Page 30 - MFM MARCH 2015
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Frank J. Struble, Grand Orator 2006,
Grand Lodge F&AM of Wisconsin

“When I talk about responsibility I try to divide it into   the word gets out. It’s really a communications chain
how our organization works, sometimes why it doesn’t        to make sure it happens. We forget that sometimes.
work and give you some suggestions. With that in mind       We forget that we have to communicate our
let me say that I was a member of an organization for       brotherly love to each other, we can’t just assume it.”
twenty-seven years that has organized a line and staff      Responsibility is something that we have to manage and
function, the U.S. Army. The way the Army works is          it’s what somebody is going to hold us to if something
explained by the Army’s organizational charts. If you       goes wrong. What is management? It is getting results
have ever seen these they look something like this, you     from people. Results tend to be cold, hard, unemotional
have the big square on top, then you come down. I am        facts, they are written out, they have measurements. If
sure you have seen organizational charts like this in       results are cold, what are people? People are warm,
many organizations. They really don’t tell you much         soft, intuitive, creative, and unique. No two of us are
except the size of your office relative to the other guy.   alike. For results, I am going to use a geometric figure,
They do tell you other things if you change it a little     in this case a rectangle. For people on the other hand, I
bit. When I was in the Army, I wanted to change all the     am going to use an ameba, a blob if you will, Each and
boxes on all the organizational charts into circles. The    every one that I will draw will be unique, each one will
reason I did that was that this guy was a big square and    be different just like each of us are, just like each of
I wanted to turn him into a big wheel and Generals like     our lodges. Our lodges each have their own character,
being a big wheel. We all know what dogs do to wheels       each of our lodges have things that they do well and
so we passed it down through the organization and           things that they don’t do so well. When we start talking
made everybody a wheel. If you take this illustration       about getting results from people, this is like trying to
and make one other change and put ears on these             go out and get a banana off of an apple tree, because
wheels, they become gears. Now you can start to             they are so different. To carry this illustration a little
see how the Army works. It’s a big gear ratio thing.        farther, I want to give you an objective and some
Anybody who knows anything about gear ratios, knows         subordinate tasks that you have to accomplish to reach
that if you move the big wheel up here with one little      your objective. That seems pretty straight-forward.
click then you are going to spin the hell out of this guy   You have sub-objective A to take care of and sub-
here on the bottom. Gentlemen, I am telling you, that’s     objective B, plus sub-objective C and sub-objective D.
the way it works. We are organized much like this aren’t    I add those together and as a leader I can do this and
we? The difference is that if you turn the illustration     say I will reach my objective. It’s simple; A+B+C+D
from the flat surface this way, you realize that to get     gives you your objective. What am I missing from my
these gears to engage you have got to get them to           formula? I am missing people. I have no amebas. In
pop up. They need to be under pressure. In the Army         each and every one of these jobs you have somebody
they have a thing that gives them the pressure called       who does parts of his job and other parts he just doesn’t
‘U.C.M.J.’, the Uniform Code of Military Justice - do       like too much so maybe he doesn’t get around to it.
it or we’ll shoot you. That’s a real good incentive. We     Don’t you have brothers like that in your lodges? Sure
don’t have that in our lodges, so often the gears don’t     you do, everybody does. Over here in sub-objective
get engaged. The guy on top goes ‘click’ and down           B you have a guy whose job is more than he is ready
here on the bottom somebody is just free spinning.          for. In sub-objective C you have a hard charger, over
They don’t even know that anybody went ‘click’. We          motivator, over-challenged, overqualified, which gives
have a tougher job than the military does because what      him time to put his fingers in everybody else’s sandbox
we have to deal with is certain tools that are unique in    and make this the biggest leadership problem you
Masonry. We have brotherly love, we have inspiration,       have. Over here we have a guy that fits sub-objective
we have friendship, we have things that help us engage      D like this. He isn’t even in the ballpark. He doesn’t
those things, but they are not forced. There are things     do anything that is part of his job, he does everything
we have to coach, there are things we have to go out        else. Well, suddenly the math doesn’t work, does it?
and stretch and learn and work with. When we start          But it does because year after year, lodge after lodge,
talking about responsibility in our lodges, often we find   they reach in the hat and pull out a rabbit and say,
that it gets real murky because it’s hard to get this kind  ‘Grand Master’s Achievement Award’. ‘See, we did it.
of a relationship going and it doesn’t even always work     We survived another year. We are together.’ Do you
in the military. That’s why they have a thing called the    know how we do it? C has some overlap, so I am going
N.C.O. chain where the sergeants gets down here and         to have C come over and do that one. He’s going to
make sure that when the General is clearing his throat      take that part in the ritual. And junior isn’t doing any

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