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Leadership Institute Columbus State University The Forum

Tommy Spaulding

Tommy Spaulding

Former President and CEO, Up with People; New York Times best-selling author and leadership expert

Tommy Spaulding is president of the Spaulding Companies Corporation, a national leadership development, speaking, training, consulting, and executive coaching organization. A world-renowned speaker on leadership, Spaulding has spoken to hundreds of organizations, associations, educational institutions, and corporations around the globe. His first book, It’s Not Just Who You Know (Transform Your Life and Your Organization by Turning Colleagues and Contacts into Lasting, Genuine Relationships), published by Random House in 2010, is a New York Times, Wall Street Journal and USA Today national bestseller. In his latest book, The Heart-Led Leader (October 2015), Tommy turns his focus to ourselves—to who we are and how to be authentic leaders who live and lead from the heart.

Spaulding rose to become the youngest president and CEO of the world-renowned leadership organization, Up with People (2005-2008). In 2000, Spaulding founded Leader’s Challenge, which grew to become the largest high school civic and leadership program in the state of Colorado. He is also the founder & president of the National Leadership Academy, a leading national non-profit leadership development organization.

Previously, Spaulding was the business partner sales manager at IBM/Lotus Development and a member of the Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET) program.

Spaulding received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from East Carolina University (1992); an Master of Business Administration degree from Bond University in Australia (1998), where he was a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar; and an Master of Arts degree in Non-Profit Management from Regis University (2005). In 2007, Spaulding received an Honorary Doctor of Philosophy in Humanities from the Art Institute of Colorado. In 2002, he received the Denver Business Journal’s “Forty under 40 Award.”

In 2006, Spaulding was awarded East Carolina University’s “Outstanding Alumni Award,” the highest distinction awarded to an alumnus of the university. In 2009, he was appointed the university’s first “Leader in Residence.”

In September 2012, Spaulding was named by Meetings & Conventions Magazine as one of the best keynote speakers in the nation.