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Lodge leadership

Prepare future officers

Your March checklist

For your Trestleboard

Find it on

Question of the month


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Lodge leadership

Since 2010, leaders at Saddleback Laguna Lodge No. 672 in Lake Forest have benefitted from two unique leadership practices. One is a semi-regular meeting among future lodge leaders, where goals for the next five years come into focus. Another is the tapping of experienced past masters to be trusted advisors. With these two approaches, lodge leaders function with a team mentality, and begin each master’s term ready to hit the ground running.

Past Master Gary Silverman explains.

Future Officers Of the Lodge (FOOLs) Committee

  • The FOOLs Committee is an opportunity for upcoming officers to finesse their collective vision for the future of the lodge, and make sure their specific programming plans are ready to go.
  • The committee is the current master, senior and junior wardens, senior deacon, and as many line officers as possible. It may also include any brothers that the senior warden sees as part of his future leadership team.
  • The current master and senior warden conduct the meeting together, with the master letting the senior warden lead as much as possible.
  • The goal for each meeting is to talk about collective and individual goals for the future. Each future officer shares his goals for his own year as master, with the greatest emphasis on the senior warden’s goals as incoming master, if elected.
  • The group talks about what needs to happen for each officer’s goals to be successful, and how these goals fit into a larger plan for the lodge in the next five years.
  • By thinking ahead and communicating goals years in advance, officers foster a strong sense of teamwork and lay the foundation for clear and effective leadership.

Past master advisors

  • Each master asks a few past masters to serve as advisors during his term. We typically suggest that a master secure at least three past master advisors (PMAs).
  • In selecting his PMAs, a master considers whose opinion he trusts, who is balanced and objective, and who is well-respected in the lodge. It also helps if his PMAs represent perspectives different from his own.
  • This requires no formal meetings. The master just asks permission to call on PMAs by phone or in person when he needs counsel.
  • PMAs help the master in any number of ways: They offer advice and expertise in difficult situations. In conflicts between brothers, they can serve as a sounding board and assist with back-channel discussions. They can lend a greater understanding of the lodge’s historic strengths and challenges. And, when it comes time for the master to implement his vision, they can help garner consensus and support among the brethren.

If a master waits until installation to start on his goals, he’s lucky to accomplish half of them. But if he comes in with a clear vision, a unified leadership team, and the support of key past masters, his chances of success are much greater.

Contact: Gary Silverman

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Prepare future officers

Preparing for a master’s term should begin years in advance, and be grounded in a team approach. Here are tips for forming a Future Officers of the Lodge Committee at your lodge.

Gather future officers and hopefuls

  • Set aside time each quarter for the senior warden, junior warden, and senior deacon to meet as a Future Officers of the Lodge Committee
  • Invite brothers who are not yet in the line but have leadership potential to attend as a learning experience
  • Make sure you have the consent of the sitting master, and invite him, the secretary, and the treasurer to attend all meetings

Build consensus

  • At each meeting, have the senior warden lead a discussion of goals for his year as master, then invite each subsequent officer to share his
  • As a group, consider what preparations must be made in advance for goals to be achieved, and set preliminary timelines and metrics
  • Begin discussing criticisms and challenges early, and techniques to resolve them
  • Devise a system for sharing goal progress between meetings, such as a cloud-shared document or email updates

Apply leadership training

  • Urge future officers and hopefuls to sign up for leadership retreats and trainings
  • Ask those who’ve attended trainings to share their experiences and lessons at committee meetings

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Your March checklist

Stay on track of lodge business and prepare for important deadlines. Here’s your March checklist:

Executive Committee

  • Schedule inspector’s official visit and examination of the books, due by end of month
  • Attend, or make plans to attend, the Master & Wardens Retreat
  • Review all candidates’ progress toward advancement
  • Begin tracking 100% officer giving to the Annual Fund

Senior Warden

  • Continue preparing 2017 program plan
  • Continue preparing 2017 budget
  • Continue preparing 2017 officer appointments
  • Continue preparing 2017 installation of officers
  • Review all candidates’ progress towards advancement


  • Continue to collect delinquent dues from members (were due on January 1)
  • Send list of members with late dues to the master for the Retention Committee
  • Send any suspension notices
  • Charity Committee considers remissions
  • File financial reports with Grand Lodge (unless your lodge uses Intacct, in which case you do not need to submit anything)


  • If your lodge has employees, file W-3 with IRS along with copies of all W-2 forms
  • File financial reports with Grand Lodge (unless your lodge uses Intacct, in which case you do not need to submit anything)

Audit Committee

  • Audit lodge books, to be completed by end of April

Questions? Contact Member Services at or (415) 776-7000.

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For your Trestleboard

With April just weeks away, it’s time to get your lodge excited about Public Schools Month. Use this ad to remind members about the fraternity’s legacy of public school support, and inspire them to make a difference for students and schools this April.

This month: Public Schools Month ad
Publish in your Trestleboard, email to your membership, or print out and post at the lodge.

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Find it on has been updated! The site is streamlined and easier to navigate, with a special emphasis on the fraternity’s high-priority efforts.

New features include

  • Modernized interface, accessible across more devices
  • Homepage slideshow with current news from around the state
  • Devoted space for the fraternity’s charitable programs and public education support

Along with the reorganization of the public website, all member-specific forms, guides, and documents are now housed behind the iMember login screen.

Visit the homepage.

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Question of the month

Last month we asked what percentage of your membership attends stated meeting. Of those who responded:

68% - Less than 25 percent
25% - Between 25 and 40 percent
4% - More than 40 percent
3% - Other/ don’t know

One in four respondents said that stated meeting attendance has increased at their lodge in the past few years. Almost half said that the highest attendance is typically at officer installations.

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Grand Lodge of California
1111 California Street
San Francisco, CA 94108

p: (415) 776-7000