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I am excited to be a part of the Oxygen coaching team and begin this new chapter in my life’s journey. My being here is great evidence that every conversation matters. I am here due to a chance interaction and conversation while helping to unload a semi-truck that has propagated into something entirely unexpected.
I come here with training experience having developed, taught, trained, and coached my own content for a number of years. Once Kat and I began talking about life and discussing training philosophies we found that our approaches aligned well with each other. It did not take long for it to click, and now, I am part her team. Recently I sat down with Kat for an interview you can watch here.
To elaborate a bit, like Kat, I grew up in a blue-collar home. My Dad was a union telephone repair guy and my mom worked at the schools when she was not at home raising myself and my brother. We also grew up across the street from a farm where my brother and I spent a significant portion of our life up to high school working and playing. Sometime in the late 80’s, I went to work for a union company as a rank-and-file member of the Teamsters. After a year I sought and was promoted to a supervisory role. This was my very first experience as a so called “leader”. This is where I cut my teeth, tripped, fell, and fell again. Training for this role did not exist, at least training that involves people and not just numbers. I learned by failing, and not always up. My resistance to quitting before I figured it out, my desire to observe, learn, adapt, and rebound is what has led to my success. Those early experiences are to this day the basis for the passion I have for this field.
I spent many years in the construction industry as an equipment operator, tradesman, project manager, crew lead, and foreman here in the state of Ohio. Construction, manufacturing, warehouse, union shops, large and small family-owned businesses, they each have their own unique personality, dialogue, and energy. There is a high level of professionalism in these business environments. But it is important to understand how they differ from that of a more “traditional” white-collar environment. Even my time working 12-hour overnights revealed a separate personality of people than those that worked the more traditional shifts. These folks have a different approach to their work which corelates to some of the unique reasons for working those ungodly hours. Here, I learned to ask the “why” each person came to work. The paycheck was the simple answer but not always the real one. The real one is the motivator for each person. This diverse background has exposed me to a variety of organizational cultures and behaviors. It is why I understand that while each client’s reasons for seeking our advice and counsel may not be unique in general, their organizational culture is and the path to solutions will look just as unique.
So much of the training and learning that is done at work carries into our personal lives and vis-a-versa. I have been married for 23 years. We have a blended family that includes three kids, their spouses and significant others, and two grandchildren, and one on the way. We also take great pride and love in the “parenting” of our two cats, Loki and Nakia. Dawn and I took up kayaking in 2016 and in 2020 purchased our own. Our summer weekends are filled with looking for opportunities to travel with them and drop in when we spot a place that looks interesting. This is a perfect sport that provides endless opportunities to sit with the natural surroundings and take it all in on a spiritual level. It also plays right into Dawn’s hobby of photography. We are both diligent with our fitness and nutrition as well. After all, we have grandchildren to keep up with. I have completed several marathons, 70.3 triathlons, as well as smaller distances of each. But her and I can just as easily enjoy a brisk walk at lunch.
A big shout out to Kat for bringing me onto her team. I look forward to meeting all of you too. And, while this is an introduction of sorts, stay tuned as I will be working to create regular content in the near future.
May y’all be happy, healthy, and safe.
Tom (tommy) Thompson
Schedule coaching with Tom here: https://calendly.com/tomoxygencoaching