When returning home from service, veterans often bring home problems they never anticipated. Fortunately, issues such as PTSD and alcoholism are coming to light and starting to be better assessed and addressed by today’s healthcare professionals. Although, veterans continue to grapple with problems on an innately human level. What is my purpose? How may I serve others now that I am not on active duty?
These are the kind of questions Andrew LeMasters began to ask himself after going through rounds of chemotherapy and being medically discharged from the Army. “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,” he says.
Despite the love and support of his family, returning home to an ordinary lifestyle became one of his toughest battles yet. But according to LeMasters, there was a greater plan hidden within the experience. He became determined to find the reason and nothing would get in the way of his success.
“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.” It was in this moment when Andrew LeMasters began to discover his purpose.
Leveraging his experience in the military and Special Forces, he began to build a leadership empire, creating an e-learning platform to empower individuals and businesses towards optimum success. Founding Spearhead Development Group, LeMasters found that he was able to pay forward the kindness and support of his Special Forces team members and give back to those who taught him what it truly means to be a leader. According to LeMasters, a leader always places others before themselves.
This core value is ingrained in the SDG program, along with a suite of interactive training sessions, real-life scenarios, and quizzes, all in an accessible online format. LeMasters understands that leaders aren’t taught, they are developed over time. As such, his program facilitates incremental changes that resonate over time. The program consists of a 5-minute video each day, followed by quizzes that boost long-term retention. It takes about two months and following completion, users are given applicable situations that they may encounter in the workplace and begin to respond to more effectively. This includes everything from handling late employees, determining which leadership styles are best for a certain group, and how to communicate with different personality types. Once you pass the scenario and all-inclusive exam, you can be certain that you have developed the tools you need to be a successful leader. And from there it’s up to you to apply them.
It turns out, you don’t have to launch a new program or be a part of a corporation in order to be a leader. Your purpose may simply be found at home. Andrew LeMasters and his wife have an 8-week-old daughter named Ava who inspires the greatest motivation for everything they do. “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.”
Oftentimes, purpose is found in our closest relationships and communities. It is found in the value we provide to others when we dare to put others before ourselves. The journey is not easy, but with the right mindset, you will find greater meaning in everything that you do.
Leadership is what keeps the world running and without it, we would just have chaos. We need decision makers, influencers, innovators, and people who care about others. Leaders leave lasting impacts on companies and help them grow, they turn homes into happier places, and they encourage dreams, and bring communities closer together.