By Gino Blefari
This week my travels found me in Northern California, Arizona, Southern California and then back to Northern California. While in Los Angeles, I had the opportunity to attend an event honoring recently retired Chairman, president and CEO of Edison International Theodore “Ted” F. Craver, Jr. with the 2016 Western Los Angeles County Council, Boy Scouts of America Americanism Award.
According to WLACC-BSA president Mark D. Carlson, the award “is conferred on individuals who personify the traditions of our country and the Boy Scouts of America.” Other notable recipients include: General Jimmy Doolittle, Gerald R. Ford and Bob Hope.
The event itself was an incredible evening put together for a fantastic, inspiring leader and proudly sponsored in part by our very own parent company, Berkshire Hathaway Energy.
When asked about one of the secrets to his success, Craver told Carlson he incorporates the 12 points of the Scout Law into the culture of the organizations that he has had the opportunity to lead. Here are those 12 points:
A Scout is … Trustworthy, Loyal, Helpful, Friendly, Courteous, Kind, Obedient, Cheerful, Thrifty, Brave, Clean and Reverent.
As I participated in the event to honor Craver, and listened to how the Boy Scouts of America fosters, develops and embodies leadership, I couldn’t help but recall a speech I’d watched the day before, given by the Dallas Cowboys’ Tony Romo to squelch swirling quarterback controversy among the Cowboys organization, exacerbated by a media splashing the story of a sidelined Romo across every major sports publication in the country. To provide context, as Tony Romo recovers from a back injury that has kept him off the field since August’s preseason, Dak Prescott assumed—and will continue to assume—the role of quarterback for the Cowboys. In a 733-word speech lasting a little more than 4 minutes, Romo explained his frustration and fears about watching another player excel as Cowboys’ quarterback but also articulated reverence, bravery, loyalty, trustworthiness, obedience and every other point of the Scout Law.
“You see football is a meritocracy,” Romo said. “You aren’t handed anything. You earn everything every single day, over and over again.” He went on to say that whatever you do earn, you earn for everyone. “Ultimately, it’s about the team,” explained Romo. “… There are special moments that come from a shared commitment to play a role, while doing it together. That’s what you will remember. Not your stats or your prestige but the relationships and the achievement that you created through a group. It’s hard to do, but there’s a great joy in that.”
So, what’s the message? Let’s return back to the Americanism Award that Craver received. In the description of the award it is stated: “This award recognizes the recipient’s accomplishments in business, philanthropy or politics, and outstanding contributions to scouting and the quality of life within our community.” Nowhere in that description is the achievement of the individual—how much money he or she earned, how many deals he or she was able to close—it’s an award honoring an exceptional leader, just like Ted Craver, (and in many ways, like Tony Romo proved himself to be with his speech), who is exceptional not because of his or her own greatness but because of the greatness the leader instills in others.