Return With Purpose: 2013 Monthly Update


Contact: Elaine Queathem, 314-283-0006

RETURN WITH PURPOSE brings transition process to area Veterans

 New non-profit partners with Universities to help with employing Veterans

What:             Return With Purpose, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping Veterans transition successfully to civilian life – including family, community, and work, launched it’s first sessions during April and May.  “The change curriculum offered through Return With Purpose is rooted in time tested concepts and principles which have been used to transform the performance of thousands,” said Gregg Ganschaw, Board Chair of Return With Purpose.  “We are extremely excited to bring this work, which is so important because it provides a sense of purpose, to our returning Veterans.

Who:              Since October, RWP has established key relationships with corporations such as US Bank, and Universities such as: St. Louis University, University of Missouri St. Louis, University of Central Missouri, and Webster University to provide their process to Veteran job seekers and graduates. In addition to working with corporations and colleges and Universities, RWP is also working with military organizations to help Veterans prior to ending their tour of duty.  “Resiliency is a very important objective for any person in the military.  The exercises presented help the participant take stock of their current reality and make constructive and desired changes to an improved vision,” said Elaine Queathem, Executive Director, Return With Purpose. “Being deliberate about where you want to be enhances the ability to be resilient.”

Where:           University of Central Missouri – Warrensburg

When:            August 23 & 24, 2013

Advance Reservations Required

Call Elaine Queathem at 314-283-0006

About Return With Purpose
Founded in 2012 in St. Louis, Missouri, Return With Purpose ( is a nonprofit dedicated to assisting Veterans transition to civilian life. Veteran Hiring Challenges and Solutions re Path.Finding Group

By Garry Kranz

Featured Article

CDW Recruits Vets, Even If Many Other Companies Are Gun-Shy

Thursday, September 6,2012

Despite a 20-year career in the U.S. Navy, Kevin Brylski wasn’t sure how his experience would translate to his job as a sales manager for CDW, a Chicago-based provider of technology services and products.

“I had just spent 20 years of my life fighting wars or preparing to fight wars. I had been on teams before, but I had never been a member of a sales team,” says the 41-year-old native of Johnstown, Pennsylvania.

Fortunately for Brylski, CDW’s hiring managers did not consider that to be a handicap. Quite the opposite: CDW hired Brylski as a district sales manager of CDW’s Navy/Marine Corps Military Health Systems business in 2011, just days after he learned of the job. His ability to take charge, and think on his feet and put the mission first—in this case, serving CDW’s corporate clients—proved decisive, says Melissa McMahon, CDW’s senior director of talent acquisition.

Military veterans such as Brylski comprise an increasingly important talent pool, McMahon says. The company employs 6,900 people in the U.S. and Canada.

“Veterans have skill sets that are very transferable for us, especially unwavering commitment and the ability to work in a fast-paced, results-driven environment,” McMahon says. “The vets we’ve been fortunate to hire have a drive and a team spirit that we foster and highly value.”

CDW participates in the U.S. Army’s Partnership for Youth Services, or PaYS, a joint endeavor between the Army and hundreds of leading companies. Participating companies agree to provide job interviews to all qualified soldiers upon completion of their service.

Despite CDW’s “feel good” story, soldiers returning from overseas face dreadful job prospects. The federal government estimates that 250,000 active-duty veterans will enter the labor market as U.S. forces withdraw from Afghanistan this year. During the next five years, 1 million Armed Forces personnel will re-enter civilian life.

For a decade, those soldiers fought a war against terrorism, spending days on high alert and snatching a few hours of restless sleep.

Now, returning vets must gird for a different kind of battle: competing for jobs in an economy that isn’t producing them in large numbers.

The unemployment rate among Gulf War-era II veterans—those who have served on active duty at any time since September 2001—is 12 percent, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Among male veterans 18 to 24, it is a staggering 29 percent.

The grim news prompted Congress last year to pass the VOW to Hire Heroes Act, which provides tax credits to companies that hire out-of-work veterans. But even the tax breaks aren’t proving much of an incentive so far.

Hiring managers often don’t understand how military occupations carry over to civilian jobs, says Gregg Ganschaw, the founder of professional training and coaching firm Path.Finding Group, based in St. Louis.

