Is Your Moral Compass Calibrated?

Or Do You Go Wherever The Wind Blows?
Is Your Moral Compass Calibrated? Or Do You Go Wherever The Wind Blows?

My college friend Skip Gaskill returns (lucky us). Leadership is a 24/7 commitment. Or not. Skip helps us understand the HUGE difference between part-time and full-time commitment.

Never forget, someone is always watching.

Take it away Skip:

As I drive to work in the morning I usually listen to either the news or sports talk radio.  One of the popular Sports Talk programs I listen to is called the Sports Junkies…a group of five locals who are in their late 20’s/early 30’s who talk about the local professional teams.  They spend roughly 75% of the time talking about sports but the other 25% of the time they talk about anything and everything.  I enjoy their banter about sports but when they enter the other 25% I change the station.

Why?  In the course of their discussions they clearly articulate, to their own amusement as well as their audience’s, how they lack integrity, courage, commitment, self discipline, and a calibrated moral compass.

All of these men are married with children.  What message are they sending?  Are we endorsing this kind of behavior by listening?

I recently saw some commercials on television that were subtle recommendations to do the right thing.  It can be as simple as giving up your seat on a bus to an elder or not cheating on a test.  I wish there were more of them.

We all need to do a better job.  Go out of your way to do the right thing…even when no one is looking….because someone is always looking.  Happy Holidays.

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Work That Matters

Good Monday morning. Two days until Fall. Time flies, doesn’t it? In the end, if we’re lucky, we get to take a look back at our lives and ask, “Was I going through the motions or did I passionately do work that matters?” My college friend, Skip Gaskill, has this to say:

Hey Jeff, its been a while.

I spent last week with some very special people helping them formulate “their” plans as they transition from Active Duty back to the civilian world.

I volunteer with a veteren’s transition group that helps our wounded warriors develop life goals and action plans to achieve them.

These young men and women were battered and broken both physically and mentally (paralysis, amputees, traumatic brain injuries, post traumatic stress, loss of sight, hearing, or both, etc.) and still have the desire, courage, fortitude, and determination to overcome these setbacks and the demons that have developed in dealing with them.

My point here is that there are many people in this world who need help setting goals and developing action plans. Many of us have done this for ourselves to varying degrees of success.

I’m asking all of us to consider mentoring someone else (vets, youth, down & out, etc.) do the same…

I can’t sufficiently articulate the emotions you go through when you see someone you guided achieve success especially when they thought they had 0% chance of doing so.

We will all be better off in the long run.

Semper Fi, Skip

Ok, back to my words…

I don’t know about you, but my bar for today’s work has just been raised. Thank you Skip for sharing a private piece of yourself that we didn’t know before.

Paying it back, or paying it forward, we will likely never do enough giving to repay all the recieving we did and will continue to do. Keep on paying anyway. It’s good for your soul.

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Fight The Battle, Not The Plan

The Fight Of Your Life
The Fight Of Your Life

“Fight the battle not the plan. The plan goes out the window after the first shot….oh and by the way, the enemy (whatever or whomever that may be) has a vote in the outcome of the battle.”   — Skip Gaskill

Whether it’s fighting to regain your health, or regain your market share, you are in for the fight of your life, for the rest of your life.  Good luck.

PS.  A special thank you to Skip Gaskill for his contribution to today’s jungle jeff blog post. Skip simply left a comment a few days ago that was so powerful, it needed to be shared.

PSS. These are unprecedented times.  Traditional thinking and game plans are not feasible. It is not my place to offer advice.  Only to challenge you to discover your own.

14 Marine Corps’ Leaderships Traits

Jeff, as you might expect our Armed Forces take leadership fairly seriously. In fact you could say they are fanatical about developing highly effective leaders. Here are the Marine Corps’ fourteen leadership traits for consideration.

The 14 leadership traits are qualities of thought and action which, if demonstrated in daily activities, help Marines earn the respect, confidence, and loyal cooperation of other Marines. It is extremely important that you understand the meaning of each leadership trait and how to develop it, so you know what goals to set as you work to become a good leader and a good follower.

Definition: Justice is defined as the practice of being fair and consistent. A just person gives consideration to each side of a situation and bases rewards or punishments on merit.

Suggestions for Improvement: Be honest with yourself about why you make a particular decision. Avoid favoritism. Try to be fair at all times and treat all things and people in an equal manner.

Definition: Judgment is your ability to think about things clearly, calmly, and in an orderly fashion so that you can make good decisions.

