Together we make a profound difference

BEST PRACTICE: Applied leadership training

HOW-TO: Lead as a team

Essential training for lodge leaders

Intacct in person

Resources

Modern history

Question of the month

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BEST PRACTICE: Applied leadership training

Leadership: It’s both a goal and a byproduct of Masonry, and in California, it’s one of five strategic priority areas. The Lodge Management Certification Program, leadership retreats, and Officers Schools of Instruction are just a few of the programs developed to enhance leadership throughout the state.

At La Mesa Lodge No. 407, members, fraternal family, and the town of La Mesa have all seen the results.

William Stokes, officers coach and past master, explains.

Background

La Mesa Lodge has about 150 members. Some of our long-standing programs include an annual public schools program, Law Enforcement Night, and our sweethearts program. In recent years, largely due to the influence of Grand Lodge training, we have become more involved in the community and improved the general health and relevance of our lodge.

Training

  • Lodge leaders have taken advantage of Master & Wardens Retreats and Secretary & Treasurer Retreats, the monthly Officers Schools of Instruction, Inspectors Schools of Instruction, the Inspector Development Academy, and the Lodge Management Certification Program (LMCP).
  • Our secretary, Michael Seiler, is currently attending LMCP webinars and classes on the new iMember and Intacct accounting systems.
  • Brother Timothy Green and I are the lodge’s Masonic Outreach Services (MOS) contacts, and attend MOS trainings in San Diego County and Covina.

Applying lessons

In recent years, community involvement has been a particular focus. Our new programs are inspired and shaped by leadership training.

  • Beyond the lodge: We joined our local Chamber of Commerce. About once a quarter, we even host the chamber breakfast, which also generates a little rental income.
  • Philanthropy: We have become a regular volunteer with Veteran's Village Stand Down, a local program that assists military veterans. Our lodge mans a volunteer booth to provide identification cards to vets and their families.
  • Community visibility: La Mesa Lodge sets up a Child ID booth annually at the main public library, volunteers at a local elementary school’s October carnival, and enters a float in the town’s Flag Day parade.
  • Lodge outreach: Brother Timothy Green used his MOS training to reboot our widows program. La Mesa Lodge now contacts all of our Masonic Sweethearts on a quarterly basis.
  • Partnering with Masonic Assistance: Brother Green has also been instrumental in assisting MOS efforts in San Diego, and is a resource for area lodges with outreach questions.
  • Leadership style: Programs like the Master & Wardens Retreats teach a collaborative style of leadership, which we reinforce at the lodge.

Future

  • Immediate: We want to get involved with even more community programs, and seek new ways to advertise our hall for rent.
  • Long-term: In 2015, we will update our five-year strategic plan.

Benefits

  • We are a force for good in the community, and we are raising awareness about Masonry. In 2012 the La Mesa Courier ran an article about the lodge.
  • Community involvement has led to new applications. This year we initiated a Chamber of Commerce member.
  • We are in better contact with our absent brothers and widows, and attendance has improved at our sweethearts’ events.
  • Information on MOS is now included in every Trestleboard and stated meeting. In 2010, the lodge helped relocate a La Mesa past master and his spouse into a local assisted living facility, and is currently helping another brother undergo a similar transition.

Leadership training makes us better Masons and lodge leaders. Take advantage of it, and embrace the team approach you’ll learn. Lodges thrive when everyone works together.

For more information, contact William Stokes.

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HOW-TO: Lead as a team

As part of the 2010-15 strategic plan, the Master & Wardens Retreats and Secretary & Treasurer Retreats were redesigned to feature a team approach to leadership. Here are 14 techniques for practicing it in your lodge.

Status reports

  • Executive committee: One or two weeks before stated meetings, hold a meeting of the master, secretary, treasurer, and wardens. Discuss finances; committee and hall association reports; membership updates; budget and calendar; and action items.
  • Entire leadership line: Every month, masters should ask for a one - or two - sentence status update by email, text, or in person. In addition to keeping officers accountable, this helps recognize good work that might otherwise go unnoticed.
  • Beyond officers: If you put out a regular update to the lodge – such as Irvine Valley Lodge’s weekly fireside chats – tap everyone from ambassadors to committee chairs for special contributions.
  • TIP: Use technology! Keep lodge leaders connected via virtual meetings and online documents.

