Leadership Questions and Thoughts...

Discussion in 'General Freemasonry Discussion' started by TCShelton, Oct 18, 2010.

  1. TCShelton

    TCShelton Founding Member Premium Member

    Been thinking a lot about leadership and how it affects membership in lodges over the last year or two. We are definitely lacking in this area for whatever reasons. What can we as Masons do to encourage and cultivate quality leadership in out lodges? Our few GL leadership programs are geared more towards administration than leadership, and leadership may or may not be something that can be taught in a statewide retreat program, or a system of booklets, so what else can we do?

    As another thread pointed out, a large part of leadership is vision. IMO, vision comes after a certain degree of ownership is taken. From what I've seen, ownership is very hard to come by. Most of us are content to take "membership," but not ownership. I see this at every level of Masonic membership from the EA to the PM. A lot of Brothers have quality ideas out there, but won't share them for several reasons, such as not feeling like they've been a member long enough to know anything, that their lodge doesn't seem open to new ideas, etc. What can we do to fix this?

    Most of the talk we hear when it comes to our issues is the need for more members. What do we do with those members when we get them? A large portion of those EAs never make it to MM, so this brings up another problem needing to be dealt with. How can we adapt out leadership to address this? What are these candidates looking for when they petition? If we are asking them these questions when we investigate them (a question not neccisarily on the investigation form), what answers do we get? Do we provide what they are looking to us for? Do we even care once they get intiated?

    A lot of this can be solved by effective mentorship. IMO, mentorship should be the #1 priority when it comes to leadership training. However, this would entail developing a quality mentorship training program (I believe we used to have one way back when) and actually implementing it, which will be a challenge. Writing it wouldn't be the issue. Other GLs have already done this, so there would be no need to reinvent the wheel. Implementation would be difficult, since we can all see how well that has worked with the ALL program. Finding effective teachers would be troublesome, since this kind of education requires one on one interaction, not the large group methods we use for everything else. One thing worth noting though, is that not everybody can be a mentor. It takes someone with a lot of patience, an understanding of the system, a personality that is receptive to criticism and honesty, a desire to probe feelings and emotions, the will to foster mental and spiritual growth, and everything else required in building true fraternal bonds. It takes a Mason.

    Most of this will require us to look at our Fraternity as more than a charitable social club. I know many will take offense to that statement, but it is what it is. When we really look at this, do our actions reflect anything deeper? What do we do as Masons? Take out your pen and paper and write a list of the things you and your lodge do. How many of those things fall under charity/fundraising? That covers "relief." Now what about truth and brotherly love? What do we do for these besides the occasional education paper and a donation to a brother in distress (which would fall under the charity category)? We hear about this all the time with the old complaints about going to stated meetings to eat and pay bills. If we can examine this a bit closer, we will find part of our answer to why we have EAs and new MMs who never come back.

    Let's talk about brotherhood. How many of you would REALLY TRULY fly to a Brother's relief barefooted and at midnight? Why does it give us goosebumps when we hear about a Brother helping out another? Shouldn't that be an everyday thing? What does "Brotherhood" really mean to each of us? How do we convey this to our new members?

    More to come, but I'd like to get some honest feedback and opinions on this to incorporate into some stuff I'm working on.
  2. David Duke

    David Duke Premium Member

    To be honest except for charity/fundraising very little. I whole heartedly agree that a true mentorship program should be implemented not for the esotorical teachings alone but to help less informed brothers including myself develop a true meaning behind the words included in our work. If one takes the time and develops an understanding of what is being taught and implement in their daily lives the lessons taught we would indeed become leaders.

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