You’ve Served Your Country Successfully….Now What?
Integration back into the community – and the corporate world – after military service is far more stressful and challenging than one may expect. Health care professionals are helping veterans address everything from integration back into daily life to PTSD and other illnesses. Veterans continue to struggle with questions, like what to do once they complete their military service, on a regular basis. For Andrew LeMasters, this was also the case.
After completing multiple rounds of chemotherapy, LeMasters received a full medical discharge from the military. “I felt completely lost. I went from being Special Forces, jumping out of planes, late nights, early mornings and never being in the same place for more than a month or two to being a full-time student that never left the house and felt isolated from the world. Downtime became my enemy,” declared LeMasters.
LeMasters had love and support from his family, although integrating back into daily life actually became his biggest struggle. In fact, he suggests that it was harder for him than the battlefield. However, LeMasters believed that all his struggles were representative of his greater purpose. An entrepreneur with a tough mindset, LeMasters determined early on that he would find that purpose, and put it to excellent use helping others.
“I started taking inventory of my skill sets and what I could do well. At the end of the day, my mind always came back to leadership. I loved people. I loved pushing them to be better. I loved diversity and I loved getting a group of people from point A to point B as efficiently as possible. All of this was so easy and natural to me, although it wasn’t at first. It took years of experience leading people from different countries, in different languages, failing, and learning from my mistakes for leadership to eventually become easy.” Through this struggle, LeMasters identified his purpose and began to take action.
Utilizing his training and expertise from the military, including his Special Forces knowledge, he built an online-based leadership empire. His e-learning platform empowers users to find and achieve their optimal successes. Along this Journey, LeMasters founded Spearhead Development Group. In doing so, his main goal was to pay forward the kindness and support of his Special Forces team members, while elevating those who taught him how to be a leader himself. According to LeMasters, “a leader always places others before themselves.”
The Spearhead program is entrenched with these core values, which are found consistently in modules containing real-life scenarios, quizzes, and more, all in an easy-to-follow online-based format. Learning in the military that leaders are developed over time and not just taught, LeMasters formulated a program which facilitates incremental changes which are consistent and timely. Each short video in the program is watched daily, enhanced with quizzes designed to cement the retention of the content in the module. Completion of the program takes approximately 60 days.
Upon completion, users are given applicable situations they can expect to find in the workplace and a toolkit to help work through them. Found in the toolkit are everything from handling late employees, determining which leadership styles are best for a certain group, how to communicate with different personality types, and more. At the end of each segment is a scenario and an all-inclusive exam. Once passed, users can rest assured that they have developed the tools they worked on to become a more successful leader. The only remaining “to do” item is to apply them individually in daily life.
One of the things LeMasters understands is that you don’t have to be part of a large organization to be a leader. Whether your purpose is entrepreneurial or just at home, the tools and insight in the program relate to everyone. When LeMasters’ daughter was born several months ago, she became the immediate inspiration for everything. “I want to develop everyone that I can into leaders and now, it starts in my own home. Ava will see what hard work looks like. She’ll know what it means to have dreams and goals, and she’ll be encouraged to be whatever it is that she wants to be. She’ll experience diversity and learn how to put others first,” said LeMasters.
What we struggle to realize is that sometimes our greatest leadership opportunities are found where and when we least expect it. Our ability to give to others separates true leaders from the pack. While the journey isn’t always an easy one, a leader understands that it is the process, and the road you head down, make all the difference in the world.