Tom Finn

Tom Finn is a performance improvement consultant and coach for leaders and teams. Services provided over 30 years include executive coaching, team building, strategic planning, and counsel and training in diversity and inclusion. He is the author of Are You Clueless? 7 Clues to Profit, Productivity, and Partnership for Leaders in a Multicultural World (Kells Castle Press, 2008). 

Tom is a certified coach (ICF PCC) and is certified in the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator and Emotional Intelligence. Tom has created an approach to developing leaders’ ability to handle pressure and overload called LifeLine. He is fluent in Spanish and does much work in the language, having trained employees in seven Latin American countries. He is a member of NTL Institute, one of the leading professional groups in the field of organization development. Tom ran a retail business from startup to sale of the company in the early 1990s. Tom has particular skill facilitating people and teams through “hot” issues, coaching leaders under heavy pressure, and relating inclusion to the business of the organization.


  • Coach/Consultant/Author
  • Certified Coach (PCC), International Coach Federation
  • Certified, Myers Briggs Type Indicator


  • M.S. Georgetown University in International Business
  • B.A in International Relations from Brown University
  • Certificate, Spanish Language, University of Madrid

Customers and Industries

Tom has coached and trained leaders and employees at all levels of organizations.  Some of his clients include The Weather Channel, Verizon, Inova Health System, International Paper, Prudential, NASCAR, Harvard University, ETrade, the IRS, the National Park Service, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, and the Food and Drug Administration. 

Tom has an interest and skill in international relations and business, and has coached and trained leaders in Spanish.  His international clients include the World Bank, the Education Ministry of Argentina, Civilian Personnel Union, Argentina, and private/public sector leaders in six other Latin American countries and Pakistan. Example project:  Tom trained leaders for six weeks in three cities in Bolivia in Communications and Human Relations.

Highlights of current and former customers:

  • Inova Health System
  • Internal Revenue Service
  • America Online
  • The Weather Channel
  • Food and Drug Administration
  • Raytheon
  • Nuclear Regulatory
  • National Park Service
  • Verizon
  • Argentine Education Ministry

Publications / Presentations


The Shift Effect
How Small Shifts Improve Leader Performance
Kells Castle Press, January 2024

Why don’t many of us take an obvious action to improve ourselves or a situation?  The surprising conclusion of The Shift Effect is that we often don’t see the obvious because we’re stuck in a habit or because we think we will become something we are not, like a huckster or a sell-out.

Based on the author’s 50 featured coaching clients, The Shift Effect provides an answer for effectiveness in performance and influence:  a small shift in behavior or action.  Each chapter features a common topic, represented by continuums (such as, Talk/Listen, Victory/Defeat, or Cower/Battle) that Mr. Finn used to have his clients see in clear, graphic form, the behavior or attitude that was keeping them stuck.

The shifts they made, among many other results, empowered employees, turned a cross-race relationship positive, helped handle work overload, and focused these leaders on big projects that made a difference to their organizations.

Are You Clueless?
Seven Clues to Profit, Productivity, and Partnership for Leaders in a Multicultural World.
Kells Castle Press, March 2008

A book proposing seven skills or “cultural clues” for individual managers. The Clues are followed by several common cultural dilemmas faced by managers. The book recommends which Clues to use in each scenario. Features include how to coach across cultures and patterns that managers can look for in almost any cultural situation. Readers will learn about The Bank for White People, The Restaurant for Men, the woman who was a completely different person, the trauma of your parking lot, and other ways in which leaders and companies miss the impact of cultural difference on customers and employees. The Clues respond to the book’s initial section, “How Multicultural Customers See You,” which present striking, real life examples of organizational and employee “cultural cluelessness.”



“Handling Pressure in the Workplace.” Society for Human Resources, Leesburg, VA chapter. February 11, 2014. Also Dec 10, 2014, Greater Washington Employee Relocation Council.

“Cluing In” – Tools for HR Practitioners to Lead Inclusion Efforts. National Society For Human Resource Management Diversity Conference, October 13, 2010 New Orleans, LA

“Handling Pressure: Developing Your LifeLine.” Annual conference of WTPF, the HR Business Forum, October 6, 2010 McLean, VA

“The Business Impact of Overload and Pressure” A Series on Developing Leader Capacity for Frenzy. Proven: Beyond the Process. Proven Publications, Virginia Beach, VA 2010.

“You’re Global Even If You’re Local.” Four-part series. Business Ventures. Fairfax County Economic Development Authority Quarterly. Vienna, VA. 2010.

“How to Improve Your Cultural Competency and Avoid Being “Clueless” — Five Clues.” The Diversity Factor. Rutgers University. Summer 2008. (

“Garden-Variety White Fear: It’s Getting in the Way”. Reading Book for Human Relations Training, 8th Edition, NTL Institute, Alexandria, Virginia. 1999. [An article about how fear gets projected and misplaced on people of color in the workplace and outside. Suggestions included.]

“My Own Journey: A White Male Perspective.” Speech before the Johns Hopkins University Human Resources Conference, October 6, 1995. Used as reference material in courses at American University, Washington, DC and Babson College, Boston, MA.