Ganschaw’s company and several other organizations will participate this fall in a workshop, titled Return With Purpose, to help vets recognize the valued skills they possess and gain purpose and confidence in the job hunt.

Military job seekers who are used to working in teams often don’t know how to sell their skills as individuals, Ganschaw says. Plus, many “have never interviewed for a position and don’t know how to negotiate salary and benefits with civilian employers.”

At the same time, employers may be reluctant to hire veterans out of concern over mental health issues or the lack of a traditional résumé.

“The majority of employers are currently looking for experienced midcareer workers with Bachelor’s or Master’s degrees, but few vets have this level of work experience and academic qualifications, Ganschaw says.

In fact, only 39 percent of companies believe people with military experience have the skills to transition to a civilian career, according to the Veterans Talent Index, a survey in May of 900 employers by Monster Worldwide Inc.

Not everything is gloomy: Monster’s report also found that 74 percent of companies hired at least one veteran during the past year, with nearly all saying the veteran’s work experience “was about the same or much better than nonveteran workers.”

Also on the bright side, Monster’s report indicates that 60 percent of companies recognize the special skills that vets bring to the table.

Count CDW among the companies that appreciate vets.

The company stepped up recruitment of veterans in recent years. Eighty-three ex-military were hired in 2011, a 46 percent jump from the 57 it hired in 2010, McMahon says.

Recruiters at CDW are measured each quarter on how well they attract veteran candidates. Talent-acquisition professionals, meanwhile, are expected to demonstrate year-over-year improvement on placement of soldiers, McMahon says.

U.S. Marine Corps Sgt. Sean Orquiola, 31, joined CDW in 2003. Originally hired as an account manager, Orquiola was one month into a three-month-long training program when he received deployment orders to Iraq.

“In the blink of an eye, I went from a relaxed, laid-back environment to being in the desert wearing full combat gear,” Orquiola says.

While serving in Iraq, Orquiola’s job placed him in the middle of intense firefights. He led a squad of eight Marines, whose job was to take charge of injured enemy prisoners and arrange for their transport by helicopter to military hospitals.

But Orquiola says he is lucky. Not only did he survive, but he knew his job at CDW would be waiting when he returned to the states.

After being officially discharged from the Marines in 2005, Orquiola says he was anxious to resume his civilian job. He was promoted in 2006 and now manages a team of 500 account managers. “As a Marine, the No. 1 task is to accomplish the mission. Finish the job: It’s the same message I give my team here.”

Brylski also taps a management philosophy he learned in the military as he supervises a team of 25 sales reps. The job lets him flex the leadership muscles he developed while in the Navy.

“I learned that you can’t lead everybody with an iron fist or with kid gloves. There are two pillars of leadership: trust and showing you care. If you demonstrate that, people will run through walls for you,” Brylski says.

Garry Kranz is a Workforce contributing editor. Comment below or email


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 A hands-on workshop giving you tools to facilitate your transition to civilian life, with the purpose of helping your: Country – Fellow Veterans – Organization – Community – Family – Self

Is your current level of performance reflective of your true Personal Potential? Are you struggling to find meaning in your everyday civilian life? You are not alone:

• In a study of recently returned veterans, only 13% “strongly agreed that their transition home was going well.”

• Nearly 9 out of 10 (89%) agreed that Americans could learn something from their example, but only half considered themselves leaders in their communities as a result of their service.

RETURN WITH PURPOSE can be the first step in moving from where you are now (Current Reality), to where you want to be (Vision) by identifying and removing barriers which hold you back including:


• Injuries

• Employment opportunities

• Successful re-entry into educational process

• Family issues

• A true sense of purpose in what you are doing

• Fitting back in to the current culture…

Every person faces difficulties, challenges and disappointments in life, sometimes significant ones that can seem to “erase” the future that a person has expected due to a traumatic injury or experience that has removed or diminished a previous ability, physically or mentally. Other times the stresses of life or situations just seem to accumulate until a person’s ability to cope effectively seems overwhelmed.

When individuals change their own beliefs, attitudes, habits, expectations, and comfort zones, then they are the key to facilitating a constructive culture change, which will help each individual to perform to their potential, as shown in the following diagram:

You will learn key concepts from this curriculum which are applied in over a dozen programs around the world right now to help you in important areas including:

• Education

• Employment

• Health

• Home life

Why Do We Need A More Constructive Culture?

