Team Water Competition at the 2013 National Jamboree

In both Wood Badge and National Youth Leadership Training, we discuss stages of team development. These include forming, storming, norming and performing. edgeRecognize which stage a team is in—whether it’s a patrol or some other group—and you will have a much better idea of how to lead that team. Also, you can be a far more effective member of the team when stop to think which stage they are in.

The Leading EDGE

Running parallel to these stages is the Leading EDGE: explain, demonstrate, guide and enable. Look at this table to see the parallel nature of both leadership models:

Forming Stage
The team just starting out. You and others are eager to be part of the group, but you really don’t know how to work as a team.
At this stage, effective leaders will do lots of careful explaining to help their team understand exactly what is expected and how get it done.
Storming Stage
Motivation in your team has probably dropped from when you first formed and sadly their ability to work together is still pretty low.

An effective leader will continue to make things clear by demonstrating  to the team how to succeed.

Norming Stage
Team members will likely exhibit growing

enthusiasm and motivation for doing something new. Their skills of working together to get things done is growing, too.

Team leaders find success with a guiding  style of leadership—giving team members lots of freedom to act on their own, but being ready to coach and guide when a little help is needed.
Performing Stage
Motivation in your team in now high. There is an eagerness to get new tasks done and group has found many good ways to work together.
The leader enables  team members to make decisions on their own and to keep

moving ahead. A leader can help the team evaluate future progress by using Start, Stop, Continue evaluations.


Helping youth leaders understand both these models will give them greater leadership skills and a better understanding of why those they lead resist or help their team.

Looking back in history you will find examples of armies, nations, work groups and sports teams who all went through the stages on the left. Then consider the winning armies and nations, the performing work groups and best sports teams, when you do you fill find a leader that took the group through those stages by using EDGE (column on the right)

Darryl Alder
Darryl is a retired career Scouter with more than 30 years of service. These days he is a Scouting Ambassador and serves on the Council Membership and Marketing Committee. However, his pride in Scouting is his volunteer service as an Associate Advisor, Varsity Scout Coach, Scoutmaster, Cubmaster, Chartered Organization Representative, and Commissioner.

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