R:. W:. Gilbert “Gil” Weisman Grand Lodge F&AM of California, Chief Deputy Jose Docobo of the HCSO Dr. John C. Maxwell
What is Leadership? Class and leadership – two words that some people say cannot be defined. Class, perhaps - but leadership … please allow me try to define it for you.
Leadership is influence, nothing more, nothing less. The mere imparting of information is not really leadership, or even education. Leadership effort, above all things, must result in making a man think and do for himself.
True leadership cannot be awarded, appointed, or assigned. It comes only from influence, and Brothers that cannot be mandated. It must be earned. The only thing a title can buy is a little time – either to increase your level of influence with others, or to erase it.
Leadership has been defined as a relationship in which one person tries to influence others to work together on a common task or toward a common goal. The United States Marine Corps has always defined leadership as precept and example; Precept is what you say. Example is what you do. Both are necessary.
The best way to test whether a person can lead (rather than just manage) is to ask him to create positive change. Managers can maintain direction, but they can’t change it. To move people in a new direction … you need influence. In voluntary organizations, such as ours, the only thing that works is leadership in its purest form.
Military leaders can use rank to influence others, In business – bosses have tremendous leverage in the form of income, benefits, and perks. Most followers are pretty cooperative when their livelihood is at stake. One quote sums it up very well, “He who thinks he leads, but has no followers, is only taking a walk.”
You will never be a leader unless you first learn to follow, and be led. A great leader never sets himself above his followers except in carrying responsibilities. You must be trained to be an efficient leader. If you haven’t served, it is difficult to command – that’s a fact.
That is why the the United States Military Academy teaches its officers to become effective followers first – and why West Point has produced more leaders than the Harvard Business School. The best leader is the one who has sense enough to pick good men to do what he wants done, and self restraint enough to keep from meddling with them while they do it.
Remember, ordinary Brothers, with the right direction, can become extraordinary Brothers. And we all know intuitively that people go along with people they get along with and respect.
The character and qualifications of a leader are reflected in the men he selects, develops, and gathers around him. Show me the leader and I will know his men. Show me the men and I will know their leader. Therefore, to have loyal, efficient followers, be a loyal and efficient leader.
You cannot let the Fraternity suffer, or make a the Lodge pay – to spare the feelings of an individual. Being in charge means making decisions, no matter how unpleasant.
Teams do not win championships if its players have different agendas. That’s also true for our Lodges. Worshipful Master, you and your line officers should all be on the same page, with the same agenda if your Lodge and the Fraternity is to succeed.
The late Roberto Goizueta, former Chairman of Coca Cola, once said, “Leadership is one of the things you cannot delegate. You either exercise it, or you abdicate it.” Actually, there is a third choice. You pass it on to your successor. Worshipful Master, prepare your successor!
One quote that has been attributed to both President and Brother Harry S Truman and President Ronald Reagan, was actually spoken by Mark Twain. He is the one who originally remarked that – “ Great things can happen when you don’t care who gets the credit.”
Remember, no one respects or follows mediocrity. Leaders who earn the right to lead give their all to what they do. They bring into play not only their skills and talents, but also great passion and hard work.
To put it bluntly: “People don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care.” You have to touch a heart before you can ask for a hand
In order to lead successfully, your Brethren must know what you expect of them Psychologists tell us people retain: 10% of what they read 20% of what they hear 30% of what they see 50% of what they see and hear 70% of what they say as they talk and 90% of what they say as they perform a task.
Written communications are essential when tasking or expectations are being transmitted. That way, when there is a question, the direction can be checked and documented. The ability to plan, and then carry out the plan, is essential to leadership. Plan your work, work your plan, and modify your plans as circumstances require. Think! What makes sense? Then execute! Remember, if you don’t know where you’re going, any road will get you there.
There can be no dedication without education, or as we Masons say it, “ an educated Mason is a dedicated Mason.” In other words: it is hard to be enthusiastic over something about which you know little! Are you familiar with the Law of Magnetism? Dr. Maxwell says it so well …”Who you are is who you attract.” Look at your Lodge or Appendant Body and you can see it – good or bad. Strong leaders attract “leaders.”
