I had a lot of fun last night as I reconnected with old friends I had not seen in a long time and worked with them in Scouting. One friend and I felt old as we reminisced about starting a Boy Scout Troop thirty five years ago!
Anyway, we had fun work to do last night. We were serving on an Eagle Scout “Board of Review” where we reviewed several young men’s Scouting careers and determined whether or not they had duly earned Scouting’s highest rank and honor. As you may know an Eagle Scout is the creme de la creme of Boy Scouts – only 2% of all Scouts achieve this pinnacle. So, it is a privilege to meet and speak with these young men.
What makes it possible for a young man to achieve such a remarkable achievement? Here is what they told us:
Vision. These boys saw at some point in their journey the future they wanted, the accomplishments they coveted, and they sustained that vision over many years. In some cases, as the Eagle must be earned by age 18, those visions were sustained over 12 years! Remarkable.
Commitment. Obviously in the life of any young person there are lots of opportunities and distractions. But these young men had decided they were committed to achievement and made the sacrifices necessary to do that. By the way “to decide” comes from the latin word meaning to “kill alternatives”. They “decided” and focused on achievement in Scouting as a primary goal of boyhood. This didn’t mean that is all they did by any means. But it did mean that they did what was necessary to achieve in Scouting at a high level.
They had help. I asked each candidate “who was responsible for your being here besides yourself”. Each had a list of people who had helped them along the way and in each case one particular individual who they felt was most responsible. These people had encouraged, taught, motivated, prodded or nagged. No one, not even Eagle Scouts, gets to the top without help.
A servant attitude. Each boy, without exception, was eager to help others. They all want to “give back”. They each recognized that they owed the people who had helped them a debt which can only be repaid by helping others.
How does this affect growing an insurance agency? I hope the answers are obvious. I was inspired by these young men as I always am in the face of remarkable achievement. I think the things they demonstrate, at such a young age, are all things I can rededicate myself to as I continue on life’s journey.