In Dr. John Maxwell’s “The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership” The Law of Navigation tells us that planning is an essential part of being an effective leader.
A navigational leader determines where his organization is (reality) and where it needs to go (vision). To communicate how to achieve the vision a good leader lays out a detailed plan which includes specific goals that contribute to achieving the plan. A complete plan will also include action steps that will define who will do what, what resources will be needed and when each step needs to be completed.
A lot of leaders get a plan done and then pat themselves on the back for developing a visionary plan for their organization. They may even create some positive momentum as the plan is initially implemented. But so many times the plan falls apart as the vision becomes obscured by following the path of least resistance; the organization follows old habits and executes what it has always done without the new vision in mind.
“Plans are only good intentions unless they immediately degenerate into hard work.” – Peter Drucker
The plans are so like many personal New Year’s resolutions made this time of year. When people vow to lose weight, stop smoking, eat healthy food, exercise more, etc. Many well intentional souls (including myself) create these plans and fail to execute because as Peter Drucker observed they are “…only good intentions.”
If you intend to become a better Mason and leader in 2016, prepare yourself now for some hard work. Prepare to study, learn and change your habits. Assess your leadership capabilities and knowledge to find your strengths and weaknesses. Start to build on and practice your strengths. Begin building relationships with your Lodge Brothers and discuss your personal vision as well as your vision for Masonry.
If you have a vision for your lodge and are developing a plan, build into your process a method to make sure the plan is executed. Assign responsibilities and empower those assigned so they can proceed without your constant direct intervention. A leader’s job should be to remove obstacles that may stand in the way of a plan’s success. Also a leader is constantly checking on progress and offering assistance if needed.
We all should make some New Year’s Leadership Resolutions and continue to improve ourselves and Masonry. So as we look forward to a New Year let me remind you of some things we were first taught in Masonry because they should be constant resolutions for all of us as Masonic leaders:
In 2016 I resolve to ever keep in mind the three great duties I assumed when I became a Mason; to my God, to my neighbor and myself.
- I will refer to my God with reverence and ask for his aid in all my undertakings.
- I will act upon the square and do unto my neighbor as I would have him do unto me.
- I will remember the lesson of the compass and avoid every irregularity and intemperance which may impair my faculties or debase the dignity of my profession.
By reminding myself of these things daily I will become a better man, a better Mason and a better Leader.