Thursday, September 18, 2014

10 Questions to Ask at Job Interviews

As a recovering Human Resources employee, I remain interested in the employment process and developments in the industry. I also try to put the skills I've learned to work for our DeMolays, assisting them with resume writing and interview practice. Just this week, I noticed that "Dad" Tom Moyer had a major job interview. According to him, that interview was easier than the State Master Councilor Interview Panel! DeMolay can prepare you for some of life's major moments and interviews definitely fit into that category.

The biggest skill I find that most job seekers lack is the ability to ask insightful questions about the job they are applying for. Yes, that's right - you should be asking questions too! The interviewer is there to determine if you are a good fit for the company. You are there to determine if the company is a good fit for you. You can also score major brownie points by showing that you've researched the firm and have an understanding of the business.

The Art of Manliness recently published an article entitled 10 Questions You Should Ask at an Interview. I encourage everyone to give it a look and file it away for the next time you are up for a job or a promotion.

I look forward to seeing everyone at Autumn Day at the Masonic Village at Elizabethtown this weekend - safe travels!

Frat! ~ "Dad" Seth Anthony

Monday, September 15, 2014

DeMolay Makes Masonic Leaders

Last week, "Dad" Tom Labagh posted on Facebook about how many of the new 33rd Degree Nominees from Pennsylvania were involved in DeMolay. Here's a screencap of his of his post:

 
 
As you can see, the above is a pretty impressive list. This got me thinking about how many of our current national Masonic leaders are Senior DeMolays or have been involved in the DeMolay program:
 
  • John W. McNaughton, Sovereign Grand Commander of the Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite for the Northern Masonic Jurisdiction - Senior DeMolay
  • Ronald A. Seale, Sovereign Grand Commander for the Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite for Southern Jurisdiction - Senior DeMolay
  • David Dixon Goodwin, Most Eminent Grand Master of the Grand Encampment of Knights Templar of the World - Active Member of DeMolay International
  • Lawrence Eugene Tucker, Eminent Grand Recorder of the Grand Encampment of Knights Templar of the World - Senior DeMolay and Deputy Member of DeMolay International
  • Jack H. Jones, Imperial Recorder for Shriner's International - Emeritus Member of DeMolay International and holder of the Grand Cross of the Order of DeMolay
  • Matthew D. Dupee - Past Grand Master of the Allied Masonic Degrees of the United States of America and Past Grand Master General of the Knights York Cross of Honor.
... and that's just a short (and surely incomplete) list of national leaders! Nearly every sitting jurisdictional Masonic leader in Pennsylvania has had some connection to the DeMolay program - whether he be a Senior DeMolay, a member of an Advisory Councilor, or a recipient of the DeMolay Legion of Honor.
 
The obvious question to ask is "What does this mean for the DeMolay program?" I think it's safe to say that there is a high correlation between involvement in DeMolay and involvement in Freemasonry. It's also pretty safe to say that the leadership skills taught in DeMolay provide a solid foundation for the skills required to be a leader in the fraternity on many different levels.
 
Pay attention to your DeMolay training today, as you never know where it could lead you tomorrow!
 
Frat! ~ "Dad" Seth Anthony
 

 

Thursday, September 11, 2014

A Card in the Post



If you were at Convention (or even took a gander in the 2014 Yearbook), you may have noticed that along with next year's order form (WHICH YOU SHOULD TOTALLY START SELLING ADS NOW! - hint, hint, nudge, nudge) there was a postcard between the folds of the page.

We've all seen postcards - you know, the kind that you see on the rotating white rack in the store at the beach with the exclamation "Wish you were here!" One thing PA DeMolay has never done is develop a "Wish you were a DeMolay!" membership postcard to to our friends... until now! 

"Dad" Matt Blaisdell is currently looking at a stack of 500 or so in-house printed and cut postcards ready for distribution to our Chapters throughout Pennsylvania. We're literally giving them away! (cue used car salesman voice)!

In all seriousness, these postcards have some pretty important information to gauge who your prospect is and what he can get out of DeMolay.

For example, it asks simple questions like name, age, city and what does he like to do for fun (so you can invite him to a prospect party more geared to his interests!) Along with the information, there's a return address to Pennsylvania DeMolay to get the prospect the resources he needs to take the next step in becoming a member.

If you're planning on coming to Autumn Day on September 20th, we can have a stack ready for your guys to take home and start giving out - otherwise, please shoot me an email to mattblaisdell@gmail.com and say how many you'd like and we'll make it happen!

Until then, stay creative, brothers and keep sharing DeMolay to your friends!

Monday, September 8, 2014

What do comic books and the Supreme Council have in common?

The summer travel season is winding down and we are returning to the weekly mix of Masonic meetings and presentations here at the PA DeMolay office. However, I was able to get one last excursion in this last weekend. "Dad" Zack Panitzke and I went to the Baltimore Comic Con for a day of general "geekery and nerdom."