Because…Culture Drives Performance!

As an Indivudual: Constructive Cultures help us to perform to our Potential…Think of Sports teams that have Winning Cultures…where Individual players excel and play to a higher level…

As an Organization:  Business Performance, as measured by

Kotter & Heskett:

Study of 207 firms over an eleven year period as reported in their book

Corporate Culture and Performance

                                       Defensive Culture                        Constructive Culture

Revenue                                166%                                       682%                                   

Employment                           36%                                       282%

Stock Prices                           74%                                       901% 

Net Income                              1%                                        756%

What is Culture, and How do we change it?

The Culture of an organization is the combined: Beliefs, Attitudes, Habits, Expectations, and Comfort Zones, of all the Individual Team Members…

The Individuals, changing their: Beliefs, Attitudes, Habits, Expectations and Comfort Zones, are the key to facilitating a Constructive Culture Change, which will help each Individual, to perform to their Potential as shown below:


…the single biggest Advantage a company has, is their Culture…”

According to Patrick Lencioni, author of: The Five Dysfunctions of a Team

His new book The Advantage: Why Organizational Health Trumps Everything Else In Business.

Commenting on: A Corporate Culture that isToxic…

“I think it is time we recognize, that probably the single biggest Advantage a company has, is their Culture…”And more leaders have to realize, if they don’t take specific steps to keep their organizations healthy, if they don’t see this as something rigorous and real that affects their business, but instead as something cosmetic, or public relations this is the kind of thing that happens…

How to Achieve it

  • Build Cohesive Leadership Team
  • Create Clarity
  • Over-Communicate Clarity
  • Reinforce Clarity


Live as if “All Experience is Feedback”

Thought for the Week of March 5, 2012:

Change at the Individual Level…

The universe seems to support us in mysterious ways; and that it really helps to live as if All Experience is Feedback, neither to be deplored nor exalted, but simply to be learned from.

Although it is true that in the past some individuals have made discoveries like these and changed their lives accordingly, never, as far as we know, has an entire society attempted to operate on such a basis. The exciting prospect before us is that, first, individuals and small groups, and then organizations, and then finally whole societies might shift to a transcendental worldview. If and when that occurs, completely new ways will open up for living in harmony with Nature and each other, and encouraging the development of our highest potential.

Reperceiving the World – Willis Harman and Chris Thomson




Leadership vs. Management

Since our upcoming session of Thought Patterns for High Performance®. on March 27 & 28, will Focus on Leadership, I thought the following Discussion Points would be valuable:


