Thursday, October 22, 2015

Being A "Behind The Scenes" Guy

"It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit."

~Bro. Harry S Truman
Past Grand Master of Mason, Missouri

I've always preferred to work behind the scenes.  That's where I'm comfortable.  That's the way I was brought up.  Don't blow your own horn.  Do your fair share.  It's not about you. 

As a manager, I put out fires, I plan, I anticipate, and I make sure we're always prepared for any contingency.  Success in my line of work is making sure nothing bad happens--so the less you hear from me, the better I am at my job, because believe me, bad things almost happen every day.  As a Lodge Secretary I do basically the same thing.  I get great satisfaction being the organizer, the orchestrator, and the manager--I'm the guy that's there first, makes sure everyone knows what they're supposed to be doing, then irons out any wrinkles that may come up during.  People know it's a hard job, so I don't really need to tell the Lodge every meeting it's a hard job--that I spent three hours on this, or five hours on that, or the complexities of getting permission to do this and that.  Nobody really cares about that stuff.  That's what the Secretary's job is, so I do it, and do it quietly (I'm sure you're aware that some don't).

My philosophy has always been that if credit is important for somebody, I'll let them have it whether they deserve it or not.  And people that take credit they don't deserve usually don't fool too many people.  But I don't do the things I do for the credit--I never have.  Not in my professional life, or in my personal life.  I do them because I believe the goal we're all trying to achieve together is important.

Everyone likes to brag every once in awhile.  I'm certainly proud of the work the Midnight Freemasons have done, and the huge readership we've built together.  But when you begin to understand your broader purpose in life, who gets the credit for the day-to-day stuff matters a lot less. 

Of course one of the pitfalls of being a behind the scenes guy, and being really good at it, is that it looks easy from the outside.  And it's not.  Of course, as Lodge Secretary, this is part of my plan.  If I let on how difficult the job actually is every meeting, how am I ever going to find some poor sucker to take my place one day?  Believe me, I'm beginning my 5th term, and I have no intention of serving as "secretary for life".

So I guess the broader question to ask yourself is this.  What are your motives in life?  Are you going through life with the goal of being noticed, or do truly believe the things you pour your time and energy into every day are truly important?   You see that's right at the crux of it--there's a big difference in striving to be successful, and living with a purpose.  And I know from experience you'll find one of those choices way more fulfilling than the other.

~Todd E. Creason

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