About

Challenge What’s Possible, Choose New Paths, Change Yourself; then Change the World

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Tom Leu, MS/CPC

I’ve always enjoyed websites where the “About” page is set up as an FAQ. I enjoy interviews, and Q&A style dialogue, so… here you go:

Who are you?

I’m a Professional Speaker and Communichologist™ talk(ing) shiFt from the intersection where human communication and psychology collide. I’m a communications trainer, professional photographer, personal transformation coach, recovery consultant, former Academic Dean and Psychology instructor. My core message is to challenge what’s possible, and first change yourself, to begin the process of changing the world.

I’m a member of the National Speakers Association and have spoken professionally as a Keynote Speaker, Seminar Leader, and Corporate Trainer across the country over the past 17 years. I host my weekly “Sound Matters” Radio show, and am also a professional photographer at 16Imaging using many images within my live and online presentations and talks to inspire, educate, and challenge my audiences to “see things” differently for higher-levels of personal and professional achievement. I believe the most valuable content and contributions are deliberately compelling, provocative, and relevant. And it has to be about quality vs. quantity.

Also…

I’m a very driven husband, father, and (classic) rock music aficionado. I’m also a lifelong learner, and passionate to share what I’ve learned (and am still learning) with others who enjoy learning and growing as well. Some call these types of people “thought leaders,” though that descriptor makes me a bit uncomfortable because it sounds a bit pretentious and self-aggrandizing to me, BUT that’s what the “industry” I’m in dubs it, so, there you go… I prefer to refer to myself as a “head-rocker”… and the double-entendre is deliberate and very indicative of my writing and speaking style. I purposely live life at the intersection where communications, recovery, psychology, music, and motivation meet. 

For a more complete understanding of who I am, read my MANIFESTO

What do you do?

My least favorite thing to answer is the “so, what do you do?” question. But, I know it’s the generic, default question that most people ask when meeting someone new so here’s what I’ll say: My response to this isn’t simple; and people who ask this typically want a simple, and quick response. My usual answer is “how much time do you have?” I’ve done, and still do many different things in my nearly three decade career. I’ve been successful in education, corporate training, management, sales, multi-media, and as an entrepreneur. I’m a professional photographer, speaker, radio, and television host. I’ve always worked in several interrelated professional roles and fields. I like it that way. These have been deliberate decisions throughout my career, though sometimes serendipitous, as so often is the case in life.

Somewhat accurate >> Professional Motivational Speaker & Author

More accurate >> Provocational Communicator & Change Agent

I talk shiFt™ about SOUND MATTERS, Communications-Recovery topics, and share my Lifestyle Initiative Training™ techniques teaching how compelling communication skills married with provocative psychological insights produce relevant real-world results. That’s a mouthful right? My work is about maximizing a lifestyle of your choosing. My intent is to encourage people to be the best at what they do the best… in the real-world. This is success psychology turned up to 10. This is for those who appreciate being inspired and challenged with compelling, provocative, and relevant content that rocks. Check out this interview that summarizes things nicely.

– The overall theme of my work centers on the crucially necessary, yet consistently overlooked area of employing critical thinking skills personally and professionally. Let’s face it, human beings are subjective, biased, and prejudiced by nature. We want and need to twist information and phenomenon about our world into packages that make sense to us, and serve our own purposes. And we do not like change, or TO change. This is the opposite of being objective, which is what is required to be a critical thinker. Perspective: Critical thinkers recognize their subjectivity, yet still lean into learning the “truth” about that which they are invested. This is about raising awareness. This is not only nice, but necessary.

More specifically:

– I speak about both the critical intra- and interpersonal communication skills necessary to be the most persuasive and influential personally and professionally. Perspective: Most think they’re good communicators; most are not. Many think great communication is simply “common sense,” but what’s all-too-common is “common sense” that’s NOT applied – that’s called data, and it’s dangerous… just look around.

