Effective recruiting is essential to effective unit service. We intuitively understand that a “servant’s heart” is an asset every commissioner should have. Specific unit service positions may require other skills. For example, our administrative commissioners need particularly strong organizational, communications, and leadership skills. What should we be looking for when recruiting new-unit commissioners?
After a servant’s heart, experience in Scouting and in unit service may be the most important characteristic a new-unit commissioner can have. While we expect them to fulfill traditional responsibilities such as developing relationships with unit leaders and assessing unit strengths and opportunities, serving a newly formed unit adds additional dimensions to unit service. We look to our new-unit commissioners to put in place a functional succession plan of leadership for the new unit and to be the key contact for the unit Key 3. New-unit commissioners serve as a coach, mentor, and consultant to that Key 3. Effective listening, organizational, and communications skills will serve new-unit , and skills will serve new-unit commissioners well, too.
Perhaps Yoda, the Grand Master of the Jedi Order in the Star Wars series, can set an example for new-unit commissioners. He expected much from and continually supported those he advised, counseled, and developed, but he did not do their work for them. It was Yoda who told us “Do or do not; there is no try”(a great concept when thinking of unit visits) and “Always in motion is the future.”
Recruiting new-unit commissioners presents both a challenge and an opportunity. Finding the right combination of skills will likely require that we ask our best, most experienced unit commissioners to serve in this new role. Those are the same commissioners who serve multiple units already; now we’re asking them to serve only one. That means additional recruiting of new commissioners to enable continuing service to all units. The opportunity? New-unit service offers a new, exciting challenge to experienced commissioners: to help a unit Key 3 build a unit right, from the ground up.
New-unit commissioners are an investment in Scouting’s future. They will help ensure the efforts made to form a strong new unit will result in the retention and growth of those units during the critical first three years of their existence.
Author: The Commissioner Newsletter | Boy Scouts of America