Scouts Honor

I went to a meeting this morning where a consultant with a Ph.D. spent an hour explaining to HR professionals how to teach their bosses to build trust in their workplaces. Listening to this highly educated speaker, it occurred to me that everything we need to run a successful business I learned at the age of 11. That is when I first memorized the Twelve Points of the Scout Law. I learned a Scout is: Trustworthy, Loyal, Helpful, Friendly, Courteous, Kind, Obedient, Cheerful, Thrifty, Brave, Clean and Reverent.

Right there it is, first in the line—Trustworthy. As business people, it is the core of what we want, need and expect from our relationships. The only way to get these trustworthy relationships is to first and foremost be truly worthy of trust. For our customers, vendors and especially our employees to trust us we must live by two other points of the Scout Law—Obedient and Brave.

Obedient does not mean subservient or submissive. It means doing what you say and saying what you do. It means keeping promises to the best of your ability. Brave does not just mean risking your life in a military fight. It also means having the fortitude to admit to a customer or an employee you made a mistake or do not have all the answers.           

There is a library full of books by management gurus trying to evaluate and understand the changing dynamics of our workforce. As a small business owner, I read a fair amount of that literature. I keep coming back to this. These Twelve Points of the Scout Law have existed relatively unchanged for over one hundred years.  They are as good a guidepost for organizing your life and your business now as they were then. Our esteemed speaker today proved that point. So, save yourself thousands of dollars and hundreds of hours spent in organizational behavior classes and instead start with these twelve points.