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People Skills Profoundly Powerful


As the 2019 cookie season concludes, the "Go for Bold" theme is an understatement for this Council's actions. Just today, Girl Scout Olivia Gleaton reached her 2,000 box of cookies sold and promptly set a new goal of 3,000. With one week left, our Girl Scouts are bold and that is why this season has been so impressive with a 5% overall sales increase. The benefits to the troops and our Council will be longlasting.

In the short term, the benefits are just as compelling. In the past month, I detailed how our entrepreneurs learn goal setting, decisionmaking, ethics and money management. I have one final skill to discuss that is so powerful in all settings: people skills. Despite a technology driven world, we are still a world dependent on human interactions and mastering those human interactions is the coin of the realm.  A Girl Scout standing in the parking lot asking strangers to buy cookies is more than a confidence building skill, it is a people skill as well. Handling rejection, being an encourager, these are skills every Girl Scout masters. Our Girl per box average is over 300 boxes right now--that is a lot of people skills learned in a short amount of time and our growing accomplishments are testament to the skills learned.

Every one of our eight Gold Award projects completed in 2018 was a capstone of people skills. Take Gold Girl Scout Rachael Dowlen who contributed 100 hours to teaching self-esteem to younger girls.  She learned her ability to connect with her younger girls by years and years of cookie sales. Visiting a Walmart booth today, I could not get a word in edgewise to the Girl Scouts for how busy it was. Any Walmart booth seller probably deserves a Masters in people skills for the volume experienced. It is not lost on me that all our Gold Award Girl Scouts were excellent cookie sellers.

50% of our Girl Scouts will become business leaders and 100% will be successful because they have a foundation of getting to "Yes," of connecting with customers, of setting goals, decision making and ethics. Volunteer leader Celeste Knights sent me a quote recently that proposes "A person who feels appreciated will always do more than is expected."  That is sound leadership advice Celeste!  About the same time I got the quote, I visited a booth in Sandpoint--I witnessed a Girl Scout ask a patron to buy cookies  and be politely declined.  Without missing a beat, she replied "Thank you sir--I hope you have a great day." I am sure that the patron felt appreciated and whether he bought cookies on the way out or just had a better day from the sunny greeting, that Girl Scout is way ahead on people skills.  

In my ten months as part of the Movement, I have seen up close that the "Girl Scout secret sauce" is adrenaline for boosting Girl Go-Getter leadership. In the last two months, seeing the five cookie skills be developed through the cookie program, I am in awe knowing our adrenaline will be sustained. It truly is not just a sugar high! Why? Because boldness is part if our DNA--we build Girls or courage and courage never runs, especially when it is powered by Thin Mints.

2019 "Go For Bold" cookie season comes to an end but our 5 cookie skills live on in the inspiration of every 765,000 boxes sold. Our Council of entrepreneurs did it and their leadership will be sustained because of our belief in them. I personally believe in our 2,800 entrepreneurs, our Girls of courage, confidence and character. I know you do too! 

--Brian Newberry, GSEWNI CEO