Author Archives: Jeffrey Thomason

November 27

The Zen of Not Being Perfect – Happy Thanksgiving Day!

The Jersey is a fan of making the best of bad situations.  From blooming where you are planted to embracing the “suck”, each of these paradigms are opportunities for the learning leader to figure out how they can or will respond when you missed the Rainbow and Unicorn Train. Whenever possible, putting a real-world face to […]

November 27

I’m Waiting For The Man

Ok, I’ll admit that being a Velvet Underground fan (look that up, hip-hop fans) means I have been waiting for an opportunity to use that song title in a blog post (and never mind that Lou and the boys weren’t singing about something we would generally cover here at The Jersey). They were however, singing […]

November 11

People You Should Know – LTG Hal Moore and the Four Things…

While most people outside the military may never have heard of LTG Hal Moore, it’s hard to find someone inside the military who hasn’t. LTG Moore’s story as a battalion commander in Vietnam is chronicled in the book We Were Soldiers Once which was later immortalized in a popular movie. LTG Moore’s thoughts on personal leadership and […]

November 11

Of Sheepdogs and Such

Many of you reading this post today are doing so from home because it is a holiday. Some of you are at work, because, hey, stuff doesn’t just stop for holidays. You may have taken in a parade this morning, or had to navigate around one to get to the office, or the store, or […]

November 07

The Good Idea Fairy

The culture of an organization can often be characterized by a few key behaviors. These behaviors may offer insight into the degree to which a team may be experienced, confident, or mission-aware. One type of behavior is how the team reacts when the Good Idea Fairy comes flitting into the meeting room, sprinkling pixie dust […]

November 04

The Real Meaning of Work Ethic

How often have you observed a person at work who seems to be indifferent to the job they are doing?  Is it because they wish they were somewhere else? Or doing something else? Or unhappy that whatever job they are doing was assigned to them and they are way too important for this stuff? The […]

October 30

It’s All About The Team

  At 109 posts since February 2013, this endeavor has occupied a consistent amount of my free time for a while. It has also generated countless conversations about this thing we call leadership.  One of the challenges I have experienced from contributing my thoughts in such a public manner is the net effect of creating a pretty […]

October 25

Eulogy or Casket?

The list of phobias that plague the average human adult is an interesting study.  The effect they can have on your personal life, and your career, can be tremendous. It is human to gravitate toward the comfortable and lean away from the uncomfortable, and to a large degree, that affects how we navigate life. It […]

October 19

If I Only Had Some Courage

Many leadership bloggers and “opiners” (like me) will often reference Aristotle’s description of courage as “the first virtue”.  This statement is part of the debate about what critical human characteristics of our society (possible a Bill of Rights amendment, for example) are the “most” important.  From my perspective, having one, and none other, seems a little light in […]

September 28

Loyalty And The Team

The history of literature and art in Western civilization is expressed in a number of recurrent themes.  Some are positive, like love, loyalty, struggle and triumph, sacrifice, friendship, and family.  Others are the shadow traits of each of these, such as hate, treachery, cheating, cowardice, and forsaking the team for the loneliness of the selfish act. All are, […]

September 26

Leaders Show Up

There is a running conversation I have had with a peer for some time about the concept of “butt in seat”.  As defined, it meant that one did not miss an opportunity to be present as a leader. Showing up is a moment in time, that may take a few minutes, or a few hours. Generally […]

September 19


An astute user of Google or Amazon can very quickly tap into a variety of sources that lay out a virtual Yellow Brick Road towards a new beginning, a fresh start, or a makeover of one’s very essence. Don’t like your friends – get new ones! Hate your job – screw it, and start over!  In […]

September 12

The Leadership Thinking Model

Recently, I had the opportunity to visit the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs and see where the next generation of leaders for the United States Air Force are made. Although it was a short trip, there were a couple of things that stood out for me that I think are worthy of […]

September 04

Humble Can Be A Verb

You are right. You know you are right. The data is clear.  All the variables have been accounted for. It’s the right thing to do. There is no question about which direction to proceed.  Anyone could see how right you are. And yet…..that’s not the way the boss decides things will go. And you are […]

September 01

Defining the…Maverick

*Mavericks can come in many shapes and sizes but if you have spent enough time in the workplace, it is difficult to avoid bumping into one at some point. Your view of the maverick may be decided by the first time you encounter one and they roast your sacred cow over a spit. In which […]

August 24

It’s Bigger Than You

The other day I had the opportunity to have a discussion about conflict. The conflict itself was fairly vague and hard to define but the net effect was a professional relationship was now being challenged. Like many workplace conflicts, the likely starting point was not a clearly visible event or definable issue but rather a slow drip […]

August 15

Embrace The Suck

There are many opportunities in life for the every-day person to say to themself, “This sucks”. The military seems to have cornered the market on “Things That Can Really Suck” from roadside bombs, to standing post in 10 below zero, or 130 degrees above, to having the thankless job of emptying latrines.  While that is not an exhaustive list, it […]

August 05

Those That Do, Teach

George Bernard Shaw is generally credited with the century-old maxim that suggests teachers are generally failures at the things they are trying to impart unto others. While that may not be the most insightful translation ( I would give Shaw a bit more credit for the point he was trying to make), the saying is […]

July 29

Sacred Cow-Tipping

At the top of the Leader Frustration List is without a doubt the change-killer known as the Sacred Cow. While the cow comes in many colors and sizes, it can best be identified as the obstacle sitting squarely in the path of progress. No leader, old or new, is without their story of a great […]

July 22

When To Lose One For The Gipper

One admission it pains me to make is that I generally hate to lose, at anything. There is something at the DNA level since childhood that makes defeat a very bitter-tasting pill to swallow. Over time, it was apparent that not everyone felt the same way about it that I did. I observed that some […]