Making Good Men Better: "Good to Better to Great"

Greatness nominally comes about as a result of metamorphic transitions in lives, conditions or situations. Jim Collin's the author of the 2001 best selling book "Good To Great"states that "good is the enemy of great and that's one key reason why we have so little that becomes great." Yet the transformation from good to great doesn't just happen. It is not a function of circumstances but largely a matter of conscious choice. As Masons, our choices should be devoted to building men and women to think above the norms, above being better to that of achieving greatness. We must think of transformation as a process of build-up (turn upon turn, step after step), followed by breakthrough, broken into three broad stages; composed of disciplined people, disciplined thought, and disciplined action.

Disciplined masons exert a surprising style which builds enduring greatness through a blend of personal humility and professional will. They are modest and freely give others credit, act with calm determination, and channel ambition into the organization and not to themselves. They must possess disciplined thoughts which demands an executable understanding of what they can be the best in the world at, what economic denominator best drives their economic engine and what they are deeply passionate about. Their disciplined actions may not call for radical restructuring but must have consistent accumulative momentum to become transformation agents in their lodges and chapters. Masons need to be patient, persistent and disciplined to move from good to better to great. In addition, we may use technology to accelerate our progress but not become overly dependent for transformation sake.

Good-to-great transformations often looks like dramatic, revolutionary events to those observing from the outside, but they feel like organic, cumulative processes to people on the inside. Mr. Collin's research on good organizations that excelled to greatness suggests that good-to-great companies build a consistent system of cultural discipline with clear constraints. Moreover, great organizations give their people the freedom and responsibility to work within the framework of that system.

Since the beginning of time man has sought self-improvement, even greatness. Unfortunately, many of his achievements have been material and not always attending to man's inward self-improvement. While the marketing of Masonry is to 'make good men better', I ask the question, "Is better the accomplice of the good and therefore the enemy of the great."

While assembling our lodges, we must first get the right people on the bus, the wrong people off the bus, and the right people in the right seats. And then,we should determine the proper strategic direction that should be followed. Often we think of accomplishing these two steps in the opposite order.

Once we've gone from good to great, we should then make the leap from great to enduring great, while stimulating change and progress.

Tags: Leadership, achievement, direction, vision, empowerment, perseverance, change, effectiveness, employee engagement