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The Scout Law in the Workplace: Values that really work at your office

The Scout Law isn’t just for meetings and campouts.

And it’s not just for Scouts.

Those 12 essential points have real-world applications that reach beyond the context of Scouting.

Wherever you go and whatever you do, make the Scout Law your guide for life — including the place where you spend a ton of your time: Work.

Whether your job puts you in a top-floor corner office or a windowless cubicle, whether your shift is 9 to 5 or 5 to 9, consider the Scout Law when you clock in each day.

And think about this: How many of your coworkers would be more productive and pleasant if they lived by the Oath and Law?

You can lead by example. To help you get started, I asked Scouting magazine’s Facebook friends to share how they follow the Scout Law at work. Here are some favorites:

Trustworthy

  • “Trustworthy encompasses everything from punctuality to honesty.” - Rob P.
  • “Some years ago I was let go when my company was downsizing. As I was cleaning out my office, I realized I had in my possession a PDA that there was no record of. Nobody knew I had it, and I could have easily taken it with me. But I knew I couldn’t live with myself if I did that, and I turned it in.” - Susan E.
  • “I trust every employee who walks through that front door is there to do the very best job they can, and it is my responsibility to ensure they have the tools to do just that.” -Arnie C.

Loyal

  • “When you are loyal to others you to build positive and productive relationships. When you are loyal to your values you build a positive and reliable reputation!” - J. David G.
  • “While my superiors value my opinions, they also know that I will support whole heartily the decisions made by management even if they are not mine or don’t think they are wise. Often, they come back and say we should have done it your way. But by not undermining them my value as an employee has increased and now they implement my solutions frequently.” – Kimberly S.
  • “The cowboy poet Red Steagall says it this way, ‘Son, a man’s brand is his own special mark that says this is mine, leave it alone. You hire out to a man, ride for his brand and protect it like it was your own.’” – Kendall B.

Helpful

  • “A rising tide raises all ships. Through helping others you improve yourself. Why wouldn’t you do this in the place where you spend so much time every day?” – David P.
  • “If your efforts at work are not Helpful your job is of no value.” – Carl B.
  • “I work for a large automotive company. As a contractor, when they replaced my boss, if I wasn’t helpful with him learning his new position, my position would be eliminated. His success is my success!” – Duane S.

Friendly

  • “Wouldn’t you rather work with friends? Well, so would they.” - Tony Y.
  • ” If you are friendly in your workplace then you might get promoted and can go places.” Nicolas P.
  • “My position relies on maintaining good relationships with everyone, so being friendly and fair make forming and maintaining those relationships much easier.” – Tammy F.

Courteous

  • “Without courtesy, we are not civilized.” – Gwen Y.
  • “Courtesy becomes one of the most important traits of those that deal with the public as I do. No matter the situation, courtesy can be your lifeline (and when it’s not, it at least leaves you feeling positive about negative transactions with people).” – Charles F.
  • “This is the most important of all the laws and the one most commonly ignored. Good manners in the workplace can be hard to find.” – Jack H.

Kind

  • “Success comes only from earlier failures, and failure is a lot easier to get through with kindness.” – Iain A.
  • “It’s called the Golden Rule!” – Lesley T.
  • “If you’re obedient but rude, you’re still missing the mark.” – Mark T.

Obedient

  • “It’s about Chain of Command. And not always in the military sense, either. Just know your place in the pecking order and don’t overstep those bounds. There are those in the office you can push that boundary with, but there are those you can’t. It’s a very fine line to walk.” – Mark T.
  • “Do as you are asked and you will keep your job.” – Christina S.
  • “Being obedient means not only ‘doing what you are told,’ but having trust in your superiors. They usually have the bigger picture in mind and know what piece of the puzzle you represent.” – Marc F.

Cheerful

  • “Attitudes can be contagious.” – Carrie O.
  • “My company is currently going through a difficult series of budget cuts, lay offs and reorgs. I find projecting a cheerful attitude amidst all that chaos and negative energy not only makes other people more cheerful, but it conveys a sense of confidence and security.” – Chris S.
  • “We should all subscribe to the ‘glass is half full’ theory. Focus on employees’ and coworkers’ assets instead of dwelling on their weaknesses.” – Eric T.

Thrifty

  • “Its my job. I’m the controller. You gotta be brave to tell the boss he can’t spend money.” - Jason S.
  • “If you are careful in your usage of supplies and/or energy, the company’s profit margin will increase.” – Marc F.
  • “Every boss loves a thrifty employee!” – Julus P.

