I Didn’t Believe This When I Heard It!

I Didn’t Believe This When I Heard It!


“Don’t worry when you are not recognized, but strive to be worthy of recognition”

Abraham Lincoln

Last night I was at a gathering and sat next to someone who had recently attended the state annual meeting of one of the Masonic related ladies’ organizations. He told me it took; now get ready for this, SIX HOURS for Introductions.

Now I don’t know about you, but even if the room was filled with former US Presidents, foreign dignitaries, and iconic rock stars, sitting on your butt for six hours while they are introduced and allowed to make comments is cruel and unusual punishment.

Real leaders understand that the most important people in the room are those they are attempting to lead. Titles have no importance so taking time to introduce the Past Assistant Chairman Pro-Tem for Making Sure We Have Refreshments At Every Meeting person is just plain wrong.

Leaders understand that their title just gives them some immediate recognition which allows them to begin the process of proving themselves as leaders.

Leaders begin to connect to form positive relationships, they inspire and build teams, they demonstrate their worth by producing action, they identify and mentor other leaders and many leaders do all of this without a title.

Real leaders don’t need to be introduced, they are already known.

Have a Great Masonic Day!
Are you pretending to be a real leader?

Are you pretending to be a real leader?

As “Hail to the Chief” began to play the doors of the ballroom burst open and in walked President George W. Bush and two Secret Service Agents. I was sitting at the opposite end of room and from where I sat it sure looked like President Bush. He bounded upon the stage, began to speak and it sure sounded like the former president; but it wasn’t.

It was John Morgan a George Bush impersonator. John has mastered Bush’s voice, his mannerisms and with the addition of some of those George Bush butchered words, makes you believe he is the real deal.

So this made me think of some of the leaders I’ve known that are just like John’s portrayal of Bush; they look like a leader, when you first see them they appear to act like a leader, and they talk like a leader. But as time goes by you find that really all there is to their leadership is the talk and they never back it up with real leadership action.

Real leaders have a bias for action. Matter of fact they get restless and bored if things aren’t moving. They also are impatient with people who are indecisive. The sure way to drive a true leader nuts is to say something like; “I’m not sure we should do this, maybe we should study it more.” This is like fingernails on a chalkboard to a real leader because they have already said, “We are here, we want to go there, here are the obstacles and here are solutions to remove the obstacles.” In other words, they have a plan and they are ready for action.

Don’t just look like a leader, act like one.

Have a Great Masonic Day!
Hey Miss 8, would you mind helping me out?

Hey Miss 8, would you mind helping me out?

An article in the paper this morning was about unusual first names. One name discussed that caught my eye was 7. This guy’s parents named him 7 after a man his father had become friends with in the military; his name was 7 or Sevin.

This started me thinking about leaders who do not take the time to develop strong relationships with their team and followers. So I suppose that instead of names these leaders might as well assign everyone a number, you know, for the convenience of the leader. After all, the leader has more important things to take care of rather than people.

John Maxwell defines influence as the true measure of leadership. To have influence as a leader, especially when asking for significant sacrifice and commitment, you must have established a positive meaningful relationship with your team and followers. So if you haven’t they pretty much are just numbers to you.

How does a leader start a relationship with someone? Here are some thoughts.

  • Start with the simple stuff and find out about their background. Salespeople use the acrostic FORM which stands for family, occupation, recreation and message.
  • The message part of FORM refers to their beliefs and what they value. This is where you begin to understand people on a deeper level
  • Ask what inspires them, what makes them laugh, cry and sing.
  • Then ask what they hope to accomplish in your organization; in the next year, the next five years and beyond.
  • Listen more than talk
  • Make them aware how you, as their leader, intend to help them accomplish their goals.

By investing your time in someone you establish a powerful connection and they understand that they are more than just a number. They are cared for.

So if your team members and followers are just a set of numbers you have some work to do.

Have a Great Masonic Day!
Getting ready for when the little green men come

Getting ready for when the little green men come

A recently released study by three scientists explored the possible outcomes should earth be visited by aliens from somewhere else in the universe. The study listed a number of outcomes from beneficial to harmful. Contact with extraterrestrials might lead to a discussion of math and science or helpful information on solving issues like world hunger or poverty. Or, at the other end of the spectrum; Aliens could intentionally plan to eat or enslave people on earth.

I don’t know about you, but waking up and worrying about being eaten by an alien is not something I do often. What I do worry about is when they land and utter those immortal words “Take me to your leader” and we can’t find one.

So maybe before the aliens show up we need to assess how we select leaders in our volunteer organizations. Do we know what leadership qualities we are looking for? If we do, is there a selection process designed to find potential leaders with these qualities?

Jim Collins wrote about the leadership selection process in volunteer organizations and said that when searching for leaders and there is no compensation at all, that doesn’t excuse you from attempting to find the best possible leader. He says, “it makes selectivity all the more vital.”

With the success of your organization riding on the abilities of those leading, doesn’t make sense to find the best qualified people you can?

Here are some suggestions that can help raise the quality level of your leaders.

  1. Outline the responsibilities of each leadership position and the organization’s expectations on how the responsibilities are to be carried out.
  2. Decide what qualities and talents are desired in your leaders and develop a list.
  3. Communicate the responsibilities and qualities to the entire organization and commit to using them as a tool to assess potential leadership candidates.

The important thing here is to get buy-in and commitment from the organization for this process. It will be much easier to develop it than to actually apply and use it. It you start granting individual exceptions then you have doomed the process to failure.

So when the little green men come and say “Take me to your Leader,” wouldn’t it be great to be able to say, “We are all leaders, how can we help you?”

Have a Great Masonic Day!  
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