Expect Greatness

by Midnight Freemason Contributor
RWB Michael H. Shirley

"It is the nature of man to rise to greatness if greatness is expected of him. " –John Steinbeck

Too many lodge leaders think that they can motivate others with harsh words and high demands. They can, but not in the way they think. There are two external drivers to achievement: the desire to prove someone right and the desire to prove someone wrong. Someone who thinks we are capable of great things can fill us with such confidence that we rise to their expectations. Too often, however, we are motivated to disprove others’ doubts about us. We can achieve greatness either way, but positive motivation is inherently creative, and negative motivation is inherently destructive. Anger motivates, but it destroys. Positive motivation arises from and creates love and gratitude. To create something positive and lasting, we must practice positive motivation. If we would be Masonic leaders, we must act first with compassion for others, and recognize high potential in those who do not see it in themselves. If we expect greatness from others, they will achieve it.


R.W.B. Michael H. Shirley serves the Grand Lodge of Illinois, A.F. & A.M, as Leadership Development Chairman and Assistant Area Deputy Grand Master of the Eastern Area. A Certified Lodge Instructor, he is a Past Master and Life Member of Tuscola Lodge No. 332 and a plural member of Island City Lodge No. 330, F & AM, in Minocqua, Wisconsin. He is Past Most Wise Master of the George E. Burow Chapter of Rose Croix in the Valley of Danville, IL; he is also a member of the Illinois Lodge of Research, the York Rite, Eastern Illinois Council No. 356 Allied Masonic Degrees, Eastern Star, Illini High Twelve, and the Tall Cedars of Lebanon.The author of several article on British and American history, he teaches at Eastern Illinois University.You can contact him at: m.h.shirley@gmail.com

1 comment:

  1. Thank you Brother. I appreciate the time you put into your craft.
    Today I actually practice giving a Brother positive feedback.
    Thank you.