Notes on Chapter 3 from Leading Out Loud Book


“…the task of the leader: to edit the story of the organization, to change the ending, to infuse a new plot line into a story that has become stale, lifeless, or irrelevant”…”Stories will help others experience the need for change and the excitement of being part of it.” (Pearce & Komisar, 2013, p. 59)

In the land of pioneers and red flags, when I was still a child, different values were followed, taking recreational summer camps as one of the most fun and effective ways to plant those values into young minds. We all already had our pioneer button stars, ornamented with face of seven year old Volodya Ulyanov, showing off his curly golden locks, spreading the spirit of young pioneers, inspiring nation. We only had to wait for our initiation to start before we become one more Ulyanov. In order to earn our right to wear young Volodya star on our chest, we had to enter the initiation into becoming young pioneers, depicting the spirit of USSR as young hopes and great potentials.

Before we were entering initiation and becoming Octobrists, we first had to learn several handy things, like sewing our buttons and learning the pioneer oath we needed to know by heart so we could perform it when entering the Communist Youth organization. Our little, insecure voices would recite simultaneously, emerging in symphony:

“Octobrists – future pioneers”

“Octobrists – the children of working class, learn well, like school, respect their elders.”

“Octobrists, honest and truthful guys.”

“Octobrists – friendly guys, read and draw, play and sing, living fun.”

There was a board with those encouraging words written on it, hung right above the blackboard, so we could read the words, constantly aware of it. That was also the easiest of learning the pioneer oath.

On that special day, Oktyabrenok, we would receive our blood red scarves, learning how to tie the knot, carefully following instructions, so we could do it perfectly in the pioneer spirit. Along with our white shirts and red star, thousands of children would stand straight, lined up, waiting for initiation to start, with their jackets unbuttoned around our necks, so the scarf would be visible, showing off the unique spirit of red order. We would be visited by the Second World War veterans, who would be guiding us through moral values and teaching us how to be righteous and noble.

Volodya Ulyanov Lenin, has been a great leader for me as a little kid, who inspired others to live by the same values he lived and who has changed how the USSR society has transformed itself into loving, carrying, honest one and became a leading society in its time. One person influenced the nations and no one there was to say “Oh, I disagree with that!” (Pearce & Komisar, 2013, p. 60) The “stories” I used to live by as a child were all positive and there was nothing negative to dispute, they were all inspirational and educational.

Pearce, T., & Komisar, R. (2013). Leading Out Loud: A Guide for Engaging Others in Creating the Future (3d Edition ed.). San Francisco, California: Jossey-Bass.