Apply training

  • Encourage participation: Urge members to sign up for leadership retreats and trainings. It will strengthen key partnerships within the lodge, and lead to connections with other lodges in the area.
  • Retreat recaps: Ask those who’ve attended training to share their experiences and what they learned at the next stated meeting.
  • Recommend next steps: Ask attendees to choose one or two takeaways to recommend as goals or action items for the lodge.
  • Share exercises: If a brother was inspired by a particular training exercise, invite him to guide other lodge members through an informal version of it.
  • Masonic Leadership Project: Work with Grand Lodge to present one or more courses. Contact Program Services to request a facilitator.

Cultivate new leaders

  • Rotate committee assignments: Publicize which seats have become available in the Trestleboard and at stated meetings.
  • Interview new members: Set the stage for involvement by asking new members what they anticipate getting out of lodge, and what they expect to give back.
  • Survey the crowd: Distribute and collect a member skills and interest survey with every new member, and once a year with the entire lodge. Create your own or use the survey created by Grand Lodge.
  • Open up the conversation: At least once a year, hold an informal general meeting to solicit volunteers and ask for input on future events.
  • Create a lodge vision and strategy: Share it with members and ask how they see themselves fitting in.

Have something to add? Email suggestions to communications@freemason.org with How-To: Lead as a team in the subject line.

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Essential training for lodge leaders

LMCP trains you in all the fundamentals needed to run a modern lodge.

  • Lodge Finance: Learn how to create a smart budget, invest wisely, and make decisions for a viable financial future.
  • Hall Association Management: Running a lodge today is as complicated as running a small business. Get up-to-date on the latest regulations and tax laws.
  • Member Experience: Attract quality brothers and keep them engaged in the work of the fraternity.
  • Lodge Administration: Whether it’s your first or fifth time through the line, be sure you’re providing the best possible governance to your lodge.

Interactive LMCP webinars are taught by subject-matter experts and delivered online. Attendees can participate from anywhere in the world with an Internet connection.

Each course is split into two 90-minute sessions. You must attend both sessions and pass the exam to earn certification.

All lodge leaders, especially masters, wardens, and senior deacons, are encouraged to attain certification in all four courses.

Sessions continue through mid-August. Sign up now.

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Intacct in person

Earlier this year, Grand Lodge began rolling out Intacct, a new accounting and reporting solution for California lodges and hall associations. This summer and fall, lodge leaders – especially secretaries and treasurers – are encouraged to attend in-person training sessions.

Mark your calendar now for the opportunity in your region.

  • July 20: Redding
  • October 19: Covina
  • October 26: Union City
  • November 16: Sacramento
  • December 7: San Diego

If you cannot attend a training session in person, sign up for a webinar by emailing intacct@freemason.org or call 415/292-9170.

To download the Intacct Training Manual and view video demonstrations, log into the Member Center, then go to Resources and Publications > Intacct Resources.

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Resources

By partnering with Masonic Assistance, you can make sure your fraternal family knows where to turn when they need support. This section is designed to help.

A new quarterly installment, “Beyond Obligation,” will feature true tales of Masonic outreach in California.

They represent just a fraction of the lives touched each year by Masonic Assistance – and are only possible thanks to generous support by California Masons.

Share these stories in your Trestleboard to raise awareness of outreach services, and to reflect on the good you do by supporting Masonic Assistance. To make a contribution, visit freemason.org/contribute/annualGiving.htm.

This month: A Son's Promise

Print in the lodge Trestleboard, and share with family and friends.

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Modern history

On July 30, 2013, Adam Kendall, collections manager of the Henry Wilson Coil Library and Museum of Freemasonry, will present a webinar entitled “Klad in White Hoods and Aprons: The Ku Klux Klan and California Freemasonry, 1921-1925.”

The presentation will begin at 7:30 p.m. PST. Mark your calendar and don’t miss this virtual Masonic Education opportunity.

For more details, contact Adam Kendall at 415/292-9137 or akendall@freemason.org.

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Question of the month

Last month we asked if your lodge has an outreach program for older or inactive members. Of the 90 who responded:

34% - Yes
53% - No
12% - Don't know

Of those who said yes, 45 percent make outreach calls or visits at least four times a year.

Here’s your next question.

 

 

 

 

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Please email questions to communications@freemason.org.

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