Meucci’s next step is to help build others into their best selves

SPJ Georgia Member Jason Meucci worked at CNN for more than 20 years, mostly as a producer and manager. Like countless other journalists in recent years, he was “downsized” last fall. But unlike many others in similar situations, he was afforded the opportunity to take some time off to decompress from two decades in news, process such a big life change and check off some bucket list trips along the way. 

Jason Meucci journey 1

Jason Meucci at Mount Washington, New Hampshire. Supplied photo

This is a recent post he shared on his occasional blog about realizing he was ready to get back to work trying to make a difference. 

Since I was eight or nine years-old the annual calendar of my life has probably been more closely tied to the cycle of football than any celestial or religious events. Of course, as the saying goes, in the South, football is a religion, but that’s beside the point.

That being said, I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that it was a day at Atlanta Falcons training camp that helped me settle in on a big life decision: after a long “off-season” of #BeingFunemployed, it’s time to get out there and get back to work.

On the surface, the symmetry and symbolism is obvious, maybe even cliché. A new beginning, boundless enthusiasm, endless possibilities. Not to mention the incredibly rewarding satisfaction that comes from strenuous work towards a shared goal.

But what really did it for me was watching new Falcons head coach Dan Quinn. I could see the hands-on coaching techniques. I could sense the personal connection to his players. I could visualize how a team’s ultimate success starts with a commitment to helping the individual get better, grow and develop. 

Then there’s the magic synergy that comes from identifying and maximizing the specific strengths of those individuals, blending them together to form a cohesive unit and creating an environment where they have the best chance to succeed on an individual and team level. Only then can organizational goals truly have a chance to be reached.

Jason Meucci journey 3

Meucci on the northeastern coast of Iceland at midnight. Supplied photo

To me, the overall success of a team of any kind is simply a natural byproduct of the personal growth and successes of its individual members and their motivation to help each other. None of this is at all groundbreaking. But it is what I most look forward to when I think of returning to the workforce. 

It’s about the building. The building of others into their best selves. The building of teams that accomplish great things and take care of each other. The building of relationships that serve an institution’s mission.

Motivating others is what motivates me. Instilling a sense of purpose in a team gives me purpose. Coaching others to achieve personal success beyond just the day-to-day requirements of their job is success to me. 

Watching @FalconsDQ’s passionate effort to do these things for his team was the final inspiration I needed to know it’s time for me to hit the field again. 

Only, my field is the job market, my bumps and bruises will come from occasional rejection — and my Super Bowl will be finding an employer that encourages not just my own development but my ability to help others succeed. 

 Put me in coach, I’m ready to….well…coach. 


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