A Journey Of Leading From Hell To Abundance

by Jay Jackson 

As the oldest of 4 kids, and second oldest of twenty grandchildren, I’ve had my share of opportunities at leading others.

Accountability rested on my shoulders. My elders directed their questions to me if we did not complete our chores.

A Journey Of Leading From Hell To Abundance

Oftentimes those questions turned to physical and emotional abuse at the hands of my mother and stepfather.

Therefore, we accomplished tasks to the best of everyone’s abilities and on time.

During middle and high school, I served as a captain or co-captain of most my sports teams.

Not because I was the best player because I rarely was.

However, it was because my coaches and teammates trusted me to do what was in the best interest of the teams.

Leading by example by arriving on time (early most days), working hard, and encouraging others.

Throughout the years, my leadership responsibilities have increased as my family grows and ages.

The Best Decision Ever Made

On 26 October 1999, I accepted the oath of enlistment to serve in the United States Air Force.

Leadership and followership continued and were paramount during my military experience.

One must learn to follow before graduating to leadership.”

I admit this was a challenge in my early years since I wasn’t accustomed to following at the magnitude of military service. However, once I understood and accepted my role, we made magic!

Many of my leadership experiences afforded me the opportunity to learn from and grow with some of the world’s best and brightest leaders. Leading to multiple leadership and meritorious service awards throughout my career.

In particular, Air Traffic Control Supervisor Of The Year. Even leading my organization’s to excellent and outstand unit awards.

Iraq Was My Tipping Point

The moment I stepped off the C-130 Hercules 30 Dec 2009, I vowed never to experience war again!

I was 6,765 miles from home, blistering hot, afraid, and I didn’t know anyone.

Furthermore, “Why am I really here? Was I created to die in modern day Babylon?”

It’s a great thing I’m comfortable with meeting new people.

I don’t connect with everyone. And this is natural for us all. However, if not for the relationships built, I wouldn’t have made it.

My crew and I kept each other at an elite performance level. We studied policies and procedures, ate dinner, and exercised together.

I even broke my toe during the playoffs of a 3-on-3 basketball tournament. I wore the walking boot for two days and played in the championship.

What can I say “My team needed me.”

And yes, we won!

Reacclimatizing To A Peace Time Environment

It was the summer of 2010. Welcome home after 6 months in Iraq. I was empty. However, I was ready to reconnect with the people that mattered most. My family.

Few understand the challenges associated with spending 180 days wondering “Is this is my final day to live?”

I didn’t experience hand to hand combat. However, mortar and rocket explosions are terrifying!

Not to mention potential Improvised Explosive Devices (IED) along streets and walkways.

Salute to my fellow veterans who kick doors in and release three rounds center mass for our country!

The Great Shift

On June 28, 2010, I landed In Baltimore, MD.

Next to the birth dates of my son and daughter, this was the greatest day of my life!

However, I wanted more. My perspective had shifted.

Convinced there was a reason I lived to return home intact physically, however, there was a war taking place in my mind.

I was over ten years on active duty. Therefore, walking away from safety and security wasn’t an option.

So I got laser focused on delivering tremendous value to my subordinates and leaders.

Striving to be the best Airman possible, until I experienced a conflict.

The Infamous Conflict

My relationships and behaviors didn’t mirror my personal and professional aspirations.

I associated with characters in-conducive to live in abundance.

These characters included family members and individuals I once considered “friends.”

We abused alcohol, recreational drugs, and promiscuity.

Unfortunately, these relationships and behaviors led to the demise of my military career and I take full responsibility for my role in that debacle.

I Was Court-Martialed

Individuals in positions of authority now acknowledge I suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder & Depression.

However, at the time, my leadership attacked my essence. Said I had character issues. Labeled me arrogant and many other things in public and only God knows what in private.

I understood the odds I was facing.

A personality conflict with those afforded privilege virtue of societal constructs and position.

I was thinking “No one will trust me over a couple of Colonels and a Command Chief Master Sergeant in a high-profile role.”

Therefore, I immediately began taking steps to preserve my name and stellar record.

I had recently earned the rank of Master Sergeant at 13 years when the Air Force average was 16.5 years.