Suggestions for Improvement: You can improve your judgment if you avoid making rash decisions. Approach problems with a common sense attitude.

Definition: Dependability means that you can be relied upon to perform your duties properly. It means that you can be trusted to complete a job. It is the willing and voluntary support of the policies and orders of the chain of command. Dependability also means consistently putting forth your best effort in an attempt to achieve the highest standards of performance.

Suggestions for Improvement: You can increase your dependability by forming the habit of being where you’re supposed to be on time, by not making excuses and by carrying out every task to the best of your ability regardless of whether you like it or agree with it.

Definition: Initiative is taking action even though you haven’t been given orders. It means meeting new and unexpected situations with prompt action. It includes using resourcefulness to get something done without the normal material or methods being available to you.

Suggestions for Improvement: To improve your initiative, work on staying mentally and physically alert. Be aware of things that need to be done and then to do them without having to be told.

Definition: Decisiveness means that you are able to make good decisions without delay. Get all the facts and weight them against each other. By acting calmly and quickly, you should arrive at a sound decision. You announce your decisions in a clear, firm, professional manner.

Suggestions for Improvement: Practice being positive in your actions instead of acting half-heartedly or changing your mind on an issue.

Definition: Tact means that you can deal with people in a manner that will maintain good relations and avoid problems. It means that you are polite, calm, and firm.

Suggestions for Improvement: Begin to develop your tact by trying to be courteous and cheerful at all times. Treat others as you would like to be treated.

Definition: Integrity means that you are honest and truthful in what you say or do. You put honesty, sense of duty, and sound moral principles above all else.

Suggestions for Improvement: Be absolutely honest and truthful at all times. Stand up for what you believe to be right.

Definition: Enthusiasm is defined as a sincere interest and exuberance in the performance of your duties. If you are enthusiastic, you are optimistic, cheerful, and willing to accept the challenges.

Suggestions for Improvement: Understanding and belief in your mission will add to your enthusiasm for your job. Try to understand why even uninteresting jobs must be done.

Definition: Bearing is the way you conduct and carry yourself. Your manner should reflect alertness, competence, confidence, and control.

Suggestions for Improvement: To develop bearing, you should hold yourself to the highest standards of personal conduct. Never be content with meeting only the minimum requirements.

Definition: Unselfishness means that you avoid making yourself comfortable at the expense of others. Be considerate of others. Give credit to those who deserve it.

Suggestions for Improvement: Avoid using your position or rank for personal gain, safety, or pleasure at the expensive of others. Be considerate of others.

Definition: Courage is what allows you to remain calm while recognizing fear. Moral courage means having the inner strength to stand up for what is right and to accept blame when something is your fault. Physical courage means that you can continue to function effectively when there is physical danger present.

Suggestions for Improvement: You can begin to control fear by practicing self-discipline and calmness. If you fear doing certain things required in your daily life, force yourself to do them until you can control your reaction.

Definition: Knowledge is the understanding of a science or art. Knowledge means that you have acquired information and that you understand people. Your knowledge should be broad, and in addition to knowing your job, you should know your unit’s policies and keep up with current events.

Suggestions for Improvement: Suggestions for Improvement: Increase your knowledge by remaining alert. Listen, observe, and find out about things you don’t understand. Study field manuals and other military literature.

Definition: Loyalty means that you are devoted to your country, the Corps, and to your seniors, peers, and subordinates. The motto of our Corps is Semper Fidelis!, (Always Faithful). You owe unwavering loyalty up and down the chain of command, to seniors, subordinates, and peers.

Suggestions for Improvement: To improve your loyalty you should show your loyalty by never discussing the problems of the Marine Corps or your unit with outsiders. Never talk about seniors unfavorably in front of your subordinates. Once a decision is made and the order is given to execute it, carry out that order willingly as if it were your own.

Definition: Endurance is the mental and physical stamina that is measured by your ability to withstand pain, fatigue, stress, and hardship. For example, enduring pain during a conditioning march in order to improve stamina is crucial in the development of leadership.

Suggestions for Improvement: Develop your endurance by engaging in physical training that will strengthen your body. Finish every task to the best of your ability by forcing yourself to continue when you are physically tired and your mind is sluggish.

Because it is important to always be able to remember the basic leadership traits, the acronym “J.J. DID TIE BUCKLE” is used. Each letter in the acronym corresponds to the first letter of one of the traits. By remembering the acronym, you will be better able to recall the traits.