Learning in a Crunch

I’m a Scoutmaster, which makes me a master at multi-tasking, trying to meet the different needs of all the boys in my Troop. Currently I’m working with two who are undertaking Eagle Projects. To earn the rank of Eagle, a Scout must identify, plan, and carry out a significant community service project that exhibits leadership. What it really requires is excellent project management skills and as my boys have learned – risk management skills. Both of the projects – a collection for an animal shelter and an interfaith youth dialogue – have run into snags and snafus (Situation Normal – All Fouled Up!). It’s how they’ve responded in the crunch, changing on the fly to accommodate the circumstances, that I am most proud of – 2 youth groups dropping out of dialogue a week in advance, and underperforming collection results. I’ll have to tell you the results in a later blog when we see what happens. But here’s the learning for the rest of us. Most of us operate well under normal situations. It’s when something goes awry – a bad economy, lost funding, lost jobs – where the real learning takes place. How do we respond? What do we do to rebound, and equally important, what do we learn on the way? I have a saying: Anything is possible, but nothing is simple. It started off with the first 3 words – anything is possible – when I started doing some of the things I only dreamed of – speaking at conferences, writing a book, playing music in Europe. But then I realized that it wasn’t all quite as simple as it seemed. Each “wonderful” result only got there with a lot of effort and planning on my part, and with a few snarls along the way. Applying the learning we gain when things don’t go quite as planned will help us in both tough times and good ones.
Keep reaching out, keep learning, and don’t lose the lessons you are learning along the way.


About hprager

Father, husband, brother and son. Delighted to be friends and mentor to so many wonderful people. Passionate about: leadership, learning and development, education, nature and the environment, youth, music, jazz, the tuba, Israeli dancing, networking and helping others, humor, laughter, swimming, hiking, the Cubs, Northwestern athletics, theater, musicals, concerts, traveling and making new friends wherever I go. Helping the world be a better place when I leave it.
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