The 2013-2014 Fraternal Year ended on June 30th, and what a great finish the Kansas Jurisdiction mustered! The details of this finish are in both outgoing State Membership Director Mike Grothoff’s report and Immediate Past State Deputy Scott Maurath’s column in the July Explorer. Every member in the State should be proud of the accomplishments achieved in both Programming and Membership.
I had the privilege of recently attending the State Deputy Training and Installation Meeting in New Haven, Connecticut. Supreme Knight Carl Anderson gave the opening presentation. In his presentation, he stated that the Knights of Columbus didn’t have to rewrite or revise our mission statement every few years. Our mission statement was the intent of the Venerable Father Michael J. McGivney 132 years ago when he founded the order. Our four principles, Charity, Unity, Fraternity and Patriotism, and the ceremonials involved in each of these degrees, state simply and clearly what our mission, our purpose is.
The Supreme Knight then laid out the blueprint for organizational success: For Supreme, for Kansas, and for each council in our jurisdiction. These keys are important and I think that they are worth repeating in this column:
1. Be membership growth oriented 365 days a year. Too often, we start our membership efforts in the Fall. The time to recruit is now, not later.
2. Establish long term goals. Each Council has a membership goal. These goals are time tested. Councils that continually strive to meet these goals almost always have success in the programming activities.
3. Create team oriented Councils. The man you asked to join wants to be involved. Make sure he is given the chance! Give him some responsibility. Give him some ownership.
4. Maintain a positive attitude and communicate it. We have all heard that honey collects more bees than vinegar. A negative attitude creates a negative environment.
5. Focus on youth and youthful leadership. Collectively, the Knights in Columbus are not getting younger. Recruit those twenty and thirty something men. Get them involved!
6. Move young men into leadership positions as soon as possible, but be sure to mentor them. They joined to participate. Give them some ownership in the Council. They may have a better idea on how to be more successful.
7. Establish accountability. No one likes to be given work that is not checked. Make sure that positive accomplishments are recognized and rewarded, and correct mistakes constructively.
8. Develop and communicate clear priorities. Make sure that the end goal is identified and everyone involved is working towards it.
9. Be open to change. The last seven words in any organization? “We never did it that way before…”
10. Utilize your tools. The State Officers, Membership and Program Directors and Chairmen are here to help. If you need help ask them.
I look forward to working with each and every council in the State, and I hope that together, we can build on the success that Kansas has had and maintained, and continue to grow the Order in both Kansas, and worldwide.