Some Differences for Discussion

By Lee Thayer
© 1993

Have the mentality, the heart and the spirit of managers. Have the mentality, the heart and the spirit of leaders.
Base their decisions on their understanding of the way the world is. Base their decisions on their understanding of the way the world ought to be.
“Explain” the past. “Invent” the future.
Adapt to the organization they find themselves in. Make the organization they always wanted to work for but couldn’t find.
Are goal-oriented. Are passion-driven.
Accomplish by what they do. Accomplish by what they are.
Make themselves indispensable. Make everyone else indispensable.
Inflate their relevance by making others less so. Increase others’ relevance at the cost of their own.
Know how to learn. Know how to unlearn.
See the world in cause-effect terms (linearly). See the world as sets of interdependencies (systems).
Live by exigency. Live by principle.
Make decisions. Create community.
Glorify themselves. Are servants of transcendent values.
Do things “right.” Do the right thing.
Use their power to aggrandize themselves. Use their power to do good.
Are number-makers. Are people-makers.
Use “politics.” Eliminate “politics.”
Get things done through people. Empower people to get things done themselves.
Place heavy emphasis on tangibles. Place heavy emphasis on intangibles of vision, values and relationships.
Relate to people as they “are.” Relate to people as they ought to be.
Keep to their territory. Cognizant and influential beyond their jurisdiction.
Are most concerned with the inner working of the organization. Are equally concerned with the larger realities of which the organization is part.
Buy subordinates. Must earn followers.
Short-term thinkers: the day’s crises, quarterly report, etc. Think and act in the longer-term.
If it ain’t broke, don’t pay attention to it. If it ain’t broke, break it.
Are re-active. Are pro-active.
Organize things around the “facts.” Organize things around the needed consequences.
Think in terms of activities and “rights.” Think in terms of accomplishments and responsibilities.
Know how to express themselves. Know how to listen to others.
Live for success. Love the journey.
Oversee. Undersee.
Are the bosses and the controllers. Are the coaches and the stewards.
Do what they are supposed to. Do whatever they need to do to make happen what needs to happen.
Are “little” thinkers. Are “big” thinkers.
Administer. Innovate.
Are copies. Are originals.
Rely on control. Inspire trust.
Keep their eye on the bottom line. Keep their eye on the horizon.
Are the classic “good soldier.” Are their own person.
Imitate. Originate.
Use the status quo. Challenge the status quo.
Tell stories about how things “are.” Make the stories they tell “come true.”
Defer to reality. Make reality.
Get stressed by problems. See every problem as an opportunity.
Are into arriving. Are into becoming.
Think happiness or “success” is the goal. Know that purpose is higher than happiness – or achievement.
Maintain. Develop.
Ask how and when. Ask what and why.
Deploy themselves according to what has happened. Deploy themselves according to what needs to happen.
Are in the knowing mode. Are in the learning mode.
Know the answers. Ask the questions.
Don’t always know what they want to be when they grow up, so they don’t always grow up. Know what they ought to be when they grow up, and do it.
Seek knowledge and information. Seek wisdom.
Depend upon “experience.” Depend upon mastery and zeal.
Want to know where people’s “heads” are at in order to critique their “errors” of thought and judgement. Want to know where people’s “heads” are at because that reality is where leaders lead from.
Direct others. Make it possible and necessary for others to direct themselves – rightly.
Want to “control” others – to make them do what the manager wants done. Want to “emancipate” people – to empower them to do what needs to be done.
Have a “win” mentality. Have a “win-win” mentality.
Place the numbers between themselves and people. Place people between themselves and the numbers.
Get hung up on the “truth.” Realize that the “truth” (particularly theirs) is far less important than being competent to accomplish what needs accomplishing.
Want to be “right.” Want to accomplish what needs to be accomplished.
Believe that ideas have certain intrinsic value. Know that an idea is no better than the person who implements it.
Believe that what happens in the present is explained or justified by something that happened in the past. Know that present actions have to be justified solely by their future consequences.
Typically prefer their “comfort zone” to taking risks. Where what’s at stake merits it, will take the proportionate risk (are willing to be 100 percent wrong).
Have a “style.” Have integrity.
Take charge. Know when to lead, when to follow, and when to get out of the way.
Identify with corporate goals. Have a personal mission.
View people as means to corporate goals. See the organization’s interests and the stakeholders’ interests as interdependent; the organization flourishes if the stakeholders flourish, and conversely.
Seek to know only what they need to know to be “successful.” Have an insatiable intellectual curiosity.


It all begins with Personal Change!

I thought you would be interested in an Important, potentially “Life Changing” Seminar, coming to St. Louis during March…

I personally traveled to The Pacific Institute, Seattle WA, at the end of last year, to participate in Thought Patterns for High Performance®.

Real Change in both our personal and professional lives can be very challenging (remember those New Year’s resolutions?)

 Since 1971, Lou Tice and The Pacific Institute have been employing the concepts and tools reflected in this program with any organization where excellence is the goal – from individuals to FORTUNE 500 companies; the military, educators, entrepreneurs, as well as Olympic and professional athletes.

Getting to the root cause issues that result in individual and organizational under-functioning is the prime focus of Thought Patterns for High Performance®.

Learn Tools and Concepts that will help you experience the changes that are important to you: 

  • High levels of confidence and low levels of anxiety and stress…
  • People performing at levels that exceed both internal and external customer expectations.
  • Enthusiastic employees able to recognize opportunities they were unable to see in the past, and who are now eager to try new approaches.
  • People who understand that they are limited not by their potential, but by their ability to use their potential.
  • A new standard of leadership combined with a new standard of personal, professional and organizational accountability.

Lasting change starts on the inside and then moves to the outside. If you want lasting change, you don’t manipulate the environment. Instead, you modify the foundation of beliefs, habits and expectations. This alteration of focus results in changes that not only last, but that spill over into every aspect of life, both personal and professional. What is more, these are changes that people embrace instead of resist.

 This is the first time this Pacific Institute program will be offered in the St. Louis area...

Please plan on attending on March 27 & 28, registration information: