Have you ever heard the saying “he is a natural born leader”? Is leadership genetic or an acquired skill set? This debate has been raging for decades and in today’s membership climate, it is more relevant than ever.
The fact of the matter is that leadership is an acquired skill set but it is not easily acquired. It requires work, research, studying, and practice every day. It includes skills such as public relations, project management, and and time management.
So the next logical question is whether you belong to a lodge or chapter that hurries every warm body through the line? A member is raised to the sublime degree of Master Mason and becomes Worshipful Master in 2 to 3 years. Does that scenario benefit the craft? ABSOLUTELY NOT! Freemasonry will not improve until the leadership improves.
So how does one acquire this skill set? First and foremost, take every course your grand jurisdiction offers. In NY start with the LDC-8 or MDC and work your way up to the Road To The East, Master’s Chair, and IDC. If you don’t know what these courses are, ask your DDGM or Grand Lodge Staff Officer. Join a reading program. The Livingston Library in NY has a series of reading programs that are virtually free.
Go to your library and read everything you can find on leadership. Start with the old timers like Napoleon Hill or Zig Zigler, and move on to Anthony Robbins or Brian Tracey. If you read an hour a day, you will be on the top of the leadership heap in just 3 years.
Talk to the leadership in your lodge and district. Don’t be afraid to ask questions or offer suggestions. Leadership is a trial and error process. Observe your own lodge and make a note of what works and what doesn’t work.
Finally, join blogs and forums and ask questions. Comment on posts and save the good ones for future reference.
So what are you waiting for? Have you started yet?