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Scout’s Oath: Service

“I slept and dreamt that life was joy. I awoke and saw that life was service. I acted and behold, service was joy.”

--Rabindranath Tagore, poet and social reformer

When Mussolini came to power, all scouting and guiding in Italy was suppressed until after World War II, when it became active again. Re-recognition was granted in 1946.

         I spent fourteen years from ages seven to twenty-one in the Boy Scouts and learned about leadership as a service every day. As a kid, I didn’t understand the magnitude of service, but I did notice my peers spending summers with me, immersed in activities that served other people. This had a huge impact on my life.


In winter, dressed in shorts, I was mocked by friends outside the scouting world. However, I never felt like an outcast even when people were laughing at us because of a strong belief I could transmit to them—this is who I am, and I want to help people. This is fun doing activities that are unique. In essence, I didn’t have to read a leadership book to understand I

wanted to serve others.

         I was inspired by many famous Eagle Scouts including Neil Armstrong, first man on the moon; Bill Gates, Sr., father of Microsoft founder Bill Gates; J. Willard Marriott Jr., chairman and CEO, Marriott International; Mike Rowe, host of “Dirty Jobs” on the Discovery Channel; William S. Sessions, former federal judge, former director of the FBI; and Steven Spielberg, Academy Award-winning film director.

         A Scout:


  1. Considers their honor to be trusted.

  2. Is loyal.

  3. Wants to be useful and help others.

  4. Is a friend to all and a brother to every Guide and Scout.

  5. Is courteous.

  6. Loves and respects nature.

  7. Knows how to obey.

  8. Smiles and sings under all difficulties.

  9. Is hardworking and thrifty.

         Another thing Scouts, and in particular, Carlo, the kind and selfless leader of our local troop, taught me is the power of creativity, planning and storytelling. You cannot leave much to improvisation when your job is to keep a troop of fifty teenagers amused for fifteen days during a summer camp. Careful planning is required from every meal to every activity. My favorite part was creating elaborate games, treasure hunts, and walking excursions. The other highlight of the activities was the daily gathering around the fire every night. Around the fire, storytelling and creativity were the absolute protagonists. You do not need a fire; simply switch off Netflix and imagine your own world and create your own story to kickstart creativity.


The best leaders act in service of others. Nothing I’ve experienced since scouting and guiding has changed my mind. I’ve had inspiring leaders who believed in me, invested in me, and trusted me to deliver. I always measured my success based on the number of new leaders I inspired. I’ve learned that success as a manager is never mine; it belongs to my team. 


Let It Resonate!

Leaders Care More About Their Team Than Themselves

You must give up a few little things when you are a leader:

  • Self-interest

  • Self-preservation

  • Self-pity

  • Self-doubt

  • Self-isolation

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