S. Kenneth Baril
The Master of a Masonic Lodge must first of all be dedicated to the belief that the finest ideals of American life depend on the members of the fraternity for their realization. He must be determined that, through his lodge, the potentials born in his brothers will develop rather than wither and die. He must be determined that, through his lodge, this promise of development will be real for every member, whatever his background.
The Master must have the temperament of a leader. He must be humble enough to seek out assistance and advice wherever they can be found, confident enough to prefer working with his officers rather than dictating to them, inspiring enough to bring out the best in his brothers and in those with whom he works, courageous enough to resist pressures, which if accepted, would harm the various programs, wise enough to direct this complex enterprise toward a vision of the future.
The Master must possess the skill in human relations to stimulate consensus and action. He must know his ever-changing community well enough to keep the lodge in tune with its varied and often-conflicting desires. He must be enough of a leader of men to align his lodge’s desires with the needs of the times.
The Master must be a person of considerable knowledge. Much of that knowledge is specific to Masonry and Masonic administration, which can be derived initially from the many publications and informative seminars sponsored by the Grand Lodge, which are specifically designed for the preparations of Masters. In this category is knowledge of management techniques and of pertinent laws, rules, regulations and policies. But this is only a part of the preparation. Because of the range of competencies required of a Master, preparation for that office calls for much more. The professional performance of a Master is directly affected by the degree to which he possesses understanding of his brothers. Only a man who is at home in the world of ideas can meet the complex responsibilities of Masonic leadership.
Therefore, while the Master can benefit greatly from the educational programs sponsored by the Grand Lodge, he must also possess a thirst for learning throughout his Masonic career. In his search for ways to improve his Lodge and solve its problems, he must also seek throughout his career to benefit from the thinking of his colleagues. Much of this learning will be part of his daily life.
The Master must have the confidence of Officers and members and must stimulate and facilitate the finding of a consensus that expresses the common interest of all parties in the improvement of Masonry.
Written by S. Kenneth Baril (Date Unknown)