The most important decision made by a Master for his year is the selection of the people who are going to help him throughout the year. In many cases,
the decision is taken lightly and the resulting performance is poor. Successful Masters only select and appoint those who are willing to sacrifice the time and energy required to achieve the goals established by the Lodge. Unsuccessful Masters usually continue the appointments of the preceding year with little thought as to the anticipated results.
Consider your past and/or present experiences with your own profession and then equate them with your staffing requirements for the Lodge. The staffing for a private company or corporation is not left to chance. Positions are created, job descriptions formulated, employment standards written and then people are recruited with the abilities to complete the required assignments. Should it be any different for the many differing positions within your Lodge?
The Master has sole discretion to appoint all committee chairmen,
committee members and junior non-elected officers. Use this power wisely and with consideration as to what you wish accomplished during your year. Simply to copy that which has come before you is a disservice to you, your Lodge and its membership. This is your time to infuse your Lodge with fresh ideas and new enthusiasm
When making officer appointments, you have essentially dictated who will inherit the leadership positions within the Lodge in the future years. Utilize input from the present Lodge officers and discuss fully the capabilities of each potential candidate in fulfilling the requirements of present and future offices.
Discuss fully with those under consideration exactly what their duties will be and the magnitude of the commitment that is expected from them and their families., now and into the future. Finally, make each decision carefully with full consideration of the requirements that are mandatory to successfully lead the Lodge during the ensuing years. It is far better to leave a position vacant than to appoint one who is not capable of the important duties that await those who ascend to the East.
Some believe it is difficult to find members to fill the required offices and that a warm body is better than nothing. Keep in mind that you are offering a man an opportunity to improve himself as well as serve his lodge. Organizations become successful by diligent attention to their staffing requirements. You must do the same to build a successful Lodge. Here are some helpful hints on officer recruitment:
1. As a Junior Officer, be continually evaluating the entire membership for those who show leadership potential.
2. Begin discussions early with those selected few who share your vision of the Lodges future potential.
3. Involve them in the meetings which are developing the Lodges goals and objectives.
4. Solicit their input on solutions to the various problems that have been identified within the Lodge. They already know what those problems are, so only talk about how they are going to be resolved.
5. Create an air of excitement about the prospects of your year and the future of the Lodge. Instill within them a desire to be a part of your winning team and ultimately become the coach. We, regrettably, only support those who are winners, so it is up tQ you to develop your team, set your goals and produce a winner for both ths season and, future years.
6. Maintain a positive attitude about all aspects of Lodge leadership. A
can do -will do instead of a cant do – wont do
attitude will attract many interested individuals. Everyone wants to be a part of a winning team and no one loves a loser.
7. Explain, in real terms, what will be accomplished during the next year and what their role will be in achieving success. Additionally, point out that building a successful lodge is not a one year process and that the planning process will require excellent leadership in future years. There will be many exciting projects remaining for their year in the East.
8. If they agree to join your team, make a commitment to stand by them during their year to assist in achieving their goals and objectives of the Lodge.
Recruitment for your team starts with your initial appointment to the progressive line of officers. If you wait until the last moment, you will field a team of substitutes instead of the required 1st string.
Start with a fresh slate. Decide which committees are required to implement your program for the year. Talk to the membership about the qualities that are required to accomplish the envisioned tasks. Select a few Brothers who express an interest and appoint them. Fully brief them on what your requirements for the specific assignments are. Once you have selected your teams for the differing committees, follow up your previous conversations with a written description of their duties and responsibilities together with preliminary time frames which you think reasonable to accomplish those tasks.
A huge untapped resource of manpower available within many Lodges is the Masonic family i.e., the wives and children of members in addition to the membership within the concordant bodies of your temple. Develop positive relations with your total Masonic family and utilize their resources to develop not only your Lodge, but the family as a whole. You need them and, more importantly, they need a successful Lodge from which to expand their membership and achieve their goals. Its a no lose
situation. The more people who are involved in your activities, the more successful your Lodge will be.
Recognize the concordant bodies within your temple or in your area by including them into your planning process. Hold periodic, but frequent, meetings with their leadership and involve them and their membership in achieving the goals and objectives of your Lodge. It is far better to ask their participation and assistance than to ignore their specific problems and create resentment.