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More Light in Masonry - Part VII

More Light in Masonry - Part VII

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Published by HiramSecret

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Published by: HiramSecret on Sep 30, 2011
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MORE LIGHT in MASONRY (VII)PLANNING FOR PROGRESS by Allen E. RobertsShort Talk Bulletin - October 1972(This seventh Short Talk in the Leadershipseries is based on the Masonic LeadershipTraining film, PLANNING UNLOCKS THE DOOR,with the permission of Macoy Publishing andMasonic Supply Company. The script waswritten by Allen E. Roberts, who also produced the film. The films are availablefrom Macoy on either a rental or purchase basis.)"Brethren, I spent over 60 hours researchingthis speech. Now I'm too tired to give it,and you're too tired to listen. I'll just saythat your Lodge had a glorious 150 years. Ihope the next 150 will be just as glorious.Thanks for inviting me. Good night."It was 11 p.m. when a Past Grand Master madethis declaration. The festivities had startedwith dinner at six. The dinner was over in 45minutes, but the Lodge wasn't opened until8:05, 35 minutes past the scheduled time.Then the Worshipful Master had gone throughthe whole gambit-opening, reading the minutesof previous meetings, reading of petitions, balloting, introduction of numerous guests,all of whom had been invited to "say a fewwords."Few speakers have the courage of this PastGrand Master. No matter how carelessly theyare treated, they will give the speech theyhave prepared. And Masonic speakers aregenerally polite and considerate. In spite of the suffering they may be subjected to, theyattempt to make the leadership look good.A few years ago I was invited to speak at the200th anniversary banquet of a Lodge inanother jurisdiction. I spent many hourslearning about the history of the Lodge andthe jurisdiction. Then I put my notestogether, not an easy task. The audience wasto be mixed. Ladies just don't like dry,factual presentations.The day before the event my wife and 1 drovethrough a snow storm to the hotel where the banquet was to be held. No one was present tomeet us; there was no note awaiting us; no
one called during the evening. We heard fromno one.Over 500 were present for the festivities onthe following evening. The serving of themeal was delayed. The hotel staff had goofed.The remains of a wedding reception had to becleared away before the guests of the Lodgecould be seated. The service was slow. Theschedule, if there was one, was off by wellover an hour.The Grand Master was introduced and spoke briefly. Then all the Grand Lodge officers,the Lodge officers, committeemen, and other dignitaries were introduced. Two young girls,under the direction of their mother, danced.A comedy team consisting of a man and womanentertained the group with smutty jokes. Thelaughter from the audience was sparse. Ishuddered I could feel my stories being buried. A lump formed in my stomach. It grewlarger as the evening wore on.A magician followed the vaudeville team. Theaudience squirmed noticeably; many left theroom. Some never returned. At 11:35 I wasintroduced. My wife whispered, "Don't saywhat you're thinking, please!" I didn't. Imerely hit the highlights and was through inten minutes. Even so, there was no dancing.The affair had to end at midnight.Another Lodge honored one of its members -its only living Past Grand Master. A dinner  preceded the meeting. The Lodge was opened 30minutes late. The "program" dragged anddragged. A Grand Lodge officer turned to meand said, "What a golden opportunity for Masonry is being lost. I'll bet that over 300of those present haven't been in a Lodge for ten years. It'll be another ten beforethey'll attend another." The speaker for theoccasion was the Grand Master. It was almost11 p.m. when he was called on to speak. Idon't know what the honored guest had to say.I was gone long before he was presented. Sowere many others who had been there to honor him.All of us can relate other examples of poor  planning. That is the main reason so manymembers are staying away from Masonicmeetings. Even when the Lodge has a good program, improper planning can ruin it. So,let's look at the first principle of 
leadership-planning. We'll return to speakerslater.Planning is difficult. It's easier to work with our hands. Planning involves things thatwe don't like to do. We have to think; wehave to do paper work; we have to followorderly procedures. The average Masonicleader would rather work with theritual--confer degrees, teach catechisms or lectures - because these are familiar areas.They have become second nature to him. Fromthe first day of his entrance into Masonry hehas had to work with them. This can belikened to the doctor, plumber, bricklayer,and accountant who have become proficient intheir trade or profession through long usage.This becomes their operative work, and ismuch easier to perform than is planning, or managing-using the principles of leadership.We have determined that the principles of leadership are: PLANNING, ORGANIZING,STAFFING, COMMUNICATING, and CONTROLLING,with GOAL SETTING an all important part of  planning. This was discussed at some lengthin the June, 1972, Short Talk, Growing theLeader. We must set goals, thenconstructively plan to reach them.In the book on Masonic leadership, Key toFreemasonry's Growth, we read: "With more andmore materialistic things vying for the timeof man, planning has become more a necessitythan ever for fraternal organizations. Thelack of goals, or goals not clearly defined,and then no plans to reach them, will not betolerated by the busy men of today. They have become used to efficiency and this is whatthey expect to find in the leaders of theorganization."That's a whole series of reasons for  planning, but let's enumerate some other concrete REASONS FOR PLANNING:- For Change- To Build for the Future- For Improvement- To Stimulate Growth- To Increase Efficiency- To Build Morale- To Improve Human Relations- To Grow LeadersChange, we've said before, is all around us.

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