Tom Finn is President of Tom Finn Associates, Inc., for fifteen years an organization and leadership development firm. He is a former employee of Westinghouse Electric Corporation. Besides his consulting practice, Tom ran and sold a startup retail business in the 1990s.
Tom has consulted to companies, agencies, and non-profits on organization system change efforts, coached leaders, led team building efforts, and trained leaders in the areas of leadership and cultural diversity.
I’ve consulted to teams and leaders from all over the world. Over the last five to eight years, more people have come to our sessions with less time and more angst. The faces, tied-up stomachs, and frazzled stories have become too gripping and draining to ignore. But most organizations are ignoring these frenzied faces. I think pressure is costing our companies and our people. Overload is hitting the bottom line in the form of lost sales, shoddy service, constant crisis, and employees who either jump ship or stew in place. Peter and I developed LifeLine for a crisis I think we all know is acute but which we seem to accept as “life.” I think the business and health risks are unacceptable. I think we can produce and thrive.
Tom has U.S.-based and international customers. He has coached individuals, worked with groups and teams, and led large group work (e.g., 70-100 people) using Future Search and Conference Method technology to shift organizational results by enlisting large segments of a company or agency simultaneously. These are some of his customers:
- Abbott Laboratories
- America Online
- Booz | Allen | Hamilton
- Civilian Personnel Union, Argentina
- Education Ministry, Argentina
- ETrade Financial
- General Dynamics
- Harley Davidson
- Harvard University
- Inova Health System
- International Paper
- U.S. Dept. of Agriculture
- U.S. Dept. of Education
- U.S. Navy
- World Bank
- Public and Private Sector Leaders in Seven Latin American countries and Pakistan
I’m not immune to the frenzy. I’m on the same planes, trains, and automobiles as you are, pursuing similar mad deadlines. But I’ve always been intrigued by greatness amidst challenge, whether in the story of a Gandhi or the heroism of a single Mom. In chaos or quarrels, I marvel at fleeting, revealing moments when I’m struck, with glowing admiration, that this parent of a child or this leader under siege has developed, over years, wherewithal. How to rise above the fray? How to exude the perfect touch when everyone is tense and under the gun? How to inspire people when “they” say this place used to be so much better? I’m after wherewithal, in body, mind, heart, and spirit.
Tom has an A.B. in international relations from Brown University and an M.S. from Georgetown University. He is fluent in Spanish and does much of his work in that language, having trained people in seven Latin American countries. He has also studied Russian.
He is a member of NTL Institute, one of the leading professional groups in the field of organization development. He is certified on the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator instrument, as well as on MFS, a software program for providing feedback to leaders.
Building wherewithal begins with self – self knowledge, self love, self- confidence. There is evidence in many parts of life for the value of cultivating inner strength to produce fine performance under pressure. Good soil is crucial to the success of a rose. Living a character is key to the output of an actor. Sincerity is immediately detected and appreciated. All these outputs – a beautiful rose, fine acting, authenticity – are the result of building an inner foundation first.
I love the investigation of my own “foundation” – my ancestry, my reactions, and my dreams. I always have. So it’s no surprise that my job is to explore that landscape with my customers. To provide the depth that truly shifts a leader’s outlook, behavior, or capacity, I need to be skillful at shifting my own foundation, too. My outcomes when I’m on target show up as calm, non-judgmental compassion, respect for my customer, and a few tools. My role is to provide new ways to look at things, time, and inward-bound encouragement so that leaders can reap significant outward rewards in their businesses and lives. My credibility in developing capacity for pressure in others relates directly to my own journey for self-empowerment and influence.
Good soil to the rose.
Tom enjoys writing as a way to clarify ideas and pull together business patterns that span his customers, be they financial, health care, manufacturing, or government. He has written articles in the areas of employee empowerment, diversity, and team development. He is the author of “Are You Clueless? – 7 Clues to Profits, Productivity, and Partnership for Leaders in a Multicultural World.” The book was published by Kells Castle Press in March of 2008 (see www.areyouclueless.com or www.barnesandnoble.com).