As a journalist, Greg Thomas ’85 keeps busy. Last summer he published a thought-provoking piece in Areo magazine, “Why I Am a Radical Moderate,” and he’s also active in a range of arts and culture work.
At the center of it all is the Jazz Leadership Project, a program he co-founded with his wife, Jewel Kinch- Thomas. The goal is to cultivate workplace leadership and team development by using four principles taken from jazz: excellence, shared leadership, antagonistic cooperation, and ensemble mindset. Participants can also expect to hear some live music.
“What is satisfying to me is sharing this powerful cultural form and model and metaphor, and having people see it, feel it, understand it, and then apply it to their own lives and in work,” says Thomas, a jazz critic and former saxophonist.
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Clients have included Verizon, JPMorgan Chase, TD Bank, and the New York Police Department. Recently, the Leadership Project collaborated with the Center for Policing Equity as it partnered with the city of Ithaca to reimagine public safety there. Thomas is excited about being part of that effort.
“It is a way that we can bring this culture- based model, which is grounded in jazz music, and in the principles and practices thereof, to social issues, addressing them in a positive way — not only saying what you’re for or against, but actually taking pragmatic action to work with others to make things better or to present a different model of how things can be done,” he says.