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Module B - Taking the lead

Module B - Taking the lead

Below are optional activities for running this module. However, it's important to run activities and methods that best suit your ESYLs, ensuring you fulfil the aim and objectives of the modules.

ESYLs need to develop a variety of skills, including leadership. To be an effective leader, young people must recognise which style, or combination of styles, is appropriate for each activity.


This module aims to introduce you to the different concepts of leadership. It will teach you how to adapt your style so you can most effectively lead different kinds of activities.


By the end of this module, you'll:

  • have the confidence to take on a leadership role within your chosen section
  • be able to run programme activities that are appropriate for your role
  • recognise different leadership styles and understand when each should be used to best effect
  • recognise how different styles of leadership impact an activity
  • understand the need for evaluation, and know how to implement the process as necessary


You'll need:

Start this session by introducing the module and what the aim and objectives are. Talk about why it's important to understand that we all have naturally different, equally valuable leadership styles. That’s why we have teams of people. We all do things differently, and leadership is a skill everyone can develop with practice. As individuals, ESYLs will soon discover what works for them and what does not.

Pitch your President (suitable for groups of all sizes, approx. 20 minutes)

  1. Explain to ESYLs that they are going to hold an election for President of the World.
  2. Everyone has a chance to pitch for the role. Individually, they should think about who in the group would be a good leader.
  3. Once everyone has decided, each ESYL should pitch their argument to the group, explaining why they think their candidate would make a great leader. Which positive
    qualities do they possess?
  4. Once everyone had their say, ESYLs should vote for their favourite candidate, and discuss the outcome as a group. Did they reach a consensus?

(suitable for groups of all sizes, approx. 20 minutes)

  1. Split the group into small teams.
  2. Stick a few pieces of flipchart paper together.
  3. In teams, one of the ESYLs should lie down on the paper, while the others trace their outline with a pen.
  4. Inside the outline, they should write down all of the different skills that could help someone to be a good leader. What makes an effective leader? What makes an ineffective leader?
  5. Get them to draw on their own experiences of leadership. Where does leadership feature in their lives? They could draw upon examples of leadership at school or college, among friends and family, during sports activities or within Scouting itself.
  6. Ask the ESYLs: what are the key differences in these situations? How does leadership at school, for example, differ from leadership at home? Has this influenced how they perceive leadership?
  7. Regroup, and use this list to help you draw the points out in discussion. Highlight that effective leaders:
  • generate ideas
  • plan
  • encourage others
  • help people learn
  • ask reflective questions like ‘Did it work?’, ‘Why?’, or ‘Would we change anything?’
  • let people know when they have done a good job
  • ask for help
  • are team players
  • learn by experience and from mistakes
  • work within the rules
  • give positive feedback
  • know their Scouts and understand their strengths and weaknesses
  • take their time

Then, highlight that ineffective leaders:

  • impose
  • try to do everything themselves
  • don’t listen to others
  • stick to programmes without leaving room for flexibility or innovation
  • use rules as an excuse not to do things
  • do not learn by experience and from mistakes

8. Stick the flipcharts up on the wall. Discuss everyone’s thoughts as a group, and highlight common skills and experiences. Can ESYLs share their own experiences of good and bad leadership? Can they explain their reasoning?

(suitable for bigger groups, approx. 20 minutes)

  1. Split the group into small teams, and tell them that they are going to race against one another to put up a tent as fast as they can. Use a stopwatch or clock to track progress.
  2. Once each group has assembled their tent, ask them to discuss how it went. Did anyone take the lead? Which role did each team member play? Would they do anything differently next time?
  3. Once they have discussed this, get them to race again. This time, they’ll compete to be the first group to put the tent away.
  4. What changed this time? Did someone take the lead? Did they work effectively as a team?


(suitable for groups of all sizes, approx. 20 minutes)

  1. Introduce the different leadership styles from Appendix D.
  2. Split the group into small teams. Give each team a different example programme from each of the sections.
  3. Ask ESYLs to break down the different activities. Can they think of the leadership style that might be most appropriate for each?
  4. Regroup. Get each team to feedback what they decided about their programme, and to explain the reasoning behind their decisions.
  5. As a whole group, consider what other ideas the different teams might have. Ask teams whether they would agree with the other perspectives. Throughout, make sure any feedback is given in a positive and supportive manner.

(suitable for bigger groups - approx. 20 minutes)

  1. Having discussed how different leadership styles may suit different situations, ask one of the  ESYLs to run a game for the others, exaggerating one of the leadership styles throughout their delivery. A simple and straightforward game like ‘duck, duck, goose’ could work well, as it will allow them to focus heavily on their leadership style, instead of getting distracted by the rules of the game.
  2. Afterwards, invite the ESYLs to reflect on the different styles and how they can be used.

(suitable for smaller groups, approx. 15 minutes)

  1. Having gone through the different types of leadership styles, write them all down on large pieces of paper. Stick these up on the wall, so everyone can see.
  2. Next, spilt ESYLs into two teams. Ask them to line up behind each other in two lines, facing the wall.
  3. Invite the first two ESYLs in the line (one from each team) to the wall.
  4. Read the narrative of an evening with a Beaver Colony from Appendix E.
  5. ESYLs should race to touch the leadership style they think would be best used for the task or situation being described. Once the person at the front has had their turn, they should go to the back of the line, so the next person can come forward for their turn. The process repeats itself until everyone has had a go.
  6. The game is intended to be played as a relay race with speed, but it can be adapted to suit the nature of the group. If there is a difference of opinion about which style of leadership is best suited for the activity described, discuss it together and try to reach a consensus.

Top tip: this activity would work with as little as two players, they just wouldn’t partake in the relay side of the activity.


Summarise the module by revisiting the objectives. Ask ESYLs whether they feel they have covered all of the objectives. Before they go, carry out a review or evaluation of the session.