C. Leslie Charles Biography


Like many others, Leslie Charles took the long and winding road to success, not the express lane. She married young and was the mother of three before she could vote. With a tenth grade education, no job experience, and serious esteem issues over her lack of education, she returned to high school in her early twenties. After flunking algebra for the second time in her life she dropped out of high school once again. This was not a confidence builder, as you can imagine.

The divorce came in her mid-twenties. Knowing she was responsible for her three small kids, Leslie puffed up her thin resume, faked her education, and found a full-time job with wages barely above the poverty line. For two years she met the daily slog, but following an eye-opening solo Pity Party one night, she vowed to change her life. Leslie had no goal, no idea what she wanted; she only knew she didn’t want the life she had.

It wasn’t vision, motivation, or inspiration that drove her. Propelled by the desire for a less miserable life, Leslie took, and passed the GED (high school equivalency test), scoring high percentiles in everything—except math. She approached Social Services, declaring, “I want to change my life.” Qualifying for a welfare grant, Leslie quit her job and attended Lansing Community College for two years, receiving her Associate Degree with honors. She immediately rejoined the work world with a better job and a better attitude. There’s been no stopping her since.

Within a few years Leslie found, quite by accident, a position as a group process leader for special needs job seekers. From there she became a “soft skills” classroom trainer and in 1980 she launched her business, TRAININGWORKS, hanging onto high hopes and the promise of two clients in the works. Well, it worked!

Built solely on word of mouth and clients who kept asking her back, the business continued growing and so did she. Leslie completed her BA in Communication from Michigan State University the year she turned 40. She was already involved in her dream job, which is exactly what she still does today; educating, motivating, inspiring, and challenging others to creatively prevail against the odds.

Leslie’s satisfied client list spans North America. Though she never took an English Comp class, she has authored seven books and is working on her eighth. As someone who seems to learn best through trial and error, Leslie Charles considers herself “a good bad example,” and is delighted when audience members tell her, “If you can do it, so can I!”

See Leslie’s Story

HOMTV Interview with Leslie Charles
on Women’s Month

Leslie Charles, author of seven books including the critically acclaimed book titled “Why is Everyone So Cranky”, joins us for our March is Women’s Month Interview Series to discuss her career and vast experience of training, facilitating and keynote speaking.

Elevate the customer experience from acceptable to outstanding, working from the inside out

Professional Speaking Accredidations



Leslie Charles, CSP