What happened to all the judges, congressmen, doctors, lawyers, and business professionals that we used to call Brother? You know the answer … The Law of Magnetism – who you are is who you attract. This is not to be misread as being critical – only factual. When you look at the leaders whose names are revered long after their leadership has ended, you find that they were men and women who helped people to live better lives and reach their potential. That is the highest calling of leadership – and its highest value.
To delegate a task does not mean to tell someone, or some committee, to do the job, and then forget the whole thing. You, as a leader need to provide tasking in detail, and then follow up at reasonable intervals. There is a difference between proper follow-up to ensure things are done well and on time and meddling. Most of us tend to pass the buck – blame someone else. When one is wronged, there is a long memory. People, very frequently, are not dependable. “Show me a man who cannot bother to do little things, and I’ll show you a man who cannot be trusted to do big things.”
Be flexible when possible. Be open and communicative at all times. Listen actively and attentively. Accept change – give it a chance. Seek help and advice from others on how to do a job. Don’t assume anything.
To develop a leader, as with all things, you should start small. Give someone a small job and see how he does. Provide feedback. If his performance is deserving, give him bigger jobs. Plan. Organize. Motivate. Follow up. Remember too, success has a 1,000 fathers, failure has one orphan.
All leaders will, at times, fail to observe a rule of good leadership. No one can always remember all of them. And no one has enough self control to avoid mistakes. Be conscious of as many of your shortcomings as possible and try to correct them. When you observe shortcomings in a leader that you are developing, provide feedback – at an appropriate time and place. Remember, praise in public, censure in private – always! Take advantage of every opportunity to practice good leadership, and to help those around you improve. Remember: loyalty goes both ways. Involve your Brethren in the decisions of the Lodge. The Brethren will support what they help to develop and / or decide.
Leadership is an opportunity to serve. It is NOT a trumpet call to self-importance. Leaders create an environment where everyone has the opportunity to do work which matches his potential capability, and for which an equitable differential reward is provided. Leadership is about the power to influence and mobilize others behind a cause. And the strength of that power lies in the vision, courage, and character of would-be leaders on a day to day basis.
1. Personnel determine the potential of the organization 2. Relationships determine the morale of the organization 3. Structure determines the direction of the organization 4. Leadership determines the success of the organization
Let me ask you, do you have a vision of what you might like to accomplish in your year in the East, and a plan for its success? With the Masonic Leadership Training Program, Grand Lodge has handed us an acorn, which if handled correctly, and with the cooperation of ALL Lodges, can become a giant oak. As previously mentioned, leadership is about mobilizing people.
Courage, not fear, denotes a leader. Courage requires making decisions, not being afraid of error, of failure, of criticism, or the fear of rejection. If you as an officer make a mistake, correct it if you can – but if you have no courage, and cannot, or will not make a decision, does your Lodge really need you as their leader? Focus on what can go right –but plan for what can go wrong.
Now please listen carefully to the next statement which bears repeating over and over until time is no more: “The responsibility of having to make difficult decisions is not the BURDEN of leadership, it is the PRIVILEGE of leadership.” (repeat)
You either have it or you don’t. It is congruence, or the quality of agreeing, that will let everyone know if there is agreement between: your thoughts, words and actions.
One of the ironies of leadership is that you become a better leader by sharing whatever power you have, not by saving it all for yourself. For the Worshipful Master, if you use your power to empower others, your leadership will extend far beyond your grasp.
What are the major barriers to successful planning? Fear of change, ignorance, uncertainty about the future, and lack of imagination. When you prepare well, you convey confidence and trust to the Brothers. Remember, when the real leader speaks, people listen.
You, as a leader, are the Fraternity. You are the beacon that guides the Craft. You know the energy is out there my Brothers. But how do you as an Worshipful Master or Officer tap the source? To know the strengths and weaknesses of your members is a great beginning. And that alone is truly worth a Master’s Wage.
Watch your thoughts, they become words. Watch your words, they become actions. Watch your actions, they become habits. Watch your habits, they become character, Watch your character, it becomes your destiny.
Questions? Suggestions? Everyone please complete the course comment sheets and turn them into your instructor.