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Sublime Leadership
"The Law of Connection"
By: J. Brian McNaughton, 33°

"In his 1998 book, The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership, John C. Maxwell quite simply states, “The heart comes before the head.” Specifically, when we are working with, engaging, and leading others, we must first connect with the heart. Only then will the mind and body follow. This is also true for us as individuals. The most impactful decisions we make in life have deeply emotional context:

- Does this help fulfill my basic needs?

- How does this provide for my general safety and security?

- Will I be happy doing this?

- How will this help me achieve my goals?

- Will this help make me a better person?

The most significant commodity each of us has to offer to ourselves and others is our time. Every decision we make is weighed against time and the real or perceived benefit received from that expenditure. As leaders, we must understand this concept as we strive to connect with our members and customers. Is the product or service we provide worth the outlay of their time in our fraternity? How can we improve on our level of service? These are the questions we must continually ask ourselves.

If we as Masonic leaders think back to the beginning of our personal fraternal journey, it is likely that each of us had a special someone, a mentor that made us feel welcome and included. Not just a handshake and hello, but a genuine effort to connect with us as individuals. It was an interaction that helped cement a Masonic bond of brotherhood and friendship. Most men that join our fraternity are seeking this same bond and, unfortunately, far too often we fail to understand this or act upon it.

In the Law of Connection, Maxwell also states that it is the job of leadership to take the initiative and avoid the pitfalls of being a positional leader. It is this type of leader that is of the mindset that “I am the boss”, “These are my employees”, and “Let them come to me.” Instead, successful leaders are those that take the initiative in building relationships with their members/customers and provide value to their experience.

Our members will continue to weigh the value of their time with us while at stated meetings, events, and reunions. As current leaders in the Scottish Rite, we must focus our attention on the experience we are providing for our members and make every effort to build relationships with them today to encourage them to stay involved tomorrow.

For us to become successful leaders, we must first connect with the hearts of our members.

Questions for Reflection:

- How can I better connect on a personal level with our members?
- Why did our members join the fraternity? Have we met their expectations? If not, how can we improve?
- What can I do to make a positive impact on a member’s Scottish Rite Member Experience?