– I also speak about recovery-related topics. I speak from my own experience with an upbeat, but honest edge about true problem identification and potential solutions. Perspective: “Addictions” are hardly limited to just drugs and alcohol. It’s often not a matter of if, but what one may be over-using or abusing as their vice, device, or distraction of choice…

– I speak about social strategy. This is the all-important art and science of situational-awareness involving how human beings effectively interact socially to achieve their desired outcomes (i.e. to get what they want). It sounds simple, but it’s not. Perspective: Strategically understanding how to successfully navigate the many varied, vital, and intricate social interactions we find ourselves in is the most valuable skill set anyone can possess…

All successful skill-sets related to communications, recovery, and social strategy require an ability to “see things” clearly through raised awareness and critical thinking. It’s both objective and subjective simultaneously. This is hard work, and is not something that can be glossed-over… which is why most people don’t do it. But, it’s what I do within all of my work. The key theme that links each of these topics together is a discipline I call Communichology™… which teaches from the intersection where human communication skills and psychology collide. This is the vantage point where “seeing things” clearly is best achieved.

Who is your target audience?

Business professionals and students (high school/college) who aspire NOT to settle for personal or professional mediocrity. My work is targeted to those who are interested in topics pertaining to communications, psychology, leadership, team building, recovery, and rock n’ roll-related subject matter. I’m into personal achievement; personal development… whatever you want to call it.

This is for anyone who desires to develop & grow their communication skills for improved personal & professional outcomes. This is also for those pursuing recovery from that which ails them and derails them… be it substances or substitutes (which are really one in the same thing). This is for musicians, managers, entreprenuers, artists, writers, photographers, fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, seekers… anyone who strives to be the best at they do the best. This is for learners. This is for leaders.

FOR WHO? This is for the 5% who strive to be better intra- and interpersonal communicators, and therefore better equipped to recover from any vices, devices, or distractions; people or perceptions that are limiting their personal or professional growth.

WHY? Because we only get to go once around the ride, and the world, now more than ever, needs the best we have to offer to others, and to ourselves, each and every day. >> My MANIFESTO.

HOW? Speaking engagements (keynotes, seminars, & workshops), online presentations, weekly articles, one-on-one coaching, radio show, podcasts, and webcasts. These vehicles deliver content that encourages necessary change, and does so with a decidedly deliberate rock n’ roll look, sound, and feel consistent with my background and experience, past and present. >> ABOUT.

What are your credentials, and why should I consider anything you have to say or offer?

I believe healthy skepticism is good. Questioning is good. But, if you’re so skeptical your walls up right from the start, you shouldn’t consider me at all. But, for those who count credentials, here’s my formal education & training:

> M.S. Psychology 2008 | B.S. Sociology 1990

> Certified Body Language Trainer: Body Language Institute 2015

> Certified Professional Coach (CPC): Wainright Global Professional Coaching Institute 2014

> Member of National Speakers Association (NSA): 2010-Present

> Graduate of Kevin Hogan’s Professional Speakers Course: 2011

> Graduate of Tony Robbin’s Mastery University: 2001

> Certified Facilitator: Shechtman Institute’s Fifth Wave™ Leadership: 1997

> Boy Scout (quit 2 merit badges from Eagle Scout-dumb): early 1980’s

the_realization

Tom Leu, Keynote Speaker/Seminar Leader

I’ve trained with the world’s leading personal development experts including the Tony Robbins and Stephen Covey companies. I have more than two decades of professional experience working in higher education, the music business, as a corporate sales executive, teacher, professional public speaker, and entrepreneur. I produce compelling, provocative, and relevant writings, images, and live presentations sharing perspectives on communications, recovery, psychology, persuasion, rock-and-roll, and personal development-related topics. 

I’ve worked in higher education for over a decade as an administrator, instructor, faculty trainer, and in publishing. In 2014 I created the Education Edge™ training program for Higher Ed faculty and staff to take their effectiveness in classrooms and conference rooms to the next level. I was an award-winning Sales Manager, Account Executive, and Director of Operations for three Fortune 500 companies. I’ve also been a recording and gigging musician for over thirty years. I’m a lifelong student of music, music history, and the timeless principles of personal development. My business endeavors marry the excitement and energy of rock-n-roll with powerful motivational and inspriational messages, the result is a new and unique brand of success psychology called Lifestyle Initiative Training™

You’re a Professional Speaker & Author?

Yes, I’m a professional public speaker, corporate trainer, event emcee, and member of the National Speakers Association. I’m fortunate to bring a truly unique perspective to both my live and online presentations based on my eclectic professional experience…. My talks combine my extensive experience as an educator and itinerant keynote speaker and seminar leader, along with my unique perspectives within the music business as a performer, writer, photographer, and media personality. I specialize on topics pertaining to Education, Communication, and Recovery >> SPEAKING

You’re also a Music Journalist & Commentator/Media Personality/Event Emcee?

