How Josh and Jeff Make It Work
If you didn’t see the movie based on Neil Simon’s play “The Odd Couple” about the fastidious neat-freak Felix Unger and the slovenly sports writer Oscar Madison, perhaps you saw the TV sitcom. That indelible image of Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau has kept me laughing under my breath, since my initial association with Josh and Jeff, before SCB’s first issue was in print and they were working out of their homes.
Mind you, I was never laughing at them, but always with them, as no one recognizes the irony of how these two polar opposites work together, more than the two of them. What is more, like the legendary dynamic of Howard Cosell and Don Meredith on Monday Night Football, these two have a professional chemistry that is phenomenal.
Without a single sensitivity class or diversity awareness seminar, which I am aware of, Josh and Jeff have brought together a synergy of differences that would bring Oprah to tears.
Josh, who of course is Jewish, grew up in New York, and lived in the same neighborhood where “Seinfeld” was set. In fact, when the first episode was aired, Josh’s mother called him and said, “Joshy, have you seen that show ‘Seinfeld’? He’s you!” And she was right. But of course, we never call him “Joshy,” maybe “Josh Bon Jo-Field”, because he can recite the lyrics of every rock anthem since the mid 70’s and knows who played, what instrument, on every rock album that made the charts.
Jeff, bless his southern, protestant, red-neck heart, grew up in rural central Florida, majored in Physical Education and is happy as Huck Finn, up in a tree stand, deer hunting. His idea of a cultural experience is watching a video of the “Blue Collar Comedy Tour.” Or, watching Josh sit in bewilderment, trying to figure out what the other’s can possibly find so funny about the “Blue Collar Comedy Tour.”
Why It Works?
I hope this isn’t presumptuous, but since they would never talk about themselves, except as a platform to showcase the achievements of others, I think that time has come. They are a gold mine I’ve pulled nuggets from for five years and I would be remiss if I didn’t share the treasure with you.
America is called “The Great Melting Pot”, but like America, it is not the differences Josh and Jeff have in background or personality that make it work, it is what they share in common that are the keys to their success.
Focus: There is a laser sharp, eye on the prize, concentration they have on what they want to build, along with an unwavering dedication to excellence in that pursuit.
Respect: Like a team that wins with offense and defense, the recognition and the confidence Josh and Jeff have in each other’s respective abilities and opinions is amazing.
Commitment: Regardless of the sphere, the quality that separates the proverbial ‘good from the great’ is that sense of undistracted devotion and a ‘count the cost’ attitude which they share.
Integrity: In this age of relativism, it is amazing how universal a sense of what is right and wrong still is. Doing the right thing, because it is the right thing, is part of their credo.
Fun: Winners enjoy the game, partly because they realize this is what they are designed for and by doing it, they help others, along with the community, do the same.
They are a great inspiration to all of us and underscore why, as Seinfeld said, “The road less traveled, is less traveled for a reason.”