Tom is an executive business and community leader and a former U.S. Army Officer who leads Brotherhood Trust & Love, a support network for Veterans.
City: Jefferson, South Dakota
Who is your community? This may be a group of friends, organization of affinity or a geographic location.
Transitioning Military Service Members, Veterans, their families, friends, colleagues, and fellow community members.
Give us a behind-the-scenes look at your average day.
I’m working to create a peer-based community focused on building connection between transitioning service members, veterans, military families, and the communities they live in.
What challenge in your life or work are you most interested in overcoming?
Helping fellow Americans find satisfaction, happiness and success through relationships in a culture that generally prioritizes economic success over the relationships that actually create success. In other words, giving Americans a place to help each other achieve what they really want- their version of the American dream with people they can trust…even when it’s hard…especially when it’s really hard.
If you could do any job, what would you do and why?
Connecting people who crave mutually beneficial relationships based on connection, trust, and love through the Veteran and military family community- people who have lived and led in a high-performance, values-driven, team-oriented culture.
What is the most beneficial aspect of living in the OTA region when it comes to your career?
The community is supportive. People want and are willing to help each other.
At what intersection do you live your life?
I live at the intersection of brotherhood, trust and love. In our “community,” that means:
Brotherhood is the pinnacle of connection, where people interact at the highest possible standard of performance in their relationships, where Trust and Love drive individuals to be their absolute best for each other.
Trust is built through a history of shared experiences where two or more people consistently prove themselves reliable to each other when it matters…even when it’s hard.
Love is the choice one makes to transcend conflict, distraction, and stress to help another person…even when it’s hard…especially when it’s really hard.
We measure the Integrity of our decisions and actions by these words:
Loyalty, Devotion to Duty, Respect, Selfless-Service, Honor, Integrity, Personal Courage, Commitment, Honesty, Responsibility, Discipline, Accountability, Justice, Openness, Humility, Tolerance.
Where do you think good ideas come from?
Need. For example, in order to find satisfaction, happiness, and success in my own life, I need others to put my offer of brotherhood to the test by sharing their fears, challenges, and vulnerabilities so we can find strength together and I can be trustworthy and able to give and receive love through my thoughts, decisions, and actions. In other words- I need people…to need me…so we can meet each other’s needs. Good ideas come from what people need.
What’s one current trend you think will change the world?
We are becoming more and more accountable to our values, and how we translate them in our decisions and actions. Social media has started this trend. However, social media can only be a conduit for communication, it takes face-to-face interactions to build real relationships.
What’s the best way to put inspiration into action?
Share ideas. Help people become sensitive to signals that change is needed.
What’s the greatest risk you’ve taken?
Convincing people that what they’ve learned and what they know isn’t necessarily what they’re doing. It pushes people out of their comfort zones. Many are fearful of the vulnerability that comes with that and reject what I’m doing…not in their words…but in their actions. What makes the risk worth it? When I encounter the willing.
What’s your biggest failure, and what did you learn from it?
I was once fired from a job. I learned of the power of relationships- good and bad- and their impact on my success in the place where financial and social success intersect- the workplace.
Who do you hope to leave a legacy for?
Anyone in transition, really. I want to help them understand they are always in transition, that it’s easy to underestimate the the magnitude of the transitions they’re going through, and be aware of the effects of changes so they can proactively develop strategies that will help them create mutually beneficial relationships rather than try to fill empty spaces with things that distract them from the people they need to be successful.
Who is the most connected person in your life, and what personal characteristics make him or her so well-connected?
My friend Thomas. He is always initiating conversations with new people.
Who is the most creative person in your life, and why?
My mother. She has recreated herself through her artistic expression throughout a life full of transitions. Not all of her transitions have been successful, but that doesn’t stop her from continuing to get better.
Who is the most community-focused person in your life, and how do they impact their communities?
My wife. She is always helping people. Focused on meeting needs drives her to go above and beyond what is expected.
What are you working on right now?
Brotherhood Trust & Love – Connections, a community-based movement to foster mutually beneficial relationships between transitioning Military Service -Members, Veterans and Military Families and the people in their communities.
We meet on the 2nd Thursday of each month.
During the meetings, we allow everyone to introduce themselves and communicate what they’re looking to get out of their membership in the community, our members share community-building project ideas and if there is sufficient commitment to support them within the membership we form committees to make them happen, we share opportunities to serve noble causes through micro-volunteering for other values-based organizations, and we kick-off that month’s BT&L Challenge.
We’ve committed to make membership and participation free of charge. And, once we’ve created a model that works, to provide a plan for creating other local chapters free as well. We’re still new and therefore continuously evolving our approach while we grow this community of amazing people!
If anyone is interested in learning more or how they can participate, I can be reached at: 605-670-0192 or Tom@GoBoomLife.com.