An article in the paper was about unusual first names. One name discussed that caught my eye was 7. This guy’s parents named him 7 after a man his father had become friends with in the military; his name was 7 or Sevin.

This week I attended a workshop conducted by the District Education Officers in my Masonic district. They covered the materials we use in Ohio for Masons who mentor men progressing through the degrees. We call the mentors “Master Craftsman.”

It was during this session we were asked, “are you treating the candidates like a business transaction or are you adopting them into your lodge family?”

This started me thinking about lodges and their leaders who do not take the time to develop strong relationships with not only their new Masons but with each other. So I suppose that instead of names we might as well assign everyone a number, you know, for the convenience of everyone, especially the leader. After all, the leader has more important things to take care of rather than people.

John Maxwell defines influence as the true measure of leadership. To have influence as a leader, especially when asking for significant sacrifice and commitment, you must have established a positive, meaningful relationship with your team and followers. So if you haven’t they pretty much are just numbers to you.

How does a leader start a relationship with someone? Here are some thoughts.

  • Start with the simple stuff and find out about their background. Salespeople use the acrostic FORM which stands for family, occupation, recreation and message.
  • The message part of FORM refers to their beliefs and what they value. This is where you begin to understand people on a deeper level
  • Ask what inspires them, what makes them laugh, cry and sing.
  • Then ask what they hope to accomplish in your lodge and Masonry; in the next year, the next five years and beyond.
  • Listen more than talk
  • Make them aware how you, as the leader of their lodge, intend to help them accomplish their Masonic goals.

By investing your time in someone you establish a powerful connection and they understand that they are more than just a number. They are cared for. They have been adopted into a loving and caring fraternity – “…a sacred band, or society of friends and brothers.”

So if your team members and followers are just a set of numbers you have some work to do.

Have a Great Masonic Day!

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