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Profiles In Courage

.Health, .Wealth, .Wisdom, 2022, Interview, Q1 | 0 comments

Written by Jacques Lalonde

February 1, 2022

Stephanie talks to Tom Dutta, the best selling author of The Way of the Quiet Warrior. Tom shares his amazing story of success, trauma, mental health issues, and overcoming!

Tom Dutta’s Story

When I met Tom Dutta he was preparing to speak in front of 1000 people at The Bell Centre for the Performing Arts in Surrey for a TEDx talk entitled How leaders can lift the stigma of mental health. I had no idea that at the time he was feeling the effects of a serious concussion and suffering from double vision. 

The first thing you notice about Tom is how friendly and generous with his spirit he is. He genuinely wants to know everyone’s story and seems to care about the people he meets. Perhaps this is the secret to his incredible success.

In his Tedx Talk, we learned that he had quickly climbed the corporate ladder, becoming a CEO by the age of 31 and making big money as a hired gun that executives, boards and bosses hire to restructure and turn companies around. “I had to fire a lot of people”, says Tom. “I really didn’t like that part of the job.” The bosses did. They called him Tommy Gun.

He had all the trappings of being part of the 1%…fancy cars, luxurious house on the lake, expense accounts and as many holidays as he wanted…but something was missing. “I was a corporate zombie”, he told the crowd. “A well-dressed corporate zombie.”
“You see, business leaders, entrepreneurs and CEOs, many of us don’t talk about the stresses, anxiety flare-ups or the depression. No, we stay silent, living the stigma of mental health, and carrying on like we’re okay, even when we are not okay. You don’t realize the true meaning of CEO until you become one. Once you do you can expect to ‘Crack Emotionally Often’. But they don’t tell you that on the ride up.”

Growing up was not easy for Tom. His Dad who was a Hindu who became a Mormon was a Military Commander from Fiji whose father was from India. He was the President of the Fiji Canada Association and owned his own Canadian newspaper, the ‘Fiji Canada Times’. He was also very demanding of his sons. Tough love was perhaps a little too tough. “I ended up black and blue more than once”, says Tom. “He used to drink a lot. 2 to 3-day drinking parties at the house. I think it was his way of self-medicating after his own tough childhood and the pressures of the Military. He left when I was 12. It took me a long time to forgive him, but when I did something shifted inside me. Something opened up. I’ve since learned he quit drinking and became a wonderful person and helped many people.”
“I’ve had so many punches in the gut. In 2007 my wife Anna, the love of my life, and I lost everything in a huge Ponzi scheme. We literally had to start over.” Even though Tom was able to bounce back and was once again making six figures he still felt something wasn’t right. “Wealth is about service”, he says. “It’s about creating a better world. When you’re in service wealth comes to you.”
He took workshops with Anthony Robbins and other great thought leaders. He met with Jon Loduca who told him to free his mind of old wisdom. The plan was to knock old ideas out of Tom’s head to reveal the blueprint for a new company that would better fulfill his purpose. Tom realized that throughout his years as a CEO he had always seen things differently. “I have always been a good listener. Always able to teach and give good advice, not just about money either.”

And then the words sprang into his mind that would change his path and reveal his future: The Way of the Quiet Warrior®. Yes, it would become an International Best Seller, but it was so much more than that. It would be the basis for the philosophy behind his new company. KRE-AT™, teaching business and thought leaders to realize their true passions and make a better world, was born. There was no stopping Tom now.

In May of 2017 he and his wife Anna received the prestigious William Shatner Moving America Forward Award for exemplary leadership in North America. The book soared to #1 on AMAZON in 4 categories Internationally including Canada and the US. It received over 100 Five Star reviews. He was nominated for the Courage to Comeback award in 2018. Soon there would be a podcast The Quiet Warrior Show®, AND a radio show.

Everything was going amazingly well, and then… Gut punch.

In 2018 Tom was asked to participate in THE RIDE TO CONQUER CANCER. He rode 225 KM in two days up and down hills, through thick smoke as well as rain, for a truly remarkable cause. It all went very well, except for the part at the end of the first day where he fell backwards and crashed his skull on the bathtub.

Despite an obvious concussion, and against his wife’s sage advice, Tom decided to complete the second day’s 100+ KM ride. “The people I’m riding for don’t have a choice”, he told his wife. “It wasn’t a race”, he says. “But I definitely finished last.” The resulting concussion was devastating and brought on serious depression and anxiety, which along with serious vision problems, Tom still deals with to this day. But this fall caused Tom to once again re-imagine himself. He became an even greater champion for mental health and a sought after public speaker.

Since then he has had to deal with the ongoing concussion symptoms, but that has not stopped him. “One gift I got from my dad and is a key ingredient to success, is I never give up. Daymond John, founder of FUBU says {“The Days that break you, make you.”} I couldn’t agree more.” So, it is not surprising that there have now been more than 200 podcasts of The Quiet Warrior Show®. Not surprising that a film about his life is in the works and will be filmed and released in 2022 or 2023. And it is also not surprising that he is now the president of ‘Professional Edge Toastmasters.’ “Leaders are readers”, says Tom. “So I read a lot.”

“The price of wealth is often balance, health or alcoholism. Real lasting change starts with the courage to change yourself. When leaders fail to make their mental health a priority they undermine the importance of the mental health of all the people that they are leading. Leaders need to show that our strength is in our stories of struggle, not in our silence. And that it’s okay to say when they are not okay.” 


On June 23, 2021, KRE-AT™ and Tom Dutta were designated one of the ‘Top 100 Global Education & Elite Thought Leaders’ on the planet at ‘GELF’ in Las Vegas, Nevada. 

Tom Dutta, you are so much more than okay. ◆

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