Author Archives: Jeffrey Thomason

July 17

Stand A Taut Watch

Standing a taut watch. Many of you may understand that phrase, but for those who have not had the opportunity of service at sea, it relates to the duties of the watchstander. There are many terms for those who stand the watch, and you can find them everywhere from the bridge of the ship at […]

July 13

If Every Day Was A New Day

This month I have had the opportunity to spend some quality time at the largest military maritime exercise in the world.  If there is anything consistent about coordinating over 50 ships from 22 countries, it is how important the ability to communicate becomes in such an operating environment. My piece of the show involves working in […]

July 04

The Wandering Mind

Apparently, the average person (who participates in scientific experiments) would rather get an electrical jolt than spend time alone without electronic stimuli. For Baby-Boom or Gen-X managers, smartphones and desktop computers were certainly not as prevalent when you started your working career as they were just a generation later. For those who have come into the workplace in the last […]

July 01

It’s Not About The Food – Why Leaders Eat Last

Simon Sinek is famous for one of the most popular TedTalks of all time and for asking provocative questions about why some teams can rally through adversity and get things done while others fall apart at the first sign of trouble, or just can’t figure out a way around the obstacle in their way. Sinek’s central theme […]

June 27

Defining the…..Hater

Researchers at the University of Illinois and University of Pennsylvania made headlines recently with a study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. It concluded that people with grumpy and negative attitudes may be more likely to reach higher skill levels at work. In two studies, researchers measured the different activities of participants over a two-week period […]

June 24

What Experts Say About Lessons Learned

The other day I was asked about what lessons I have learned over the past 25 years that could be distilled into a hindsight approach.  I thought that was a great question and so, as with all great questions, I asked the Internet.  Rather than ask for the nearest location of a great teriyaki takeout […]

June 20

Bloom Where You Are Planted

The newly hired coach of the New York Knicks, Derek Fisher, gave a press conference a week ago in which the many shortcomings and challenges with his new team was the topic of conversation. Fisher’s response was an example of leadership mindset at it’s finest. “How do you make the most of what you have? That’s the message I’ll send […]

June 17

Some Things Don’t Change

A recent survey by the Ketchum Group’s Leadership Monitor was picked up by a variety of blogs and newspapers due to the “shock” value of the survey conclusions: women outperform men in the top four key leadership metrics. At first glance, this is the type of headline that provides the television talk shows and roundtables the opportunity […]

June 13

Accountability

I was recently fortunate to enjoy a vacation in the Federal Republic of Germany.  For those who missed some big goings-on about 25 years ago, Germany was divided into two countries from 1949 to 1990 following the conclusion of World War II.  The city of Berlin was also divided following the conflict and jointly occupied […]

June 11

People You Should Know – Admiral William McRaven

Last month, the graduates of the University of Texas got a special commencement address from someone who has spent the majority of his life avoiding any type of public event such as a graduation speech. Admiral William McRaven returned to his alma mater to address the class of 2014 and provide a little life advice […]

June 08

Fellowship

In past posts on this blog, I have spoken about the concept of “followership“. The general drift of that message was that there was good and bad “followership” and that good leaders in general were equally adept at being led.  There are some rules to being led, and being the best you can be at it. […]

May 26

What’s In A Day?

The origins of Memorial Day as a federal holiday date back to the end of the Civil War and the spontaneous events and memorials that sprang up  in the aftermath of such a cataclysmic event that cost the young nation almost a million souls. Over the next century, the occasion of marking remembrance to the […]

May 18

Transfusion Is A Good Thing

Transfusion is most frequently associated with the process by which blood is introduced into a human being (EDITOR NOTE: The author’s medical skills and knowledge extend to generally responding appropriately to burns or cuts, accessing Web-MD, and calling 911).  The purposes can be under planned or unexpected circumstances, to either replace the loss of blood, or […]

May 09

When The Heart Of Darkness Beats For You

If you work in an organization big enough or wide enough to have at least two different locations, Theorem 1 of the Colonel Kurz Theory of Probability is that some percentage of one office think that, generally, there is something wrong with the people in the other office. If the organization is big enough to have […]

May 06

Appreciation

This being the occasion of Public Service Appreciation Week, it seems appropriate to take a moment and consider the act of appreciation, from the perspective of a leader. The power of appreciation is an awesome thing to behold.  As young children, we were taught that “please” and “thank you” were required elements of just about […]

May 05

Exercising Good Judgment

One of my new favorite blogs had a definition yesterday that really resonated with what can be the core of a leader’s daily responsibility. “Leadership….is nothing less than the repetitive exercise of discretionary judgment…”. Which leads one to think, is there a judgment muscle that can be trained or exercised or enhanced through the proper […]

April 28

First Rule of Bossing – Do No Harm

Stanford professor Robert Sutton is well known for his theories on management and business, with over a dozen books to his credit.  His most popular work is about being civil in the workplace, which at its core is about the Golden Rule. It is unfortunate that in any conversation about workplace jerks, the buck stops pretty squarely […]

April 26

The Green Eyed Monster

Shakespeare’s use of jealousy, in families and governments, was a constant theme throughout his works. His use of this theme was consistent with the era and the predominance of the Catholic Church in those times. Envy was identified as one of the seven deadly sins by Pope Gregory and then used by Dante in his “Divine […]

April 17

Practice

The full-on effective use of leadership skills on a regular, consistent, and conscious basis, is a state of mind that is rarely viewed in the same light as the higher level display of skills for things that are physical in nature.  Playing the piano, operating on a human brain, or throwing a baseball 60 feet […]

April 10

Attitude is Every Day

For those of you who just took a chewing from the boss, or experienced a spectacular fail, or got crushed under a huge Rock Of Unrealistically High Expectations, coming in to work the next day (or the next minute, depending on the circumstances) can be an ordeal.  Sometimes, it’s even worse if you have had […]