The Most Dangerous Phrase

by State Warden Marc Peter
(reprinted from the March 2014 Knightly News, our state newsletter)

The most dangerous phrase in our language is,
“We’ve always done it this way.” (January, 2014 Reader’s Digest)

Based on membership results, this seems to be the philosophy of many councils. As I write this, 135 councils have not signed up even one member! Two thirds of the fraternal year is completed, and over half of councils haven’t left the starting block.

How about programs? Has your council tried any new programs this year? Have you given the opportunity to a newer member to chair an event? Or is it the same guy doing it the same way year after year? How can your council find new leaders if they are not given a chance? And given that chance, do you back him up with help and encouragement? Or is he left to fend for himself?

Bottom Line: We all need to be open-minded. We need to try different things, different ways, and different folks to get to the finish line. If we don’t, we all lose.

So first things first: One member, per council, per month, and one new event or project this spring.

Grand Knight’s Note: I reported last month on ‘the state of the State’ and efforts to keep replenishing our leadership corps. I observed that Marian Council is doing well. Most of our state officers’ ideas are good, and State Warden Peters’ words convince me of his savoir faire. Now, I’ve heard “We’ve always done it this way” many times this year, from members who resist all change. But Marian Council has added 27 new members since July, and more await initiation. In recent weeks we’ve held three new programs (activities), and more are in planning. They have been led by emerging leaders and mentored by experienced hands. Tootsie Roll chairs Zach Hoffman and Michael Waldmann recruited understudies for each site captain. We’ve improved our public relations, parish outreach, and internal processes. We just have to keep at it. If you need to get involved, or have an idea for an activity, tell me.