Hello! Below you will find my story. When you’re done reading, please consider connecting with me via one of the social channels at the top of the page as I’d very much like to learn your story.
But for now … back to me.
My Call to Serve
From a very early age, I knew I wanted to serve in the U.S. Marine Corps. I’m not a particularly militant chap, but I felt that I had something to prove to myself and to the world. I wanted to challenge myself by becoming a part of the toughest and most elite fighting force I knew.
- I served 6 years as an Arabic Linguist and Reconnaissance Marine.
- My graduation from Boot Camp in San Diego, California was the proudest day of my life.
- I spent 67 weeks at the Defense Language Institute in Monterey, California learning the Arabic alphabet, vocabulary, grammar, and culture.
- I was stationed at Goodfellow Air Force Base in San Angelo, Texas for a quick bit of cryptography training.
- My fleet assignment was to Camp LeJeune, North Carolina.
When I reached Camp LeJeune, I still had something to prove, so I volunteered to join a type of special forces unit called Radio Reconnaissance. Part of my tryout included humping an 80-pound rucksack over a distance of 10 miles. I completed the trial in the allotted time, and I thought my chest would burst with pride and excitement. Never mind that the bottoms of both my feet had blistered off in the process.
- To prepare for future deployments, I was assigned to Fort Benning, Georgia for jump school.
- I was then assigned to New Brunswick, Maine for SERE school which stands for Survive, Evade, Resist, Escape. (Yes, there is training for those servicemen and servicewomen who may become Prisoners of War, and yes, Maine is beautiful even when you’re being chased across a mountain by baddies who want to capture and interrogate you.)
- I was assigned to the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU).
- I was stationed aboard the U.S.S. Inchon and headed across the Atlantic and straight to the Red Sea. Our destination was Mogadishu, Somalia.
- I had earned the lifelong title of Marine, I was serving with a great group of guys, and I was heavily armed. Mission accomplished.
- Later deployments included serving aboard the U.S.S. Trenton and the U.S.S. Kearsarge as a force in readiness off the coast of Haiti and the former Yugoslavia.
- After my two MEU deployments, I spent a year training other Marines who were preparing for their own tours overseas.
I loved the sense of pride and accomplishment I felt as an active duty Marine serving my country. As I neared the end of my enlistment, I had traveled the world, I had married the woman of my dreams (also a Marine, but the tough kind), and I knew it was time for a new chapter in my life.
My New Path
With just over a year of active duty service remaining, I realized that I needed to transition from bullets to books. On nights and weekends, when my mates would head out for drinks, I headed to the library. As compared to my civilian counterparts, I needed to play catch-up by completing my undergraduate degree as quickly as possible.
- I used a combination of standardized tests and distance learning programs to complete my Bachelor’s degree the same month I separated from the Marines.
- My first tour in civilian life was spent at Boston University where I completed my MBA and a second Master’s degree in Management Information Systems.
- I took a job at a DotCom startup outside of Boston during the boom and the bust years.
- I rose through the ranks of software Product Management and parlayed my military experience into leadership, strategy, and business success.
- My passion for personal growth and development never left me, and I decided to enroll in a part-time program at Capella University to earn my Ph.D. in Psychology.
- I wrote a series of personal development essays which I collected in the book Goals Gone Wild!.
- My doctoral graduation (replete with robe and funny hat) was the second proudest day of my life.
Throughout the years full of work and studies, my lovely bride and I managed to start and raise a family. With three kids and a hectic work schedule, we’ve experienced the stresses of too little time, money, and energy. At the same time, we’ve always have had a house full of love, laughter, and stories.
- It’s tough growing up when your parents are both Marines.
- It’s even tougher when one is a self-improvement junkie.
- I love Family Meetings.
- We have a 4’ x 6’ whiteboard mounted in our kitchen in an attempt to manage our home life.
- We somehow have a dog, a cat, and a horse even though I am neither a cat nor a horse person.
My Current Work and Goals
A few years ago, I landed my dream job at The Predictive Index. Still serving in a Product role, this one is perfectly aligned with my passion and interests. I work to meld together our Science, Software, and Management Training Workshops to serve thousands of clients across the globe. We sincerely believe that we can change the world by creating better working environments in organizations everywhere.
My kids are all teenagers now, preparing for their own next chapters in life. My bride and I balance enjoying them while they’re still home and preparing them for college life. We’re “in the soup” as we used to say, and we have to fight schedules hard to find time to be together as a couple.
Despite having an already full plate, I was bitten by another mammoth goal. When I first learned of the Ironman triathlon – 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike, 26.2-mile run – I thought to myself that there was no way I could complete that event. That hesitation scared me. At the time, I couldn’t swim the length of a pool, and I didn’t own a bike. Fast forward to today, and after a lot of hard work and training, I’ve completed my first sprint triathlon, and I’m now working to “go long” within the next three years.
My Call to Serve Again
I’ve come to realize that there’s one major downside to being a futurist and a perennial goal-seeker. I tend to discount prior accomplishments since I’m always hyper-focused on the next mountaintop.
As I’ve taken the opportunity to reflect on my life as written above, I’ve had the opportunity to recognize that I’ve accomplished a great deal in my work life and in my personal life. I fundamentally believe that any success I’ve had has been the result of two very important contributing factors:
- An innate and limitless source of drive and motivation.
- An aggressive bias for action that has been honed through military service.
Through this reflection process, I’ve discovered that I’m what I call a Work|Life Warrior. More importantly, I’ve learned that I can serve others – perhaps even you, dear reader – by sharing my experiences. That’s why I’m writing this blog and creating a series of Work|Life Warrior courses.
So that’s my story so far. Please consider connecting with me, telling me a bit about yourself, and letting me know if I can ever help you in any way.