Brave

  • “You have to be brave to stand up to a boss when he asks you do to something you shouldn’t. As a notary I have had bosses ask me to ‘just notarize it’ for a spouse who already signed outside your presence, and ‘she’ll come in later to sign your journal.’ Not only wrong but actually illegal.” – Joni A.
  • “If you allow yourself to continue to become a pushover, never will advance the ball and that person will never be put in their place, which is likely necessary.” – Mark T.
  • “You have to have courage and bravery to discuss associates’ poor work practices, improper procedures, or poor attendance. In my company we call this managerial courage. Honest feedback goes a long way.” – Kris H.

Clean

  • “Clean is pretty obvious, unless you work a ‘dirty’ job, but I guess even then it would be pretty important to have healthy habits (i.e. not putting your fingers in your mouth!). You don’t want to get sick and not be able to work at all. ” – Marc F.
  • “Live your life in a clean manner.” – Eric T.
  • This could also be as simple as keeping your workspace neat and avoiding profanity while at the office. – Bryan

Reverent

  • “Have faith, no matter the situation you find yourself in.” – Eric T.
  • “To me, Reverent is keeping God in the center of your life and working as though you were working for Him.” – Marc F.
  • This also could mean respecting the beliefs of others at your office. – Bryan

How do you use the Scout Law at work? Share your thoughts below.

9 Comments on The Scout Law in the Workplace: Values that really work at your office

  1. Michael Menninger // July 9, 2011 at 6:47 am // Reply

    The Scout Law’s 12 parts encompass so much of what mankind should be striving for. Each part is found in all of the world’s religions in some aspect or another. I wonder, just as a brain exercise, if the Scout Law were to be expanded, what other tenants could be addded and why? Or do these 12 do just fine?

    • Like the beatitudes or the twelve steps no innovation can add what is not needed All that is needed is aplication. That is where creativity is called for.

  2. I conduct my consulting firm on these values. I even played off them in a presentation I gave about social media to the Society for Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators down in Austin, TX last month. I think it’s incredibly important that not only Scouts conduct themselves based upon these principals, but everyone (duh). That’s why I teach ethics to folks about how they conduct themselves online as well as offline. For some reason they think that because they can’t see a person face to face and there is a certain level of anonymity, they can simply conduct themselves in a less than kind/courteous/honest fashion. With your permission, I’d like to refer to this article from time to time (with a link back of course!)

  3. If more people were to strive to live the principals of the Scout Law (and Oath) our world would be a much better place. Sadly too many people feel that the Law is “out of date” or too much trouble, or “not Politically Correct”.
    Just think if a President of the United States lived the Scout Oath and Law! And if Congress were to follow his example? Wow! We would not need Political Parties anymore! There would not be the ongoing corruption scandals in DC! We might have a balanced budget! There would be no more Pork politics!
    The possibilities are endless! It is a worthy goal to have!
    How about if every candidate for office were to sign a pledge to follow the Scout Oath and Law in both their personal and professional life? The same could be used in corporate life.
    The only problem is how people personally define these principals. Too many twist words and meanings. Plus those who would resent having standards imposed on them, however good.
    But I think it would be a great test of Character for many.

  4. Brian Anders // July 14, 2011 at 4:13 pm // Reply

    I picked up from a friend the inclusion of “OMHIWDMB” as part of my e-mail signatures at work. Those who ask understand, those who understand agree, and those who don’t notice may never. Twelve points – ten commandments – th golden rule – The smaller the list, the more accurate you can be.

  5. Put on your resume that you live by the Boy Scout Oath & Law.

    Many people in hiring authority were once scouts.

  6. Maybey the Boyscouts should Become a political partyUniversal sufferage for all active scouts upholding scouting principals.( (Will substantially lower voting age)

    • Not a reply,but a qualification of ny comment) By under 18 sufferage I was refering to 3rd party primaries,not general elections Costitution does not regulate prmary voting qualifications, asit does not even provide for political parties.

  7. J.D. Urbach // March 10, 2014 at 2:19 pm // Reply

    Bryan, check out the 1995 book, On My Honor, I Will: How One Simple Oath Can Lead You to Success in Business by Randy Pennington and Marc Bockman. Zig Ziglar wrote the forward. It’s a classic on this very topic

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