Freemason Acedemy
by Phillip J. Budo


Learning how to lead instead
of following the herd

The Law of Significance

Introduction: Looking for Leadership
in all the wrong places:

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If you were to search for a Leadership course on the Internet using one of the search engines you would find screen after screen listings of such courses, all of them expensive and all promising to make you a leader. You can attend 3 day seminars for $1,500, plus travel, meals, and lodging.

Regardless of which course you choose,
the bottom line is still the same. You can
only learn techniques from these courses;
the actual process of becoming a Leader
can only be perfected in real world
situations, dealing with real people, and
facing real

For over three centuries, Freemasonry has offered real world leadership training in the practical application of these techniques every day of the year. Why haven’t you taken advantage of it?

“But wait a minute,” you say, “that can’t be right.” Today, information moves at the speed of sound, or rather the World Wide Web. A 7.6 earthquake occurring in Indonesia at 5:00 PM makes the newscasts in North America five minutes later. A rumor on the Internet can start a wave of panic buying, and cause a company’s stock to plummet or sky-rocked in minutes. In this kind of a world how is it even possible, that centuries-old leadership technique can still be viable?

Well, as the old sage once said, “We’ll see.”


Understanding the terminology of different techniques:

Before we look at Freemasonry let’s look at some of the very popular leadership programs you can enroll in today and view the content. Most institutes which advertise leadership courses on the internet will allow you to see their course outline. Here are a few of the very 21st Century topics available for you to learn, on the internet, at a price:


1.                Empower others to deliver results

2.                Identifying Emotional Intelligence (E.I.)


3.                Profiling your Emotional Intelligence (EI) strengths

4.                Multiple Intelligence (M.I.) and communication filters

5.                Mapping E.I. and M.I. to improve communication

6.                Debunking the charisma requirement

7.                Creating and adjusting plans based on SWOT analysis

8.                The Five Monkeys Syndrome or "But we've always done it this                                           way"

9.                Leveraging whole-brain thinking

10.                Pinpointing chokepoints in team dynamics

11                Modeling your team as a system

12.              Optimizing system effectiveness

13.              Encouraging feedback for enhanced performance

14.              Building performance through emotionally intelligent leadership

15.              Adopting a servant-leadership role

16.              Harnessing the Power of Motivation and Performance                                                       Measurement

17.               Building team-led effectiveness


Wow! No wonder they want a lot of money for their courses; these are really new cutting-edge management techniques; . . . or are they?


Emotional Intelligence:

The biggest buzzword today in the leadership and management training is Emotional Intelligence.

 I once read an article on Emotional Intelligence which offered the following description: “Emotional Intelligence (EI) describes the ability, capacity, skill, or, in the case of the trait EI model, a self-perceived ability to identify, assess, and manage the emotions of one's  self, of others, and of groups.

Different models have been proposed
 for the definition of EI and disagreement
exists as to how the term should be
used. Despite these disagreements,
which are often highly technical, the
ability EI and trait EI models (but not
the mixed models) enjoy support
in the literature and have successful
applications in different domains.”
and almost impossible with some
people who rarely show emotion.

In plain English, it says that some people
believe they are able to evaluate their own emotional state, which is nice, and that of
the other members of their
team, which can range from being really easy, in the case of extraverts, to almost impossible with some people.

 The article went on to state that this 21st century buzzword had its roots in Darwin’s work on the importance of emotional expression for survival and second adaptation.

Darwin died in 1882, in case you’re interested.

Anyway after plowing through ten pages, the article concluded that; (a) EI cannot be recognized as a form of intelligence, (b) EI has no substantial predictive value and (c) In contrast, Mayer (1999) cautions "the popular literature’s implication—that highly emotionally intelligent people possess an unqualified advantage in life—appears overly enthusiastic at present and unsubstantiated by reasonable scientific standards." Mr. Mayer apparently is not an overtly emotional person.

But once again in plain English, what all this says is that the concept is more than 200 years old and at best the concept stipulates the obvious fact that empathic people relate better to people than introverts do. 


Multiple Intelligence (M.I.):

The theory of multiple intelligences' was proposed by Howard Gardner in 1983, to more accurately define the concept of intelligence and address whether methods which claim to measure intelligence (or aspects thereof) are truly scientific. Gardner's theory argues that intelligence, particularly as it is traditionally defined, does not sufficiently encompass the wide variety of abilities humans display. In his conception, a child who masters multiplication easily is not necessarily more intelligent overall than a child who struggles to do so. The second child may be stronger in another kind of intelligence, and therefore may best learn the given material through a different approach, may excel in a field outside of mathematics.

Plain English translation, different stokes for different folks. This is another idea that was old when Noah built his Ark.


SWOT Analysis:

SWOT analysis is a strategic planning method used to evaluate the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats involved in a project or in a business venture. It involves specifying the objective of the business venture or project and identifying the internal and external factors that are favorable and unfavorable to achieving that objective. The technique is credited to Albert Humphrey, who led a convention at Stanford University in the 1960s and 1970s using data from Fortune 500 companies. The guy who was really good at this was a Chinese military commander by the name of Sun Tzu who wrote it all down in a book called The Art of War back in the 6th century B.C.