Although I was aware of the situation I was in, I was unaware of what was in store.

As I awaited man’s verdict, I did what we all do oh so well during times of desperation; I called on God to save me!

I never lost faith in my Source during the experience. However, I was facing up to 10 years in prison for crimes I know I didn’t commit.

Only God Can Judge Me

Also, I knew there was only one Source robust enough to maintain my physical freedom.

As I paced up and down the sidewalk, I started crying out with every ounce of emotion I had remaining in the tank. I asked for forgiveness and understanding. Questioning, “Why the All-mighty would do this to me?” Silly me and my small mortal way of thinking. I didn’t see the bigger picture. Then out of desperation, the magic words came out.

During my prayers, I made a promise. I promised to tell the world about God if I didn’t go to jail. At the time, I had zero understanding of the power of words.

Of course I knew not to speak negative things into existence; however, this was different.

I didn’t understand the Universe grants wishes backed by emotional energy forces.

Making this promise activated my God and I was found not guilty on two of three charges. The charges were “Leaving without permission (Guilty). Failure to obey a lawful order (Not Guilty), and Failure to report to duty (Not Guilty).”

I paid the penalty for the guilty charge, and that was it. I wouldn’t step foot inside a jail. Maybe you’re saying “Amen. God is good!”

Heck, so was I when this experience was over. I had given a valiant effort against the U.S. government and won.

But it wasn’t over. Because in less than two months, the Department of Defense (DOD) announced workforce cuts. And the criteria for cuts included individuals with quality indicators on their record.

This decision meant my time on Active Duty (AD) was over. Therefore, I was devastated! I thought serving in the military was my purpose.

I received an honorable discharge. Fifteen years sooner than planned and five years shy of retirement eligibility.

Continuously Serving A Great Cause

Today, I’m still pursuing my passion. I continue to empower people to become their greatest version. Leading them on a journey of self-discovery.

Through books, speaking, and coaching I inspire individuals and organizations to maximize their potential and make improvements in their lives and businesses.

As a life and business strategist the past three years, I’ve added multiple streams of income and regained peace in my mind.

I’ve also established and built relationships with mentors, coaches, and new friends. Each who has helped me experience quantum leaps. Relationships conducive for living a life of abundance.

There was a time during my transition when I thought life wasn’t worth living. I thought “I’m unworthy of leading others.”

However, I now know God had to extract me from one mission and prepare me for the next. “Leading you from hell to abundance.”

Maybe the end of my military experience wasn’t a debacle after all.


Jay Jackson’s coaching principles are founded on a vision to align performance with strategies to build a culture for your success.

His #1 maxim, “Playing it safe exudes a defeatist mindset!”

As a veteran of the United States Air Force, known as “The Transformation Architect,” Jay challenges you to conquer the status quo to truly develop, transform, and fly to new heights.

In terms of teaching, Jay firmly believes, “Everyone is a creative genius, and must share their brilliance with the world!”

Mr. Jackson has garnered robust experiences in discussing and implementing transformation. Having directed the strategic planning and implementation of short and long term organizational goals, expanded multi-lateral relations with the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and Iraq, and leading operations in support of a $9B sustainment acquisition, Jay is accustomed to executing change in high stakes environments on a global scale.

Jay partners with individuals and organizations who desire to create increase for themselves, others, and most importantly, the world.

As your partner, Jay will deliver an unwavering standard of excellence to ensure objectives are achieved.

Mr. Jackson possesses world-class wisdom on self-mastery and organizational development, hence, transforming clients from ‘average’ to ‘extraordinary’.

As a human capital developer, Jay Jackson unlocks greatness and engineers new ideas to increase capacity for both individuals and organizations with innovation for product or service enhancement.

Jay Jackson engages you by focusing on empowerment, confidence, and enthusiasm to achieve phenomenal results!

To contact Jay Jackson and find out more about the services he offers, visit: www.mrjayjackson.com


  1. M Denise Tolliver on 04/29/2017 at 2:37 PM

    Bad experiences unleash you to fulfill your purpose. #EduBlogger @DelawareBlack

    • Airial Dandridge on 05/04/2017 at 11:17 PM

      Ain’t that the truth!!!!

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