qualifications for Mastership are well enunciated in our ritual except I am not
confident the there is a strong call, by name, if any, for leadership. Indeed the in the Address to the Brethren
anything but leadership is suggested when the Installing Master says “Brethren, such is the nature of our
Constitution, that of necessity some must rule and teach, so others of course
must learn, submit and obey……..”.
Indeed, a Master Elect is required to swear to “…impartially to administer..”
his lodge: to me to administer is just one of the functions of
management, a little above co-ordination.
leader must be more than a good manager, however, a strong management
capability must be in his tool box. A
good leader must be one that steps forward and accepts responsibility and
ultimate accountability. He must be able
to identify and pursue the real objective.
He must have absolute integrity, modest, and be respected by his
followers and hopefully, he will also be well liked. He must be technically competent and also
have a sound understanding of, and respect for the work of his subordinates. He must be able to bring people along with
him. He must have political “nouse” in
regard to the way in which the organisation works to avoid self-inflicted
should be able to incorporate and engage every member of the lodge. He must be generous and understanding in his
attitude to others and even-handed, promoting what is good rather than looking
for the bad and chastising the triers.
However, he must deal quickly and decisively with trouble-makers. He must be able to “engage” with others,
meeting them “on the level”, making and retaining eye contact and exuding an
open and honest demeanor. Being a good
listener, never giving the impression that he is impatiently waiting for
somebody to finish talking before he says what is on the tip of his
must have the courage and be prepared to deal with issues of principle and
importance, even to the potential detriment of his own standing. He must be stoic. He must understand the need
for, and how to build up “political capital”.
This capital is earning a high credit and respect by his subordinates so
that if and when a difficult decision has to be made, he will be trusted to
make that decision. He must be prepared
to say I am sorry and I was wrong. I
could go on – leadership is certainly not about heavy-handed authoritarian and
top-down management which may be needed in an emergency, an unlikely event in
Lodge Devotion, and I am sure in some other Lodges too, technical competency is
learned by advancement through the progressive offices, especially giving
Wardens their full role. Newer
Freemasons are encouraged to emulate the many good examples of leaders that we
have among our members. Every
opportunity is given for new Freemasons to step up and assume responsibility
and learn management in activities such as learning and delivering charges,
appointments to committees, activities in the South, organising social
functions and so on. They are rewarded
for their efforts by recognition, and advancement.
is an art which is developed more than gained by instruction. Successful candidates must first have the
necessary personal attributes. It
involves a lot of self-selection by a demonstration that they want to accept
responsibility and accountability. It
involves an understanding that it is not all about you but about the Lodge and
the team effort.