I was reading an article in the paper this morning about the widow of a man who has been in a legal battle with the Ohio Historical Society. The dispute is about whether he loaned or gave an artifact to the society. His widow has vowed to continue the fight and she has told her daughters to honor their father by continuing the fight if “something happens to me.”
I have heard that phrase used often when someone speaks to a loved one of the location of important information that the loved one may need “if something happens to me.” I recently talked with a client who said he had prepared a notebook for his wife entitled “If I Die.” This is just a more blunt variation but like the previous phrase, conveys the thought by the use of “if” that the speaker thinks there is a possibility that they might live on forever.
Good leaders recognize that an important part of any leader’s job is to pass on important information to others in case “something happens to me.” In the case of a Master of a lodge or any other lodge officer that “something” is annual election. So it is not really “if something happens” but “when” and the “when” is known. That gives a lodge leader a very short time in which to build a leadership legacy. Every leader leaves a legacy of some kind whether they plan to or not.
“Someday people will summarize your life in a single sentence. My advice: pick it now!” – John Maxwell
In Dr. Maxwell’s The Law of Legacy he offers four thoughts on how leaders should develop a legacy.
- Know The Legacy You Want To Leave – As a leader have you identified organizational problems you want to solve, change that may be needed or inspiration you want to instill?
- Live The Legacy You Want To Leave – Words alone will not build a legacy. You must demonstrate by your actions that your legacy is important to you.
- Choose Who Will Carry On Your Legacy – Have you developed relationships that will allow you to mentor those officers below you? Legacy comes when leaders are created that will carry on when you are no longer around.
- Make Sure You Pass The Baton – You greatest joy should come when you see other leaders step up and do even a better job than you did. Be able to walk away with great pride knowing you had a part in creating these leaders.
So just in case “something happens to me,” do me a favor and carryon my legacy for better Masonic leadership. Here are some things I think important:
- Continually strive to improve your leadership knowledge. Read leadership books, listen to leadership videos and talk with and learn from successful leaders.
- Continually work with others on your leadership team. Have frequent, thoughtful dialogue for the improvement of Freemasonry. Plan for success together.
- Continually build relationships with your fellow lodge brothers. Seek out and talk with those you do not know. As a leader you need to understand what is important to them. Listen to them and learn.
- Continually lead with Masonic Values. Assume the proper attitude of leadership. What better attitude to have when leading than one the displays the tenets of our profession; Brotherly Love, Relief and Truth.
Have a great Masonic day!