Together we make a profound difference

Important updates

BEST PRACTICE: Leading fearlessly

HOW-TO: Vitalize lodge leaders

Leadership survey results

Resources

Question of the month

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Important updates

At the 163rd Annual Communication, delegates adopted Resolutions 11-06, 11-07, and 11-13, which affect the day-to-day operations of every California lodge.

Among other changes, all lodges must now conduct the stated meeting on the Entered Apprentice degree; Entered Apprentices and Fellow Crafts are now required to pay dues to the lodge; and Master Masons must be in good standing to participate in lodge business.

For detailed instructions on how to implement these changes, log into the Member Center at freemason.org and go to Forms > 163rd Annual Communication.

Review the following documents:

  • Memo from the Grand Master regarding the implementation of 11-06 and 11-07. File name: "2012 09 25 Implementation of 11-06 and 11-07"
  • Memo from the Grand Master concerning the implementation of Resolution 11-13 and updates to the Monitor and Officers' Manual and the Installation Ceremony. File name: "2012 10 08 GM to Members 11-13 and Updates to the Monitor and Installation Ceremony"
  • New instructions for the Monitor and Officers' Manual and the Installation Ceremony issued by the Grand Lecturer. File name: "2012 10 08 New Instructions in the Monitor and Installation Ceremony"

Next month’s issue of The Leader will take a closer look at the legislation allowing Entered Apprentices and Fellow Crafts to attend stated meetings.

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BEST PRACTICE: Leading fearlessly

One of the fraternity’s strategic priorities is to improve leadership and management, including developing new training methods and leader resources.

Why? Because lodges sink or swim based on how they’re led. Take Sunnyside Lodge No. 577 in Gardena.

Master Raymundo Villegas explains:

Background
In 2009, Sunnyside Lodge was on the verge of collapsing. There was discord between members and leaders, and no real sense of fellowship. Stated dinners were held at a restaurant, and the few brothers who attended left immediately after.

We appealed to Mario Camantigue, past master at Torrance University Lodge No. 394. He was installed as Sunnyside Lodge’s master in 2010. Under his leadership - and thanks to the hard work of leaders such as Past Master Joe Merton and Secretary Rene Andalajao - we began a complete turnaround.

We continue to embrace their reforms, and see tremendous improvements.

Here’s what changed.

Inside the lodge

  • Back to home base: We now hold our stated meeting dinner at the lodge, and involve family members. Dinner often involves potluck dishes brought by members’ families.
  • Fellowship and family: We make an effort to get to know each other. Programs are planned to engage ladies and children during stated meetings.
  • Focus on ritual: Our new officer’s coach has engaged members in degree practices. We now have a full degree team.

Beyond the lodge

  • Recreation: We created a lodge basketball team to compete with district lodges. We began organizing lodge camping trips and picnics.
  • Youth orders: Our lodge began supporting youth activities, especially for the local DeMolay chapter.
  • Public ed: We renewed our commitment to our local school district. We partner with Gardena Moneta Lodge to recognize outstanding teachers and students.
  • Community awareness: We began distributing flyers, Pass It On brochures, and other materials about Masonry at a local mall.

Results

  • Now, stated meetings are always well-attended by brethren and their families.
  • We no longer need assistance from other lodges for degree conferrals. Our members take pride in delivering clean and impressive proficiencies.
  • Our youth order support has enriched our lodge culture, and has even resulted in new members. Some of our DeMolays are now Master Masons.
  • Several applicants learned about us from Pass It On materials.
  • Young members are attracted to our basketball team and camping activities.
  • Above all, we’re proud to have a renewed sense of harmony and fellowship.

From 2010 to 2011, Sunnyside Lodge increased its number of degree conferrals by 21 - the fourth largest increase among all California lodges. This past September, we conferred five third degrees in one day. That same day, a group of brothers helped unveil the Rizal Monument in the neighboring community of Carson.

For more information, contact Ray Villegas.

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HOW-TO: Vitalize lodge leaders

Members take their cues from you. If your officers are engaged and work well together, other members will follow suit.

