Many of you will serve your Masonic lodge in a leadership role. Whether it is a Master or other officer of your lodge, there are many ways you can fulfill the role of a leader. The opportunity to serve includes the responsibility to make a difference for your lodge and our Masonic fraternity.
Masonry made an impact upon our lives, otherwise we wouldn’t continue to be involved. We can never forget that we have accepted the responsibility to conduce our lives to the tenants of Freemasonry – a value based organization that sets us apart from other men.
The future revolves around leadership. A leader takes the initiative to get the job done and is one who plans, organizes, and implements. This clearly reflects the principles of leadership: planning, goal setting, organizing personnel, and communicating. The characteristic of a true leader must have a vision of the future and the will to make it happen. Masonic leaders must possess these essential skills to make things happen and, as leaders, we must have courage and conviction to lead.
To better exemplify this notion, here is a definition using each letter of the word “leadership.”
L stands for love. We must be people-oriented with the ability and willingness to connect and help others. Caring for our members must be our top priority so they will want to follow our lead, thus becoming good leaders themselves.
E exemplifies education. Being a leader means to help educate and mentor those you lead. Learning is always an investment so a leader must emphasize education.
A is for accountability. A leader needs to be able to take responsibility for his own actions and set an example that others may emulate. It is a privilege, not a right, to lead others and necessary to learn the art of being a gracious leader.
D represents direction. An effective leader directs the organization in a positive manner. A leader must have knowledge and confidence in his direction to succeed.
E means example. As a leader, you set a standard of behavior that is beyond reproach by being fair and honest. You must set a good example for others to follow.
R is for the respect that a leader earns from those who follow. The important qualities of being respectful and truthful are essential to maintain a good relationship with officers and members. A leader must make everyone feel valued and appreciated by recognizing their contributions.
S represents showing the way for the organization. As an officer, it is essential to exhibit your station with pride and excellence to the best of your abilities.
H is important for honesty. Leaders must not only be honest and forthright with their actions and decisions, but they must also be fair and impartial.
I represents the inspiration others need to excel and to motivate others to reach for excellence. This inspiration will persuade others to work toward accomplishing their Masonic Goals. By inspiring others, each member will accomplish more and succeed as a team.
P is for planning and is an important characteristic of leadership. Plan the future so it will be one we can all be proud of.
Each letter of the word “leadership” provides ideas to enhance our skills to be good and effective leaders. By focusing on love, education, accountability, good direction, leading by example, respect, showing, honesty, inspiration and planning, we can all create a better future of leaders.
Leadership isn’t easy. Being a good leader is not a responsibility one should take lightly as it offers many challenges. Those challenges are often rewarded with opportunity. Implement these traits to serve the entire Masonic fraternity. Learn from the past, live in the present, and build a better future by exhibiting effective leadership so freemasonry will make a difference in the world.
Excerpted from The Masonic Service Association of North America “The Short Talk Bulletin”®
RWB Paul A. Weglage
Deputy Grand Master