Thursday, June 18, 2009

Fight Fair!

Alan Axelrod has authored a book entitled When the Buck Stops with You: Harry S. Truman on Leadership. In the book, he takes a Truman quote and then writes a few paragraphs on the leadership principle mentioned.

Harry Truman is one of my favorite Presidents, Americans and Masons. He lived the Masonic tenets in his entire life, not just in Lodge.

Mr. Axelrod writes that Margaret Truman, in her book Where the Buck Stops quotes her father: "It is my opinion that if the president isn't in an occasional fight with Congress or the courts, he's not doing a good job."

Mr. Axelrod observes that "in any organization … it is complete harmony that is a sign of ill health. Conflict … is healthy.”

While there is no point to pick a fight, there is no point to run away from conflict, either. Mr. Axelrod ends this discussion by observing “Be willing to fight, and be willing to be fought against. That’s part of a leader’s job – but only a part. Make sure the conflict does not leave people hurt and bruised but, rather, creates fresh perceptions, new ideas and alternate approaches to benefit everyone. Don’t fight to defeat your “enemies”, but to preserve and promote the true health of the organization.”

When conflict arises in your lodge, or in our Grand Lodge, look for an opportunity to advance the Craft. Fight fair. We’re all Brothers.