gary to his new role in the BSA as he joins in partnership with the volunteers and staff of the Greater Niagara Frontier Council to deliver quality Scouting experiences to the young people of the communities they serve.

Congratulations to Anna B. Hudak as Scout executive of the Northeast Iowa Council in Dubuque, Iowa, effective March 1, 2020.

Anna began her Scouting career as a camp counselor at Tomahawk Scout Reservation in Birchwood, Wisconsin. In 2006, she became a district executive at the Northern Star Council in St. Paul, Minnesota. She moved on to become the program director at the Illowa Council in Davenport, Iowa, and later the director of development at the Crossroads of America Council in Indianapolis, Indiana. Most recently, Anna served on the National BSA staff as the team leader of the Central Region Membership Growth team and as the national director of STEM Scouts.

Growing up, Scouting was a family affair. Anna’s mother was a den leader, her father was an assistant Scoutmaster, and one of her brothers is an Eagle Scout.

Please help us send our well wishes to Anna in the comments below as she joins in partnership with the volunteers and staff of the Northeast Iowa Council to deliver quality Scouting experiences to the young people of the communities they serve.

Please join us as we congratulate Melissa Stricherz, who will serve as Scout executive of the Central Minnesota Council in Sartell, Minnesota, effective March 1, 2020.

Melissa began her Scouting career in 1999 as an endowment director for the Mid-America Council in Omaha, Nebraska. While in Omaha, she also served as a district executive and eventually director of finance service. In 2016, Melissa was selected to serve as the field service council executive of the Southern Shores Field Service Council in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Melissa is a Vigil Honor member of the Order of the Arrow and Wood Badge trained. In 2013, she completed her dream Philmont trek of 83 miles with her son. She enjoys exercising, hiking, baking, reading, and is very excited to be a part of the 2021 National Jamboree staff.

Melissa and her husband, Craig, have two children. Sydney is finishing her senior year in college with plans to pursue her occupational degree, and Brendan is a military police officer in the Army National Guard pursuing an interest in law enforcement and construction management.

Melissa has a Master of Public Administration (MPA) degree with emphasis in Nonprofit Management and has earned her Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE) certification from the Association of Fundraising Professionals.

In the comments below, please help us welcome Melissa to her new role in the BSA as she joins in partnership with the volunteers and staff of the Central Minnesota Council to deliver quality Scouting experiences to the young people of the communities they serve.

The Boy Scouts of America has teamed-up with 12 of the nation’s leading youth programs to launch Be a Champion, #InvestInKids, a campaign designed to raise awareness and increase support for youth programs across the country.

Every day, these programs reach millions of kids across the U.S. and make a positive impact in their communities and the world around them.

The Boy Scouts of America connects youth to opportunities for adventure, education, skill development, leadership, service, and more, as it seeks to prepare young people to make ethical and moral choices over their lifetimes by instilling in them the values of the Scout Oath and Law.

The efforts of the BSA and other youth-serving organizations help young people make friends, give back to their communities, and build self-confidence, which ultimately enables young people to learn about themselves and build a strong foundation for a healthy, productive life.

These programs and our nation’s youth need champions. Because adults often serve as champions for the youth in their lives and in their communities, we invite our BSA volunteers and parents to use the #InvestInKids hashtag in their social media posts that encourage others to support youth-serving organizations in their efforts to improve the lives of children.  

The Be a Champion, #InvestInKids campaign is funded through generous support from the S.D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation. Participating organizations include, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Boy Scouts of America, Boys & Girls Clubs of America, Camp Fire, Coaching Corps, Girls Inc., National 4H Council, Nature Bridge, Outward Bound, Playworks, Positive Coaching Alliance, the Student Conservation Association, and the YMCA. 

Congratulations to Andrew Zahn, who will serve as Scout executive of the Dan Beard Council in Cincinnati, Ohio, effective February 1, 2020.

Andy began his Scouting career as a district executive at the Hawkeye Area Council in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. He was promoted to district director at the council and then moved on to become field director and later director of development of the Dan Beard Council in Cincinnati, Ohio. In 2012, he was promoted to deputy Scout executive of the Greater St. Louis Area Council in St. Louis, Missouri.

Andy is an Eagle Scout who enjoys spending time with family and friends, following his favorite collegiate and professional sports teams and enjoying the outdoors.

