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“I have long believed that a group of individuals with a common purpose are the key to making any kind of lasting change. In Igniting Movements, combat veteran Damon Friedman proves this to be true, and describes the core values and skills which are necessary for a movement’s success. Pragmatic but compassionate, Igniting Movements can teach all readers about the power of leveraging humanity’s collective potential—and critically, shows us that our potential may well be limitless.”

-GENERAL STANLEY MCCHRYSTAL

igniting movements

Igniting Movements draws upon historical movements and movement theory, interviews with the executive leadership of today’s most exciting global nonprofits, real world experience leading humanitarian operations, and a career as a decorated special operations officer in the United States military. “Hope, drive, and faith are not alone enough to spark a global movement. Visionary leadership, a shared cohesive ideology, effective organizational structure, and powerful strategic messaging—these are the “Four Pillars” around which effective movements are built and real positive change is made. In Igniting Movements author and decorated Special Ops officer Damon Friedman provides a model using these pillars for building effective movements and inspiring people to come together under a singular vision to make the world a better place.”

READ THE PREFACE

In 2010, I returned home from the Korengal “Death” Valley. Seven days of heavy combat in one of the most dangerous places on earth changed my life. It was a tipping point. After ten years
of service, multiple deployments, numerous conflicts, and explosions, I was suffering from a traumatic brain injury and post-traumatic stress. I was in a dark place and on the verge of losing my marriage and career. As a juvenile delinquent from the mean streets of Los Angeles, I found a way to survive. Twenty years later serving in the military’s elite special operations, I found myself fighting for my life once again. This time, against myself: I questioned the purpose of my existence. It was quite an internal war, but I found hope. It was a miracle. Next, it was time to help others.
In 2011, my wife and I established SOF Missions, a faith-based non-profit organization serving people across America. After multiple deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan, I have experienced the darkest hours of combat, knowing first-hand the struggles of veterans returning home. This led our team to create and produce the award-winning film Surrender Only to ONE, a faith-based film following real-life stories of elite combat warriors. Creating awareness was not enough though. Therefore, we established The Resiliency Project, a holistic program dedicated to helping veterans battle visible and invisible scars of war. Our mission is to help our warriors find their purpose, embrace resiliency, and live a life of wellness. Since the inception of SOF Missions, we have established groups and worked in various capacities throughout thirty-two different states, serving an estimated eighty thousand people.
Our national efforts were recognized by the Department of Defense and I was selected as the 2018 Spirit of Hope Award winner, named for entertainer Bob Hope, which “epitomizes the values of Bob Hope: duty, honor, courage, loyalty, commitment, integrity, and selfless dedication.” I am passionate about making an atomic impact in the world. It took countless years and plenty of fails in order to find my ultimate purpose. This book is a genuine effort to pass on what I’ve learned and to help others find their purpose and ignite a movement.
The model presented on Igniting Movements comes from my doctoral studies. I researched movement theories and over a hundred of past and present movements. In my dissertation, I crafted a Movement Rubric that groups movement characteristics into four categories: Human-Agent, Ideology, Organization, and Strategy. Through the lens of this rubric, I conducted document reviews on select historical and contemporary movements, as well as semi-structured interviews with leaders of successful organizations across the country. I also conducted a document review on military special operations, which helped articulate practices and standard operating procedures. The research illuminates common critical factors that exist in each movement.
To learn how these factors can be applied in today’s non- profit world, I compared them to the current practices within SOF Missions. I developed change initiatives and implemented them within the organization. The results have been outstanding! Our initiatives created a spark that ignited a small movement.
This research offers like-minded people an opportunity to implement critical factors in their organization, so they too can ignite a movement. Igniting Movements is a manual for those that have answered their God-given calling and want to implement pragmatic practices that have brought success to thousands of nonprofit organizations. The common critical factors are keys to success. Each pillar is necessary and the synergy within each must exist. Obviously, there are the intangibles or what many call the “X” factors that can’t be explained. However, this book is a blueprint, and, if you’re serious about succeeding, Igniting Movements is the first step to ignition!

Table of Contents

C h a p t e r 1 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1
Finding Your Purpose
C h a p t e r 2 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 1
On Pragmatism:
Why Hope, Drive, and
Faith Are Not Enough
C h a p t e r 3 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 1
The Human Agent:
How Good Leaders
Attract Committed Followers
C h a p t e r 4 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 3
Pillar II: Ideology:
The Shared Convictions
That Unite a Movement
C h a p t e r 5 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 7
Pillar III: Organization:
Building Out the Internal
Structure of a Movement
C h a p t e r 6 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1 1 7
Pillar IV: Strategy:
Contextual Messaging,
Outreach, and Partnerships
C h a p t e r 7 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1 3 7
Igniting Your Movement,
Making Your Mark
Ab o u t S O F M i s s i o n s . . . . . . . . . . . .1 4 5

leadership

Empower people to act by showing them how they can make a difference. They guide and mentor followers, modeling exactly how and where they can make an impact and inspiring them to do so. 

ideology

The system of beliefs that guides the movement and dictates the mission, basically it’s the foundation shared by all the members of a movement. Pursuing causes that align with the fundamental understanding of the world and our core values. 

organization

The internal workings and operations; the structured bureaucracy for administering and carrying out the work of the movement. The organization serves the movement.

strategy

The outward expression of the organization which articulates the process in connecting and communicating, as well as contextualizing a message with people and institutions in the wider world outside of its own walls 

Be Resilient:

