February 27


Happy Birthday to The Front of The Jersey

Greetings all!  The Jersey has been out-of-pocket for a few weeks while on TDY but we can’t let this date pass without comment. Today, The Jersey turns 2, which seems like a long time since Post #1 went live in 2013.  Now, 130 posts later, it will take the newcomer some time to sift through all the material we have covered here to get to the essence of what The Jersey is trying to say. So, today I will cover some of the old and some of the new.

In December and January, I asked all of you to contribute your thoughts about what you were looking for in reading this blog.  I asked you to think about that type of impact you were hoping to have on organization, and what kinds of leadership issues and problems you need to solve or address.  The response to this request had a lot of direction for where we will go in 2015, so expect to see the results play out in future content.

You may have noticed some new links to blogs I read (and recommend) showing up over the past couple months. Two that I want to point out specifically are From The Green Notebook and The Military Leader. Both are written by professional military officers and contain some very keen insight on the mechanics and expectations of leadership. All good leaders are students of the art, and as followers of this blog are certainly aware, The Jersey draws on that world fairly consistently for content.  You would be amused to know that while the business world seems to spend a significant time trying to figure out the nuts and bolts in the art of military leadership and bringing that magic into the boardroom and the company, the military itself spends an equal amount of time getting into the science of management and looking toward industry and the corporate world to figure it all out.  It is no coincidence that a large percentage of graduate degrees earned by the professional military officer are MBA’s. So, the takeaway here is that as professional leaders, you have a responsibility to your craft (and your team) to expand your horizons, so with that, I highly recommend these blogs.

For those of you picking up this blog recently and trying to decide if it is worth the effort, I would draw your attention to some of the more popular posts over the past couple years that I think highlight what we are getting at in these pages. The overwhelming favorite is about conflict and how the avoidance of it can be the wrong move and cause even deeper damage than the conflict itself. Next (by a wide margin between 1 and 2) is about crucial conversations and cover the same principles of confronting issues rather than avoiding them. And number 3 (by a much smaller margin between 2 and 3) is about whether competence trumps character (and the short answer is, no). If there was one consistent theme to be drawn from the popularity of these particular posts, it is that the very existence of a leader is based on nothing less than their credibility and willingness to speak the truth. Knowing the truth and speaking to it are different actions. The latter can be a hard go because organizations sometimes are set up to discourage truth-telling.  In The Jersey‘s experience, discussions about a hard truth that needs to be told, and how exactly it should best be accomplished, dominate the discussions that leaders have among each other. Thus, two essential traits for any leader are integrity and courage. You will see this material again!

Hope all of you have a great year and The Jersey is honored to be part of your world.