Sunday, September 13, 2009

Mountains? Molehills? Neither?

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 live the Masonic tenets in his entire life, not just in Lodge.

From time to time in this blog, I’ll write one of the quotes and maybe add a few words about applying his thoughts to Masonry in Minnesota.

Most Worshipful Brother Truman said in a seminar at Columbia University, “Watch out for people who mountains out of something that doesn’t exist – not even a molehill.”

Several years ago, I served on a Technology Committee. During that time, several changes were required in our system and procedures – each of which was met with resistance of one degree or another. No one likes change – except the proverbial baby with the dirty diaper.

I learned to expect an uproar from time to time. E-mails flying and tempers rising. After a few of these episodes, I came up with the “six-week rule.” A change would be implemented and the (uproar) would last about six weeks, and then, most often, people would learn to deal with the change.

Sometimes, though not often, imaginary mountains are presented to the Grand Master. It is one of the few problematic aspects of this position. I am so fortunate to have well-established policies, and good counselors, to assist me in these, and more serious, situations.