Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Develop Discipline

Here’s a valuable quote borrowed from an article by one of my mentors, Dan Kennedy:  “Winners make themselves do the things necessary to win.”  Leaders in every field of endeavor develop the discipline required to achieve their goals or complete their mission.

Athletes undergo daily regimens of often intense training to develop the strength and endurance required to play at peak levels.

If you’ve been in any branch of the armed forces, you know that basic training or boot camp is about developing discipline.  This could very well be the most important, positive effect on someone serving in the military.

Sadly, many people in our society simply lack the discipline to get out of bed and go to work.  It’s true, there are some things I’d rather not do and it takes discipline to execute those things.

Discipline yourself today to receive the rewards of tomorrow.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

CHANGE... and How to RESIST it!

Let me begin by saying that we have a huge subscriber list that is made up of members from many different fraternal organizations, clubs and associations from all over the world. We have subscribers who are Freemasons, members of Masonic appendant organizations such as the Shriners and Order of the Eastern Star, Knights of Columbus, Loyal Order of Moose, Elks, Odd Fellows, Eagles, Rotary and more. Sorry if I left you out... I try to keep this email pithy.

All of these organizations share one common purpose. That is to improve the lives of their members and in essence, to make good people better.

Further, most if not all of these organizations support some form of charity that is important to humanity. While membership in fraternal and civic organizations may seem to be on the decline, we still serve very important functions in society and if we ceased to exist, we would leave a huge void. A void that governments could not fill, I might add.

Change" is an often talked about issue in most organizations. "Change" was the mantra and slogan of the now president-elect of the USA. I am certainly a proponent of beneficial change but not "Change" for it's sake alone.

Two of my "favorite" (sarcasm if you can't pick it up) fraternal and organizational sayings are: "We've never done it that way before" and "We tried that and it didn't work."

While we may bicker and challenge change in different areas of fraternal life, like ritual and ceremony, there are areas that need no change.

I submit that all fraternal and civic organizations need to maintain the status quo in at least two areas:

1.) The commitment to improve and elevate the character of our members and

2.) To recommit ourselves to the service of humanity.

These areas need NO CHANGE. Let's keep doing it the way we've always done it. The worldwide economic state depends on our willingness to serve and give of ourselves. Every new member we receive is a new soldier for the cause of charity and service. Embrace your organization's mission of self-improvement, self-discovery and service to your fellowman.

Keep up the good work and resist efforts of change that would lead us down the road of complacency!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Tips For Conducting Successful Meetings

If you've ever attended a meeting that was "painful," you will certainly appreciate the following tips.  Enjoy and put them into practice.

1.)  PREPARE - Consult with the Secretary and other officers PRIOR to the meeting.  Phone calls and emails are great tools to help you prepare.  Walk-in with a "game plan" and execute it.  Nobody wants to see you "fly by the seat of your pants."

2.)  Be On Time - If the leader isn't on time, the meeting won't start on time.  Show respect to your officers and members by arriving early and starting the meeting on time.  Time is a valuable commodity in our lives.

3.)  Follow an Order of Business - As a general rule, the bylaws of an organization include an order of business to be followed during a meeting.  If you don't have one, make one.  Systematically moving a meeting from one item to another will keep the meeting timely and on track.

4.)  State Objectives at the Beginning - If there are particular items that must be addressed or that will require a lot of time, state it up front.  Example:  "We need to discuss this weekend's fund raising event and nail down the details."

5.)  Pace the Meeting - Don't rush and don't linger on any topic.  Set a pace using your order of business.

6.)  Be Objective - As the leader, maintain "neutrality" in discussions.  Make sure that both sides of any issue are heard and understood.

7.)  End on a Positive Note - At the conclusion of every meeting, review what has been accomplished, what has been "laid over" and what remains to be done.