Sharing our leadership skills
Kiron Griffin, District Commissioner of South Derbyshire, has been part of the movement for 22 years. As a medical doctor, he believes that Scouting gave him the leadership skills he uses every day. Today he’s sharing these skills in an incredibly valuable way
Whether it’s leading an expedition through the Himalayas, directing an important office project or steering ourselves out of a challenging situation, we all have moments in life when we have to step up and take the lead.
Because we know the value of leadership at Scouts, developing these skills is an integral part of the programme. It’s so exciting to see the leadership skills of our members making a real impact in our communities.
District Commissioner of South Derbyshire, Kiron Griffin, is a shining example of how the skills of a single Scout can have a butterfly effect, benefitting not only an individual but also an entire community. A Scout since he was six, today as a doctor Kiron uses and shares his leadership skills. His story is a story of Scouts leadership in action.
While working towards a Masters in Medical Education at the University of Birmingham, Kiron noticed that although he and his fellow doctors were being put in significant leadership positions, he felt he hadn’t been given sufficient training for this at medical school. Instead he used his Scouting experience to help him to manage teams, prioritize efficiently and stay calm in stressful situations.
He said many of his non-Scouting work colleagues found the leadership aspect of the job really challenging initially. After expressing his thoughts on the matter to a professor, Kiron was invited to join staff at the university to work towards incorporating leadership into the undergraduate curriculum as part of a wider review.
He is now the ‘lead’ for Leadership at Birmingham Medical School and a fellow of the University of Birmingham. He said, ‘It is likely that, as part of the new curriculum launched in 2019/2020, Leadership will form a significant part of it and Scouting has contributed to that. You could say that Scouting has helped future doctors, even those who were never part of the movement.’
Kiron’s thesis focuses on teaching leadership skills to undergraduate medical students, a concept which came from his Scouting experiences. He went on a future leaders programme with Scouting last year and said he’s incorporated a lot of what he learnt into the curriculum he’s just written for the medical students: things like self-awareness, different leadership styles and managing conflict.
Kiron strongly believes that Scouting has helped him both in his personal and professional life. Part of the movement for 22 years, he moved through the sections from Cubs, Scouts, and Explorers, becoming a leader and then a District Commissioner.
He did all his first aid badges as a Scout but Kiron believes leadership and confidence are some of the most useful skills he learnt in Scouting. He said Scouting helped him with the ability to not get frustrated if things don’t quite go well and to stay calm in stressful situations.
Although he always wanted to be a doctor – as he likes helping people – he says that Scouting gave him the confidence to apply. ‘It’s obviously very competitive getting into medical school and Scouting made me believe that I could do it. I remember talking in my interview for university about how I’d worked towards my DofE and done my Chief Scout’s Award, and I remember the interviewers sounding really impressed by that. I spoke about what I’d done in terms of being a young leader and developing my leadership skills and teamwork and I got the place so it must have helped me.’
When Kiron thinks of positive role models and leaders, his Scout leaders come to mind. He said Tom Stoddard, the former County Commissioner in Derbyshire, really inspired him to take on a role as the nominated youth representative and then the County Youth Commissioner in Derbyshire. Kiron said he ‘believed in me and supported me and gave me a lot of confidence that I probably didn’t have otherwise to actually take on these roles.’
Stories like Kiron’s are an important reminder of the real impact Scouts are making in the world. That real impact is thanks to you, our incredible volunteers, for giving your time to developing the skills of young people. And as Kiron demonstrates, those young people are going on and sharing those skills with the wider world.