Pointed thoughts on leadership

I've recently wrapped up a couple of leadership sessions. One was a six-month journey through a Jewish leadership course called Yesod; the other was a weekend at a Masonic leadership conference.

Whatever the source, whatever the background, leadership comes down to taking responsibility. It comes down to taking ownership.

Sometimes you choose leadership. Sometimes leadership chooses you. Either way, once you're a leader, there's a fairly clear path to success as a leader, even if you are unsuccessful in your ultimate mission. If you're outplayed, you're outplayed.

But don't get out-led.

In the Bible, God taps Moses to lead the Jews out of Egypt. Moses can't figure out why it should be him. He isn't a strong speaker. He has no particular talent. He doesn't know where to go. Heck, how does he even know he's talking to God?

God changes his walking stick into a snake and back again, resolving the latter. And God offers that Moses will have a surrogate to speak in his place.

And so Moses rolls his eyes and reluctantly agrees and deals with all the crap that comes with being a leader, all the way up to smashing the tablets containing the Ten Commandments when he comes down from Mount Sinai to find the gathered Jews haven't listened to a word he's said.

Moses is a fairly shitty leader.

He eventually gets the mission accomplished, but he lets everything get to him. This is not how you want to do things if you're handed a leadership role.

JKWD Podcast: Talking leadership with Mitch Mitchell »

Meanwhile, over in Freemasonry...

Much like in a democracy, you're not handed a leadership role in Freemasonry. You must seek election; you opt in, and perhaps the Lodge deems you worthy to serve.

If your Lodge is doing well, it is up to you as a leader to maintain course, or improve. If your Lodge is in the midst of a downturn, it is up to you as a leader to turn it around.

If you fail at your mission, whose fault is it? Yours. Same with Moses. He didn't make it into the promised land. That was his fault.

This post is brief, but meant as a reminder. If you choose to be a leader, or if you're chosen to be a leader, own it. Own all of it. It might not be up to you whether you get outplayed. But it's up to you to not be out-led.

Go.

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1 Comment

  • Great stuff Josh. I find that short term those who have leadership thrust on them do better than those who have to sustain it for a long while, whether they wanted it or not. Even Moses had his good moments initially. 🙂

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