If you haven’t seen or read anything about Jersey Shore — MTV’s new unscripted program about summer living in Seaside Height’s, New Jersey — you’ve missed plenty of buzz.
The program has adherents and critics for exactly the same reason: The somewhat over-the-top, self-proclaimed “guidos” (Mike “The Situaion,” DJ Pauly D., Ronnie and Vinny) and “guidettes” (j-wwoww, Sammi, Snooki and Angelina) whose rants, romps and hi-jinx were filmed this past summer and are now playing on a TV set near you.
Leaving aside what you choose to entertain yourself with on TV, there are some lessons about leadership that can be gleaned from watching The Situation, Pauly and Ronnie:
1. They are action-oriented: Mike, Pauly and Ronnie are doers. They may not make the best decisions, but they rarely sit on the sidelines watching the action: They are the action. Good leadership is about not just thinking about the right decisions, but about taking action, too.
2. They are passionate about being their best. You may not share their values around vanity, but they are meticulous about fitness and appearance. It’s not the slavish devotion to hair gel that teaches something about leadership, it’s the PASSION around things that are important to them. Imagine if every leader in your company was as passionate about leadership as Pauly is about his hair? That kind of energy fuels success.
3. Their values are clear. One of the more curious challenges of leadership is identifying what principles guide your decision-making. Mike, Pauly and Ronnie clearly identify their values. You may question the wholesomeness of their principles, but you definitely know where they stand. Employees benefit from leaders who articulate a clear set of values and act accordingly. It makes for a stable workplace.
I’m not suggesting that you model the exact behavior of the three I’ve mentioned as exhibiting leadership behavior.
I am suggesting that leading with passion, taking action and adhering to a set of core values are essential for effective leadership.
And, apparently, have a good time at the Jersey shore.