My Story

My Story

My name is Lesa Hammond. I am your Achievement Catalyst. I know that there is so much information on the internet that it is hard to know what is valid. The best way to figure out what information is worth listening to and what advice to take is to get to know the person behind the advice. With that in mind, I am going to tell you about me.

I’m not one of those people who went from rags to riches at the age of 25, or who was born into money, or who left a career with nothing (except my trust fund or millions from a Silicon Valley start-up) and started my own business.

No, I’m probably more like the rest of middle America. I came from middle class beginnings and pretty much remained there with enough money to do most of the things we want to do, pretty much when we want to do them. I hold a full-time job at a well-respected liberal arts college as the Chief Human Resources Officer and Director of Career Services. I’ve started a nonprofit organization Achievement U, Inc. to help inner city and at risk kids empower themselves.

I am an educator, a business person, an entrepreneur, a sorjourner of experience, and spiritual being. I honor the multitude of Aspects within me as I mold, shape, and transform them into a beautifully complex amorphic whole.

I’ve written two children’s books (so far) that are part of an Everyday Role Model Series. The books are Thompson Twins Las Vegas Adventure and Thompson Twin Call the Cops. There are four additional books already planned for the series. This is truly a labor of love and a mission from God — maybe more on that at a later date.

I have two websites, obviously, this one www.achievein5.com and also AchievementU.org. Each has a distinct function. You see Achieve in 5!. Achievement U is the nonprofit’s website.

After a rather circuitous search for a fulfilling occupation, I found my passion for human resources when I was in the Air Force. I took graduate courses at Golden Gate University and found that the ones I loved were all related to Human Resources and Human Development.  I had been in human resources for about ten years when I started career change support groups. After years of hearing people tell me that they hated going to work, it became my mission to help them either find a new job or a new line of work.

At one point in my career I kept a list of everything I heard about someone hating their job. I had listed over a hundred comments that led me to think people were in the wrong job. I attempted to put it in a small book called: YOU KNOW YOU’RE IN THE WRONG JOB WHEN…
Some of the comments included:

  • You know you’re in the wrong job when…the thing you can say you’ve gained most from your job is…weight.
  • You know you’re in the wrong job when…you enter the parking lot at your job and turn around and call in sick.
  • You know you’re in the wrong job when…your top right hand desk drawer is filled with aspirin and antacids.
  • You know you’re in the wrong job when…you come back from a wonderful two week vacation and literally forgot how to do your job.

…you get it.

I didn’t find a publisher, but it led me to create a support group working with women who wanted to follow their passion rather than being stuck and unfulfilled in a 9-5 (or 7:30am -10:00pm) job that they dreaded. I then made the decision that becoming a corporate consultant and entering the big league would allow me to make work a more tolerable place for people, while making me a small fortune.

Then, my father became ill and I returned to the family home in Ohio to help my parents during that difficult time. I continued to consult while in Ohio. I consulted with more than forty organizations nationwide, including ATT, Amheiser Busch, PGE, and Ashland Chemical, until my father transitioned this life two years after I returned to my Ohio.

The curious thing about my father was that he was a very spiritual man, and yet he seemed very afraid of dying. After his passage I wondered what caused him to fear the world beyond. On a long drive through the Ohio countryside, I turned off the radio and said aloud, “Daddy, God, whichever one of you wants to answer me, tell me what I should do with the rest of my life and I will devote myself to that.”

In that instant, my life changed. It was as if I received an IV injection of thought. The through pronounced, “Conduct a study of people who have gone from poverty to affluence and identify ways to facilitate that in others.” Those were the exact words.

Until that moment, I had never thought in terms of poverty and affluence. I had no idea how to honor the message I had been given. So, I began talking with people and trying to decipher the meaning. As a part of that process, I returned to school and pursued a PhD in Transformative Learning and Change. I did a dissertation on Transformative Training and met with people in all walks of life.  I developed a successful training program called The Achievement System to help people in drug and alcohol rehabilitation, welfare to work programs, and domestic violence shelters.

Along my journey, I came to realize that poverty and affluence are not solely monetary states. They are primarily states of mind. So, I continued working with people who wanted to change their careers and change their lives. And many, many of those people had very busy lives. Achieve in 5! was born out of this work and my busy schedule.

So, you may ask, how do I use Achieve in 5!?

I use Achieve in 5! to keep projects moving forward when I have so many projects going at the same time. I share some of that on the Achieve in 5! blog. I use Achieve in 5! to stay connected to my deeper purpose in life. And I use Achieve in 5! to keep myself both pragmatically grounded and spiritually centered at the same time.

Thanks for visiting and I hope you will visit often, my blog has tons of topics; and feel free to email me and let me know how you are using Achieve in 5!

~to your achievement