Have you ever met someone whose life story completely changes your perspective?
That’s what happened when I met James Butler, a former Navy bomb disposal expert, Afghanistan veteran, and coach…
Imagine the sheer courage required to defuse explosive devices, where every decision could be life-altering. The government recognized his bravery and potential, investing a million dollars annually in his training. And James mastered explosives, diving, parachuting, and the tactical skills of a combat fighter.
I met him a few years after his military service, and I found James to be one of the most loving and heart-centered individuals I had ever encountered.
In our 4PC community, I had the privilege of guiding James toward rediscovering his mission.
One day he told me how he was deeply moved by a fellow veteran he met in a coffee shop. This man was a leader of an exceptional caliber, now working as a barista, because he had completely lost his sense of purpose after military service.
Filled with sadness by this moment, the encounter ignited a powerful new mission in James: empowering military veterans to harness their leadership skills post-military.
Mission and Service
I’ve been helping military veterans flourish as coaches in civilian life for years and James once shared with me a profound insight into why so many veterans gravitate towards my community…
“We know what it means to be on mission – and, Rich, you’re a man on mission. And know what it means to serve – and you’re a man who’s always serving.”
These words still resonate within me years later.
Tragically, James’s journey was cut far too short by a brain aneurysm. But his legacy continues through every life he touches.
Like James, we all have a unique mission and the capacity to serve deeply.
What I do for military veterans, I do for all coaches and consultants. It’s simple but not easy:
- Find your mission.
- Serve profoundly.
We once had a “Superhero party” at 4PC. James came dressed as The Hulk. He really was a larger-than-life character.
I went to the party dressed as Deadpool. On the drive home, Monique and I saw a man collapsed by the side of the road. It looked like he’d been hit by a car, and I began to give him artificial respiration while she called the emergency services.
It felt like an eternity as I pumped the poor man’s chest until the ambulance service arrived. Thankfully, I kept him alive, but I’ll never forget the moment when I quickly stripped off my superhero costume just before the police showed up!
Note to self: it’s better to be a hero from the inside out than to put on a costume and pretend…