The Convention attracted more than 15,000 people across three days, from all walks of life. Guests included up and coming artists and writers, right along side of the more venerable names in the industry. We also saw pro-wrestler Jerry "the King" Lawler and Peter Mayhew, best known for playing Chewbacca in the original Star Wars trilogy. In between seeing stars, walking the Convention floor, and chatting with folks, we attended some panels on a variety of topics, including censorship in comics, what comic companies are doing in the next year, and one for a comic that is ending. It was during these panels that I was struck by something I hadn't anticipated - the comics industry is run by old men.
This is DC Comics Organizational Chart. Click to see it larger.
With a little research, you'll see the ages of those involved.

Perhaps it was a perception issue for me, or perhaps I just didn't think about it before the Convention, but to me, the comic book industry was one full of young, creative, talented people. The reality is that many of the comics you read are written, drawn, inked, and lettered by men nearing the end of their careers. While there were plenty of youthful creators at the event, the comic books that everyone has heard of or knows about are generally helmed by seasoned men with glasses, gray hair, and years in the industry. They, in turn, are hand selecting the new talent they want to work with and assisting them in the learning the ropes by giving them work. For every 20-something writer or artist that manages to get a steady gig at Marvel or DC Comics, there are dozens that will never make a living in the business.

It was on my drive home that I compared the revelation I just had to the way our DeMolay International Supreme Council works. As a young DeMolay, I thought the Supreme Council was full of old men who had forgotten what it was like to be an active member. I felt they were out of touch and couldn't make a decision without spending months debating meaningless semantics and fine points. Even today, as I talk to Jurisdictional Officers, they have this same feeling.
Jim Starlin has been involved with comic books
professionally since the late '60's. He's still regarded
as an industry pioneer today.

I liken it how people feel about Congress. Rarely are our members unhappy with the individual Supreme Council members from their jurisdiction. Rather, they are upset with the representatives from other Jurisdictions with views contrary to their own. It's the nebulous concept of "the Supreme Council" as a whole, rather than individual persons that drive ideas or viewpoints. To me, this means that the organization is doing its job (at least on some base level) as representatives are supposed to convey the views of their constituency and fight for what they would want. People in California want different things than people in Mississippi. That's why the system is set up the way it is.

But, what does this all have to do with comic books? Just as the comic industry has matured and is being helmed by long time creators, the Supreme Council has also aged, being steered by men with decades of experience in DeMolay. While DeMolay is, at its core, a youth organization, we also must recognize that for it to survive in the long run, we need the veteran's input, providing guidance as we chart courses through troubled waters. Their experience keeps the ship seaworthy. It's up to the young men to choose where the ship goes.

The veterans of the comic book industry identify young talent, cultivate them, provide them support, and turn over their work to them for the future. That is what happens on the Supreme Council. It's easy to forget that "Dad" Labagh spent his time in the trenches as the State Master Councilor of New Jersey, or that "Dad" Sprague, our current Grand Master, was once Master Councilor his Chapter. At some point, during their careers, members of DeMolay International took these young men under their wings. Today, "Dad" Sprague and "Dad" Labagh are now the leaders, cultivating the next generation of talent to become leaders in the future.

While the comic book industry and the Supreme Council may seem like they are filled with old men, realize that those men are young at heart. They are the ones who have seen the organization change. They are now looking to the younger generation to find the leaders who will be with DeMolay for the next 50 years. No comic book creator wants to hand his character over to an unknown talent. In the same way, no DeMolay wants to hand the leadership of our group over to an unknown quantity.

Frat! ~ "Dad" Seth Anthony (now a Deputy Member of the Supreme Council, otherwise known as a "curmudgeon in training.")

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Coming Soon - A Prospect Party in a Box!

At PA DeMolay, we are always trying to think of new ways to assist our Chapters in recruiting new members. One of the biggest challenges they face is putting together a quality prospect party. This is often because our Chapters are in varied locations with limited resources. This caused the officers to brainstorm on what could be done. The leadership of the organization came up with the idea of a "Prospect Party in a Box."

Put simply, the Prospect Party in a Box is a complete kit, ready to be issued to any Chapter, to hold a recruitment event. The kit, which comes in two packages, contains two Xbox 360's, with Kinect interactive capabilities, and one Wii. It also comes with several controllers for both systems, AV cables, batteries, and other accessories. Games include Kinect Sports, Mario Kart, Fusion Frenzy, and Call of Duty (appropriately rated, of course.) For the Advisors out there, we'll be including a detailed set up instruction manual, as well as resources for the event (such as a program outline and other considerations.) This booklet will be made available on our website and can be used to prepare for your request. Really, the only thing a Chapter needs to supply is the location, the televisions, and the potential new members!

In the next few weeks, we'll be officially launching this program by providing information to our Chapters on how to reserve it. Chapters will be asked to submit information on their event an provide an outline in advance. Once we have the information, the State Officers and Advisors will review the request. If its approved, the PA DeMolay Office will arrange to get the kit to the Chapter for the event.

We hope that this new method of Prospect Parties helps our Chapters grow and we look forward to seeing the kit in the field!