February 26

Happy Birthday, “Front of the Jersey”!!

1st birthdayToday marks one year since the launch of this blog on February 26, 2013.  Since that time, I have been able to put 65 blog posts up here for your consumption. This averages out to more than one per week for the past year and I can freely admit to the followers of this blog that each post represents sharing a part of my soul with all of you. As you tap into the site today, you will see the changes that one year brings (along with a big fat upgrade to my WordPress account).  Another noteworthy addition is the ability for the site to adapt itself to desktop, tablet, or mobile device, so hopefully your ability to view things is not affected by the medium you use. Lastly, with the account upgrade comes the registration of the new domain, www.thefrontofthejersey.com. You can bookmark, as well as get redirected through the old WordPress domain.

One nagging issue for the past year was the initial decision to run this blog from a position of relative anonymity.  For those who know me and who have worked for, and with me during my career, anonymous is not my preferred mode.  So, with this post, I have revised the avatar profile information to reflect who I am, and what I do.

One of the helpful things about using WordPress for a blog host is the ability to quickly tap into site stats and get an accurate handle on what a year’s worth of posts look like. From the site totals, your all time favorite post is a November 2013 post about acceptable conflict in the workplace. A close second would be a discussion about this year’s US Navy Stockdale Award winners from October 2013.

My initial motivation for putting this blog together was to hopefully stimulate conversation amongst people who found the stories of personal leadership compelling and were looking for ways to make those stories a part of their own life.  If there is one message I have tried to impart along my way, it is for the thirsty soul to be the hero of their own life, rather than the victim.  Evaluating each new situation, whether joyous or challenging, from the perspective of making it turn out well is what I call “being your own hero”.

There are stories around us everyday about people who refuse to be defined by anything other than their own choices.  I have always gravitated toward those stories and took strength from them, especially during times when I might have been compelled to start digging for excuses.

So, as we move into the next phase of this blog, I am excited and optimistic about the discussions to be shared, lessons to be learned, and the possibility that every single moment I spend on this blog represents an opportunity.  Entering the arena can be frightening, frustrating, maddening, glorious, fulfilling, heartbreaking, and uplifting.  Here’s to you.

“It is not the critic who counts, nor the man who points how the strong man stumbled or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena; whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly…who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, and spends himself in a worthy cause; who, at best, knows the triumph of high achievement; and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.”

Theodore Roosevelt, 1910