Andy and his wife, Kim, have one daughter.

Please help us send Andy our well wishes in the comments below as he joins in partnership with the volunteers and staff of the Dan Beard Council to deliver quality Scouting experiences to the young people of the communities they serve.

As February begins, so does Black History Month, and, to celebrate, four members of the African American community, who also happen to be members of the Scouting community, share their thoughts about how the legacy of Scouting and African American heritage go hand-in-hand and what this special month means in the Scouting movement. 


Wes Coleman, National Executive Board Member

Black History Month is a special time to acknowledge and celebrate the many accomplishments that African Americans have made in the United States to enhance the lives of all races. Unfortunately, too much of this history has not been highlighted in our schools and taught to our youth. This is why efforts were started in 1926 to better educate the general population on African American achievements. The Black History Month theme for 2020 is “African Americans and the Vote,” which explores the struggle to ensure African Americans are able to fully participate in American democracy.

And because Scouting warmly welcomes young people, regardless of race or ethnicity, being an active participant in Scouting can break down barriers and allow our youth of all races to work together on projects and activities. This will have the result of our young people realizing there are no inherent differences in people. Working within a troop gives everyone the opportunity to see the best that we all have to offer. Scouting gives an opportunity for all young people to fully participate in activities that instill in them values that will impact them for the rest of their lives.


John L. Coleman, Jr., Scout Executive of Long Peak Council, Greeley, CO

As we celebrate Black History Month, I would like to honor the life of Dr. Martin L. King, Jr., whose message and vision continues to resonate today. One of my favorite quotes from Dr. King is “Everyone can be great, because everyone can serve. This country will not be a good place for any of us to live in unless we make it a good place for all of us to live in.”

One of the pillars of Scouting is community service, and I would challenge all of our Scouts and leaders to go out and continue to make a difference to better your community. My vision for Scouting is that we can address hunger by continuing to grow our “Scouting for Food” drives and help put an end to homelessness by partnering with community-based organizations to reduce homelessness in our community.

I would like to see all youth have the opportunity to participate in Scouting, regardless of their race, creed, religion, sexual-orientation, gender, and economic status.  Let’s make a commitment to Dr. King’s dream and go out and make a difference in our community.


Quentina Jordan, Project Assistant, Culture & People, National Service Center

To me, Black History Month is a month to acknowledge the pain and sacrifices our ancestors endured, but it is also a symbol to reflect and celebrate how far we have come as a nation. One of my favorite quotes, written by Shaili Jha, is “We are our ancestors’ wildest dreams.” Although we still have a long journey ahead, I am optimistic that my children will be able to live life with no discrimination, prejudices, and biases against them based on the color of their skin and will share the same opportunities as anyone else based on their contributions to our society.

I am proud to be a BSA employee and member of the Diversity & Inclusion Department where I feel I can truly make an impact. I am proud of the direction that our organization is going to break through barriers and be more inclusive to all, despite gender, race, ethnicity, or religion amongst others. I hope that other organizations, companies, political parties, and people in general take a minute to try to gain an understanding of each other’s cultural differences and embrace them.

I love that during February “Black History Month,” we as a nation get to acknowledge the achievements of African Americans. However, I think that we should continue instilling the values of the Scout Oath and Law to prepare young people to make ethical and moral choices and recognize individuals daily who break down glass ceilings and provide hope for the future.


Lawrence “Ty” Washington, Jr., Central Region Growth Coach

Black History Month is the time of the year we get to highlight the amazing leaders and achievements of African Americans in our nation’s history. Unfortunately, it is the only time we as nation look at their great achievements and accomplishments together. American History should be recorded as it happened, and we shouldn’t need a special month or additional classes to learn about African Americans’ contributions to do it.  

My vision for the Boy Scouts of America is that we recruit ALL children to become Scouts. And that all these Scouts have the same programs and the same opportunities. We need to diversify our base and understand that all groups of people can have a great Scouting program. While there are multiple ways to deliver Scouting, we know the traditional Scouting program works best for everyone when we have trained leaders and a planned annual program, and that’s the type of Scouting structure we should be pursuing first. We also know that getting kids to camp helps keep them in the program for years to come. We are training America’s future leaders; we must make sure there are no short cuts.


Scouting Wire would like to thank these Scouters for contributing their stories and for sharing their thoughts on what African American Heritage Month means in the Scouting Movement.

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