Senior and Junior Wardens are going back to school this Fall as part of the Grand Lodge's Overture Series of leadership seminars. This second phase, the Conductor Series, emphasizes the importance of lodge management and focuses on improving some fundamental skills in several key areas.
One-day Conductor seminars were held during September and October in Allentown, State College, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh North, and the Titusville/Meadville area. There will be seminars in Wilkes-Barre, Nov. 14; Harrisburg, Nov. 21; and Pittsburgh South, Dec. 5.
In high-impact, day-long sessions, the seminars in the Conductor Series build upon the skills introduced in the Overture Series, putting a stronger emphasis on getting a man ready to assume his new duties in his lodge. "In this series," said G. Kent Hackney, Deputy Chief of Staff for Grand Lodge and Director of the Overture Program, "Junior and Senior Wardens, together with those involved with membership development, come to grips with the realities of being a lodge leader. Only this time, we are emphasizing the important skills of management unique to a Masonic lodge."
Participants in the eight seminars across the state address topics such as: "Understanding Your Role in Your Lodge;" "The Role and Function of Your Grand Lodge;" "Team-Building and Getting Started on Important Tasks;" "A Focus on Membership;" "Project Management Skills;" "Creating More Effective Communications;" "Change Management;" and "The Importance of Planning."
James L. Ernette, R.W. Grand Master, said, "What I like about the direction this Conductor Series is taking is that it not only builds upon the skills offered in the Overture Series, but it also adds a practical note to the lessons learned."
Hackney added, "The concepts and decisions about what to include in these seminars came from leaders of Pennsylvania lodges who have said over the years that these are the issues they need to learn more about. With this input as background and working with Bro. Dudley Davis, the principal author of the Overture Program, we developed the material for the Conductor Series."
The Conductor Series uses the books and guides presented during the Overture Seminars and helps participants understand how they can be used in the lodge. One copy of a new book, titled "Who Moved My Cheese?" by Spencer Johnson, M.D., will be added to the Membership Development Kit issued during the Spring seminars.
One of the features of the Conductor seminars will be an early discussion of what has been happening in lodges since the first Overture seminar last February. Participants are encouraged to speak about what has been working and what has not. The Conductor seminar's day ends with help on developing long- and short-range plans for the lodge. These will be explored in more detail in the second round of Overture Series in 1999.
OVERTURE 1999 DATES
The second round of Overture Series seminars will be held early in 1999 and continue through mid-Spring. District Deputies and District Overture Chairmen should note the first two dates for their training. The Junior and Senior Wardens and the brother involved as leader in membership development should note the date for the seminar in their area.
For further information on Overture, check out the Overture page in programs (or click here).