What this boils down to is; if you want to succeed, you must not only know your product, service, etc., but also know your competition, as well as you do your own product.


Servant Leadership

lthough it is a contemporary buzzword, the word was only coined in 1964 by Robert Greenleaf, the concept of servant leadership goes back to the beginning of history and can be found within the pages of every volume of sacred law on which every Freemason takes his obligation and is charged to study. In fact, it can be said that Servant Leadership is a style of leadership based on the very core of Masonic beliefs and philosophy.



Despite all the fancy phraseology, the principles of leadership are the same today as they were a hundred years ago when Freemasonry was a vital part of the culture in western democratic civilization. All that is needed for  both Freemasonry, and you as an individual, to succeed, is to relearn the skills and teach our Brethren to practice these skills, not only in the Lodge, but within our communities and governments. That is what Freemasonry all about. Albert Pike wrote in the lecture of the Fourth Degree of the Scottish Rite, that the most noble pursuit of man is the gaining knowledge in order to share it with others. Most of this course will use real life examples of Industry leaders applying techniques which have made dramatic recoveries for corporations such as IBM, Continental Airlines and other corporate giants, but make no mistake you will find the basis for all of these leadership techniques in the Philosophies of Freemasonry. 


The Law of Significance:

In John C. Maxwell’s The 17 Indisputable Laws of Teamwork he states that in order to empower (there’s another one of those “buzzwords” again) your team must apply these 17 rules, some of which have been incorporated into this course. The first rule he discuses just happens to be the lesson a candidate is taught in the Lodge. Maxwell calls it the law of significance. Essentially it reminds us all that every day we are part of a team.

e question is not will you participate in something that involves others but will your involvement be successful? That’s a good question because whenever two people are involved in any sort of communication it becomes a process of selling ideas to each other.  In every form of communication between two people there are four possible outcomes.

“A” sells their idea to “B” and they both agree.

“B” sells their idea to “A” and they both agree.

Neither “A” nor “B” completely sell their ideas to each other but instead arrive at a compromise which both can agree upon.

Neither “A” nor “B” can agree with each other on anything and the communication is unsuccessful.

In three of these eventualities, the team can proceed and depending on the validity of the outcome, can be successful or not; but in the fourth case the team breaks down and no progress can be made.

One of the basic challenges of learning how to operate as a successful team is the ability to identify what makes one team so effective and another operating by the same rules unsuccessful.  In the Law of Significance, the first thing any member of a team must understand is that they are not alone. In Phoenix after 20 years of failure, the Arizona Cardinals in 2008 found themselves in the Superbowl. How did a last place team suddenly become so successful?

The answer could be found in their new head coach’s leadership style. Ken
Whisenhunt was hired as the 34th Head
Coach of the Arizona Cardinals on Jan. 14,
2007. The 44-year-old Whisenhunt spent the

last three seasons before he came to Arizona
as the Offensive Coordinator for the Pittsburgh
Steelers and helped the team win Super
Bowl XL. One might say he was used to being
~part of a winning team and he
had no intention of changing. In 2008 he
brought a new kind of paradigm to the Cardinals. It was built on one concept
“We do this together”. He inspired the luckless Cardinals to cast off their loser image and see themselves as winners; in just one season he turned the team around. The Law of Significance states that one is too small a number to achieve greatness.

It is a myth, Maxwell tells us, that one man alone can achieve greatness.  Maxwell tells the story of Albert Einstein, the scientist who revolutionized the world with the theory of relativity, who admitted the debt he owed to others for the success he enjoyed. “Many times a day I realize how much my own outer and inner life is built upon the labors of my fellow men, both living and dead, and how earnestly I must exert myself in order to give in return as much as I received.” This is the basis of our style of

leadership and when it is neglected, and no longer taught in the lodge the fraternity suffers and like Howard Johnsons, or the Arizona Cardinals, we quickly fall from grace.

A leader whether he is a CEO of a corporation, or the team leader in a Masonic Lodge, who fails to promote teamwork, and insists on micromanaging and making every decision himself, has never learned this first lesson. He feels threatened by other people and is unable to give them his trust.

Maxwell relates this to the observations of Niccolo Machiavelli who wrote: “The first method for estimating the intelligence of a Ruler (leader) is to look at the men he has around him”. Maxwell goes on to say that insecurity rather than poor judgment or lack of intelligence, most often causes leaders to surround themselves with weak people. In Freemasonry and in corporate America it is these same insecure folks who, after being elected to lead, have allowed their ship-of-state to get off-course.

What we will do in this course is to show you how to use the principles of leadership which have always existed within our rituals, and lectures to cast off the loser image and become world champions. Regardless, of whether you take these techniques and apply them in your Lodge or in your business, the first secret of success is to realize as Ken Whisenhunt of the Arizona Cardinals does; “We do this together!” 


Part 1 of Lesson One



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Photo: Grand Prairie Regional College