As we sit on the eve of a festive Girl Scout week, I pen my second blog of five articulating the power of cookies and the benefits to Girl Scouts for being amazing entrepreneurs. Today’s blog, decision making, follows on the previous goal setting blog. Girl Scouts are leaders and as such they have a cardinal responsibility to make good decisions because they are being followed by others. When our older Girl Scouts met with Washington Secretary of State Kim Wyman this week, she relayed the story that in her days as a Campfire Girl, she realized she was a leader when she would say something on her outdoor adventures, and others would follow her. It was at that point, she realized she was a leader and she never looked back rising to be the second female Secretary of State in our state’s long history. Today, she is faced with many weighty decisions including the sacred and difficulty responsibility of protecting the integrity of the Washingtonian vote and hence our state’s democracy. We also were exposed to the many difficult decisions made by our legislators.
Our Girl Scouts are also leaders and this time of year, they are entrepreneurs who create the #1 Girl-led business in the world. To do that, Girl Scouts make some very informed decisions. What is my sales goal? How do I adjust from last year? What booth does my troop want and when? Every Girl whose cookie sales goals I reviewed showed some excellent thought and decisions on ways to get there. I have two points to make on the importance of decisions. One, decisions make an incredible difference in our daily life. Choosing A or B sets you on a new path and rarely will you reach the same place. So, decisions should never be taken for granted. Second, decisions are hard and only made easier by experience. That is the value of our Girl Scouts becoming world class entrepreneurs from Daisies forward. They learn and learn fast. I could only marvel watching Girl Scout Senior Kaitlyn Smock describe her experience with cookie selling in a recent radio interview. She talked about her up sale techniques and how she goes about it. Kaitlyn has been doing this for many years—she is clearly a better decisionmaker because she is “field tested and cookie approved” in her evolution as a leader.
I would say the same for our volunteers, plus product sales leader in Council, Renee. They faced a lot of stress the last two weeks in determining how many pre-order boxes to order—I saw it with Renee’s decision making on site in Council and heard it in the voices of two volunteers talking last week. Ordering 444,444 boxes of cookies should give pause to any rational decision-maker. Determining the number of cookies to order for your Council is not easy, but we do it year after year to a tune of nearly a billion in sales nationally. Girl Scouts are obviously making excellent decisions. In making these tough decisions, we become leaders of courage because we grow with confidence.
Historically, one of the most famous literature poems is Robert Frost’s poem the “The Road Not Taken.” I pondered that poem as I reflected on our 2,800 Girl entrepreneurs. While new to the Girl Scout movement, I am confident our Girl Scouts will graduate as seasoned entrepreneurs with the complete skillset of decision-making at their disposal to serve them well. Armed with those vital skills, they will have the courage to take the road less traveled for a better life. That is why Girl Scouts cookies matter and they always will—our entrepreneurs are decisive in setting goals and making decisions. The best news of all, when our Girl Scouts take that road less traveled, they become trailblazers because the rest of America follows. Eat up America! “I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference….”
--Brian Newberry, CEO, GSEWNI