Former Xerox CEO Anne M. Mulcahy could have been talking about Freemasonry twenty years ago when she revealed at a business conference the now widely-used business mantra ‘people are our most important asset.’
She didn’t use quite those words, but the sentiment is clearly there in what she said: “Employees are a company’s greatest asset – they’re your competitive advantage. You want to attract and retain the best, provide them with encouragement, stimulus, and make them feel that they are an integral part of the company’s mission.”
Freemasonry isn’t a company, but there is still a mission embodied in the UGLE seven-year strategy. Put simply, it’s to reverse the decline in membership. That’s a game of two halves; attracting new members is one half, but retaining the ones we already have is the significant other. After all, who would be foolish enough to pour water into a bucket with a hole in it, allowing all that good work to run down the drain?
When it comes to retaining members, there’s a poignant story about the Brother who no longer attends meetings. Under the title ‘Do You Remember Me?’, it explores the disillusionment of a Freemason not formally excluded from his Lodge, but who was nevertheless ‘shut out’ by other members who took no interest in him.
The story’s told in the short video at this link, put together by Chris Watkin of Doric Lodge. Watch it and ask yourself if you’re guilty of doing the things that caused this brother to leave. Ask yourself what you could do to help attract and retain the best, how you could provide them with the encouragement and stimulus to make them feel they are an integral part of Freemasonry’s mission…