 A Path to Restoring Brain Health

In Be Resilient, the interplay of 8 tenets to achieve brain health are learned through military servicemember and first responder stories. The 8 tenets include MTBI, PTSD, moral injury, stress, sleep, pain, fuel(nutrition), and exercise. The focus of the book is on the complexity of the brain, the symptoms those with mild traumatic brain injury may be suffering from, and the overlap that posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can impart. Psychological health disorders, like PTSD can lead to more pronounced cognitive dysfunction. Moral injury is psychological and spiritual leading to a multitude of symptoms which require understanding so that treatment can be implemented.  Ideally, preventing moral injury promotes resiliency and is part of the holistic health model. MTBI, PTSD, and moral injury can also affect sleep, which leads to a host of other problems that bring about physical, cognitive, and emotional symptoms. In addition, many people suffer from pain due to headaches and the musculoskeletal system that has been worn down.  Pain is a factor when it comes to sleep. Without sleep, your brain and body do not heal. Poor nutrition and substance abuse can lead to brain inflammation and impaired recovery. Without the basic understanding of brain and bodily intake, performance is degraded mentally and physically. Exercise is known to be good for the body and the mind. Keeping a healthy level of fitness in one’s daily routine aids in sleep, stress management, and keeps pain under control.

LATEST PUBLICATIONS

ARTICLES

Friedman inspires crowd at TISD Veterans Day ceremony

By Travis Detherage Nov 14, 2016 Damon Friedman told the crowd what it means to be a champion during the Terrell Independent School District’s Veterans Day ceremony last Friday morning at the TISD performing arts center.  Lt Col Friedman is a decorated combat...

Let Us Remember

by Chad | Sep 12, 2017 | Uncategorized | 0 comments By: Lt Col. Damon Friedman– Do you remember how our world changed 16 years ago today? An extreme terrorist organization conducted a strategic attack against America on our own...

Moody Audio- Damon Friedman

Damon Friedman Lt Col Damon Friedman, a decorated combat veteran of the United States Air Force, originally received his commission in 2000 as a Marine Corps Officer. Damon later transferred to the Air Force Spec Ops elite and served four combat deployments to Iraq...

Korengal Valley: STO receives Bronze Star with Valor

Lt. Gen. Eric E. Fiel, Air Force Special Operations Command commander, poses with Maj. F. Damon Friedman, AFSOC special tactics officer, after presenting him with a Bronze Star medal with Valor Nov. 13, 2013, at Hurlburt Field, Fla. Friedman was awarded the Bronze...

Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Honored With ‘Spirit Award’ for Work with Vets Struggling with PTSD

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7eYFGPn11rg It's a startling statistic: An average of 20 veterans commit suicide every day, according to the latest data from the US Department of Veterans Affairs.  And doctors say there's strong evidence that those suicides often stem...

Korengal Valley: STO receives Bronze Star with Valor

Lt. Gen. Eric E. Fiel, Air Force Special Operations Command commander, poses with Maj. F. Damon Friedman, AFSOC special tactics officer, after presenting him with a Bronze Star medal with Valor Nov. 13, 2013, at Hurlburt Field, Fla. Friedman was awarded the Bronze...

Friedman inspires crowd at TISD Veterans Day ceremony

By Travis Detherage Nov 14, 2016 Damon Friedman told the crowd what it means to be a champion during the Terrell Independent School District’s Veterans Day ceremony last Friday morning at the TISD performing arts center.  Lt Col Friedman is a decorated combat...

Let Us Remember

by Chad | Sep 12, 2017 | Uncategorized | 0 comments By: Lt Col. Damon Friedman– Do you remember how our world changed 16 years ago today? An extreme terrorist organization conducted a strategic attack against America on our own...

Moody Audio- Damon Friedman

Damon Friedman Lt Col Damon Friedman, a decorated combat veteran of the United States Air Force, originally received his commission in 2000 as a Marine Corps Officer. Damon later transferred to the Air Force Spec Ops elite and served four combat deployments to Iraq...

EndorsementS

“Incisive, motivating, and applicable—Damon Friedman draws upon his military capabilities and life experiences as he empowers visionary leaders with practical insight and expertise as they embark on a mission to change the world. Igniting Movements is a must-read for people driven to make an impact....

Bobby Bowden

Coach - Two-time NCAA football champion - Florida State University
“Damon’s desire is not only to be a transformer, but an igniter, and to see others carry that torch as well. Hence the book in your hands, Igniting Movements. In this work, Damon communicates how movements really catch fire. First, he explores how they have ignited in history, then he creates a repr...

Ryan Bolger

Professor - Fuller Theological Seminary
“In Igniting Movements, Damon Friedman, has laid out a path for any leader who wants to make a change in the world for the good. He walks the reader through pragmatic steps in how to ignite a movement, from finding your purpose to developing your strategy. I recommend this book for any reader wantin...

Chad Hennings

Former A-10 pilot/ Three-time Super Bowl Champion, Dallas Cowboys - US Air Force/ NFL
“Deep passions and vision drive us to leave our mark on humanity, but few of us ever see that come to fruition. The shortfall is often our inability to “ignite movements,” to rally others into a shared passion and common vision to change the world. Special Operations Combat Leader Damon Friedman sha...

Chad M. Robichaux

Force Reconnaissance US Marine- Pro MMA champion - Founder and president, Mighty Oaks Warrior Programs
“I have long believed that a group of individuals with a common purpose are the key to making any kind of lasting change. In Igniting Movements, combat veteran Damon Friedman proves this to be true, and describes the core values and skills which are necessary for a movement’s success. Pragmatic but...

GENERAL STANLEY MCCHRYSTAL

Former Commander - US Forces Afghanistan - Joint Special Operations Command
DAMON

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