Here are 13 ways to motivate lodge leaders.

  • Focus on face-time: Meet with all officers at least twice a year: once before installation, and several months later to check on progress. Schedule monthly executive committee meetings.
  • Identify motives: Ask each officer why he became a Mason, and what he hopes to accomplish as a lodge leader. Use members’ answers to inform lodge goals and determine individual projects.
  • Align with the fraternity: Print out the fraternity’s 2010-15 strategic plan and review it at every meeting.
  • Write a lodge strategic plan: Solicit input from the entire lodge, then work as a leadership team to refine goals and priorities.
  • Track progress: Record lodge goals and establish a format for measuring progress. TIP: Create an online document that all officers can view and edit.
  • Establish ownership: Assign specific goals to individual officers or small teams. Ask them to track and report on progress.
  • Be visible: Set officer attendance goals for events such as degrees, community service projects, ritual practice, and youth order meetings. TIP: Use the buddy system to encourage attendance. If two officers commit together to attend an event, they’ll hold each other accountable.
  • Prioritize training: Encourage participation at leadership retreats. The collaborative formats - for masters and wardens; secretaries and treasurers - will strengthen key partnerships.
  • Create a culture of giving: Pledge for every officer to contribute to the Annual Fund.
  • Make it personal: Update officer photos and bios on your lodge’s website, Trestleboard, and Facebook page.
  • Use technology: Keep officers connected via virtual meetings and online documents. Simplify administrative duties with tools like iMember and Intact, the upcoming Web-based accounting and reporting system.
  • Keep an open dialogue: If an officer is feeling burnt out, have a conversation about how to lighten his load.
  • Boost morale: Arrange social events, focusing on building camaraderie and showing officer appreciation.

 

Have we forgotten something? Email suggestions to communications@freemason.org with How-To: Unify lodge leaders in the subject line.

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Leadership survey results

As part of the strategic plan, the fraternity recently launched the Masonic Leadership Project. In August, an electronic survey went out to members throughout California, asking you to identify critical Masonic leadership values and principles. There were 1,826 responses.

Overwhelmingly, respondents were past or current lodge leaders, such as elected or appointed lodge officers, coaches, or lodge committee members. About 400 respondents had not held leadership positions.

We asked four key questions.

  • How would you like to be trained? Primarily, you want training in person followed by online or Web-based training. You also want mentoring and coaching.
  • What leadership training topics do you want? Your top three responses were applying the principles of Freemasonry to leadership; communications and conflict resolution; and team development skills.
  • Who wants to be a leader? You were roughly divided into thirds among those who want a leadership position; those who don’t want a leadership position; and undecided. Millenials and Gen Xers tended to want leadership positions in higher proportions.
  • What leadership values are important to you? The three tenets - truth, relief, and brotherly love - were in everyone’s top six values. Integrity, communication, and dedication were also important.
Thank you for contributing to the survey. Your answers were included in the design of the Inspectors Leadership Retreats and will be used in designing future retreats and other leadership offerings.

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Resources

For our leadership issue, we’re dedicating this section to important scheduling reminders.

California is the third largest state in the nation - and our fraternity is sprawled up and down it, from the state’s smallest mountaintop town to its most bustling city.

Officers are the glue that holds us together. At annual leadership retreats, they build relationships, get inspired, and learn to be better leaders for lodges like yours. With the right training, they can move your lodge and your fraternity forward under the strategic plan.

This year’s retreats have been scheduled. Make sure your lodge leaders mark their calendars.

This month: Save the Dates: Leadership Retreats and Masonic Education

Download this schedule and post it at lodge, in your Trestleboard, on your Facebook page, and on your lodge calendar. Email it to your leadership team.

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Question of the month

Last month we asked if you attended the 2012 Annual Communication. Of the 172 who responded:

49% - Yes
51% - No

On a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being excellent, attendees gave their experience an average rating of 8.

Here’s your next question.

 

 

 

 

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Please email questions to communications@freemason.org.

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San Francisco, CA 94108

p: (415) 776-7000

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