Chiefly Speaking - February 2017

Chiefly Speaking – February 2017

Written by Justin St. Louis, Section Chief

Challenging the status quo is a commitment to never settle for “good enough”. By accepting this responsibility, we accept resolve to innovate and to change; to consistently seek ways to improve and to reinvent.

As we continue on this quest for excellence as a section, the officers and I wanted to supply you with a few actionable tasks to help you become a catalyst for change in your lodge.

1. Create a sense of urgency around the need for change - Studies show that 75 percent of an organization’s leadership must buy into the change for it to be successful.
a. For example - Maybe you realize that your lodge could be doing more to prepare for ceremonies for an Ordeal or a Brotherhood. First you would need to identify the area for improvement and predict what positive results it may cause. “If our lodge develops a plan for preparation to ensure impactful ceremonies – our membership retention rates could increase.”
2. Assemble a committed group - For change to be successful, strong leadership is incredibly important, just as important as support from a team of dedicated Arrowmen.
a. Let’s break this down – get some friends who want to be involved in the ceremonies program and set up a time to start meeting with them! Since you are the one who is heading up the effort to create the change, they will follow your example.
3. Form a vision for change - A vision is critical for helping to guide, encourage, and inspire the Arrowmen in your lodge. As the leader, it’s important for you to define a clear and compelling message that captures what you see as the future of the group you’re leading, as well as a plan for executing that vision.
4. Develop a plan – How is your team going to be prepared for their debut at the Ordeal or Brotherhood Ceremonies? What does the ideal ceremony look like (to you)? Try to answer questions like that, and after discussing with the leadership of your lodge – chart a course forward. S.M.A.R.T. goals are the way to go. After you’ve come up with a few goals and have set deadlines to achieve them - stick to it!
5. Communicate your vision - It is important to communicate the vision often and powerfully, and to embed it in everything the firm does. The leader must always walk like you talk and serve as the example. Your actions should demonstrate the same actions you desire from your followers.
6. Remove obstacles – As a leader, you serve as the guardian of your vision. Put in place the infrastructure to support the change. Make sure that you provide your followers with the resources needed to succeed, and give them ownership of the change. Unless your name is Superman (and I’m going to guess it’s not) you need a team to support you in your endeavor!
7. Create short-term wins (these lead to long term victories!)- It is important for Arrowmen to experience some short-term wins that will build momentum. Show them intriguing results within the first few months of the change being implemented.
a. For example – Because of strong ceremonies; newly inducted Arrowmen are inspired to join the team and subsequently come back to events in the future. This leads to an increase in your membership retention which is a huge success!
8. Build on the change - Don’t stop after the first success. After each win, reflect on what went right, what didn’t, and then set new goals. Keep focusing on continuous improvement and always remember to stick to your vision!

As President John F. Kennedy, once said: “Change is the law of life and those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future.”

Learn to make your vision a reality by attending the Section NE-1 Lodge Excellence Summit (March 4th - Southborough, MA) and the Inaugural New England Fellowship (June 9-11th - Gilmanton Iron Works, NH). I’ll see you there!

With the energy to innovate,

Justin St. Louis
NE-1 Section Chief

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