Yes, I’m also an accomplished rock music journalist, an on-air radio DJ, and host my own talk radio show. I also hosted a television talk show for nearly 6 years from 2002-2007. I’ve done so much in music and media over the years, I feature it all in one place >> www.SOUNDMATTERS.tv

And… you’re a Professional Photographer too…? Seriously?

Absolutely. I’m also a professional concert & portrait photographer. But don’t take my word for it, visit my photography website and decide for yourself.  I happened into photography by way of my professional speaking endeavors (true story) >> www.16IMAGING.com

How do you do all of this stuff? They seem like unrelated fields & endeavors.

Good question. I’ve deliberately blended my specific passions, talents, and experience into an offering that brings all worlds together for a unique expression of my expertise. I like to say I’ve married odd bedfellows, and I have. But it all works together for good to create a third alternative that’s not available anywhere else.

 Other FAQ’s…

What is talk shiFt™ & Lifestyle Initiative Training™?

A philosophy. A methodology. A mindset.

Impactful training & coaching based on principles of Communichology™ that embraces proactivity and taking ACTION following a new AWARENESS. talk(ing) shiFt is a lifestyle and a WAY of life that encourages “seeing things” figuratively speaking, for personal and professional achievement. Lifestyle Initiative Training (LIT) resources are conceptual tools and practical application methods of motivation, inspiration, and encouragement to do what they say can’t be done.

This is about exploring the Success Psychology within Music, Marketing, & Motivation.  This is rock and roll that’s motivational.

“Getting LIT” is first about “seeing things” figuratively speaking, and then about literally doing the necessary things to proactively improve and transform your life. It’s about digging down to uncover & discover the key principles of personal development that afford the minority to excel, while the majority only make excuses.

It’s about raising awareness and acquiring acute perception habits. It’s then about gaining perspective and taking proactive action by applying what you’ve learned. The end-result is growth. Though sometimes uncomfortable, this type of personal growth is not unattainable.

It all comes back full-circle to our lifestyle and our choices…

What’s the subject-matter about?

Communications – skills & strategies to be more effective & influential professionally.

Recovery – insights & inspiration to be more effective & fulfilled personally.

Communications★Recovery – training & coaching to recover & revitalize the communications & emotional & social intelligences necessary for lasting personal & professional growth & achievement.

Also…

Music, Marketing, and Motivation… to Rock Your Business, Brand, or Band

1. Music = References and lessons drawn from rock ‘n roll and it’s rich history.

2. Marketing = Skill development specific to personal and professional commYOUnication, sales, and social strategy.

3. Motivation = Principles of success psychology, personal achievement, and inspiration.

More specifically: It’s about the human psychology, communications, and critical thinking skills prevalent and relevant to those who strive for significant personal and professional achievement.

What’s your style of delivery?

4 E’s: Empowering. Entertaining. Edgy. Educational. “

Adult dialogue” is present and sometimes prevalent here. Fair warning.

What’s here for me?

Ideas, inspiration, and practical actions to get unstuck, out of ruts, and/or refocused on “success” – whatever that specifically means to you. Getting LIT helps you move toward higher levels of personal and professional satisfaction and achievement. This is delivered through Lifestyle Initiative Training resources that include compelling, provocative, and relevant features such as interviewsarticlespodcastsvideos, images, and live presentations.

What if I already “know” everything you’re discussing here?

Really? Give me a break… By even making that assertion, you’re demonstrating the exact opposite of what you’re claiming. I’d saying you’re suffering from what I call the “Common Sense” defense. The question to ask is: “Is (this knowledge I claim to have) evident in my actions”? If the answer is ‘No’ it doesn’t matter how much you ‘Know.’ It quickly becomes knowledge that is worth… less. Knowing and doing are completely different. We all “know” lots of things. It doesn’t mean we apply what we know. Putting knowledge into action to produce real, tangible results is rare. Recognizing this distinction and changing your course is wisdom. Soooo, to all of you “know-it-alls” out there, keep reading, listening, and watching cuz you likely Need It Most… otherwise, click-off.

Finally, are you in RECOVERY from something…?

Yes, I believe we all are, ongoing, from some thing(s). For me, alcohol was my definite drug of choice, though I enjoyed almost all of them at various points for many years.

>> December 17, 2002 is my continuous sobriety date.

Got other questions or inquiries? Please contact me directly here via EMAIL