I am a farmer’s son.
That means that I was raised to value hard work and the results of such dedication.
It also means that I recognize the power of connectedness and community. I understand that the small seeds planted today will grow into the harvest that sustains us in the future.
Why is a farmer’s son so interested in developing the next generation of leaders?
I’ve long since left the farm and have had a career in government, large corporations, and entrepreneurial companies.
While in my 20s I worked for U.S. Senator Jim Abdnor and did a stint in the White House. Those experiences shaped me as a leader and the choices I made back then have long stayed with me.
From DC to Texas, after earning an MBA from the McCombs School of Business at The University of Texas at Austin, I spent over 20 years in technology, serving in business development and marketing roles.
My experience includes work at large firms such as Deloitte, IBM, and BMC as well as entrepreneurial organizations such as VTEL and QuickArrow. My last role was vice president of marketing at Corepoint Health for over 10 years, helping grow the company from a few customers to close to 500. I am now pursuing my doctorate in interdisciplinary leadership at Creighton University. Learn more about my professional journey on my LinkedIn profile.
The ideals that inspire me.
Baby Boomers like me understand that there’s something unique about Millennials and Generation Z. These generations are bringing a remarkable energy and confidence to the workplace.
What I know is:
- Generations are stronger when sharing experiences and learning from each other
- Common ground can be found between generations, between functional areas, between partners, and between individuals
- Common ground is discovered when we hold civil conversations, focus on a greater purpose, and honor our diversity
- Leadership is about setting the right example and bringing out the best in ourselves and in others
Thin Difference has grown to become what it is today – a forum dedicated to empowering all generations with an eye towards strengthening future leaders – Millennials and Gen Z – to be better corporate and community citizens, solve problems actively, create richer lives, and discover common ground in the most challenging situations.
Join me in creating a new generation of Common Grounders™.
To learn more about leading for the next generation, check out my book – Activate Leadership: Aspen Truths to Empower Millennial Leaders. Aspen trees are unexpected source for leadership wisdom, but they provide an example for all generations.
Follow my personal site — Jon Mertz. I am working on my doctorate, and my dissertation is focused on social enterprise leadership and moral courage.
Jon in the news:
- Jon Mertz: Health IT Leader Focuses on Millennials, McCombs Today
- One20 Day Hopes To Spread Kindness On Inauguration Day, NBC DFW
- Dallasite Helps Spark National Initiative Promoting Service on Inauguration Day, Dallas Innovates
- In Chicago and Beyond, A Movement to Mark Inauguration Day with Service, Chicago Tribune