Join us today for the Interview with Terry Tucker, author of Sustainable Excellence...

This is the interview I had with coach, retired SWAT officer, and author Terry Tucker.

In today’s interview with Terry Tucker, I ask Terry about his book Sustainable Excellence.  I also ask Terry how his faith journey intersects with the principles that led him to write this book. Terry also shares with you how he sees his calling and how it’s changed.

Join in on the Chat below.

Episode 1286: Interview with Terry Tucker Author of Sustainable Excellence

[00:00:00] Scott Maderer: Thanks for joining us on episode 1,286 of the Inspired Stewardship Podcast.

[00:00:07] Terry Tucker: Hi, I'm Terry Tucker. I challenge you to invest in yourself, invest in others, develop your influence and impact the world by using your time, your talent, and your treasures to live out your. Having the ability to live your life of excellence is key, and one way to be inspired to do that is to listen to this The Inspired Stewardship Podcast with my friend Scott Mader.

[00:00:47] A lot of times we feel that our purpose has to be our job or our profession or our occupation, and it doesn't you can have a job over here and this is what you do to pay the. But your [00:01:00] purpose in life is to write or to be a podcast host, or to volunteer or to coach what?

[00:01:04] Whatever it ends up being.

[00:01:07] Scott Maderer: Welcome, and thank you for joining us on the Inspired Stewardship Podcast. If you truly desire to become the person who God wants you to be, then you must learn to use your time. Your talent and your treasures for your true calling. In the Inspired Stewardship Podcast, you'll learn to invest in yourself, invest in others, and develop your influence so that you can impact the world.

[00:01:39] In today's interview with Terry Tucker, I asked Terry about his book Sustainable Excellence. I also asked Terry how his faith journey intersects with the principles that led him to write this book. And Terry also shares with you how he sees his calling and how it's changed as well. One reason I like to bring you great [00:02:00] interviews, like the one you're gonna hear today is because of the power in learning from.

[00:02:05] Another great way to learn from others is through reading. But if you're like most people today, you find it hard to find the time to sit down and read, and that's why today's podcast is brought to you by Audible. Go to inspired to sign up and you can get a 30 day free trial.

[00:02:26] there's over 180,000 titles to choose from, and instead of reading, you can listen your way to learn from some of the greatest minds out there. That's inspired to get your free trial and listen to great books the same way you're listening to this podcast. Terry Tucker believes everyone is born to lead an uncommon and extraordinary life, and that has nothing to do with where you work, how much money you make, or where you live.

[00:02:56] We are not all born with the same gifts and talents, but we [00:03:00] all have the ability to become the best person we are capable of becoming. But how do you achieve this remarkable life in an age where everyone seems to just get. Terry Tucker has been an NCAA Division I college basketball player, a Citadel cadet, an undercover narcotics investigator, a SWAT team, hostage negotiator, a high school basketball coach, a business owner, and most recently a cancer warrior.

[00:03:27] He and his wife have lived all over the United States and currently reside in Colorado with their daughter and a Wheaton Terrier Maggie. In 2019, Terry started the website motivational Check to help others find and lead their uncommon and extraordinary lives. Terry is also the author of Sustainable Excellence.

[00:03:49] Welcome to the show.

[00:03:51] Terry Tucker: Thanks, Scott. I'm looking forward to talking with you. Absolutely.

[00:03:54] Scott Maderer: So we talked a little bit about it in the intro, but unpack for us [00:04:00] a little bit what actually how did your journey bring you to found a blog called Motivational Check and then write a book about. Sustainable excellence.

[00:04:11] Not just excellence, but sustainable excellence. I thought it's interesting that those two words are the ones you chose to put together.

[00:04:17] Terry Tucker: Yeah. The blog really was the blog is called Motivational Check, and it really came about one of the jobs that I had was a police officer. And when I was in the police academy, our defensive tactics instructor gave us that phrase, motivational.

[00:04:35] As something to that we could yell out if we were having a tough day. And it was difficult to get through things and people would people would be like, scream out, motivational check, and then the class would respond with our class number. We were the 84th recruit class in the Cincinnati Police Academy with a loud 84 just to let people know.

[00:04:57] You're not alone. We're all in this together. [00:05:00] We'll get through it together. So when I was looking for a title for my blog, motivational check just kept coming up over and over, and I thought there must be a reason for that. So that's how motivational check got named and a little bit about what it is and then the sustainable excellence.

[00:05:19] Yeah. People always ask me, it's how do you define excellence? And my response is I can't. And they're like, wait a minute. You wrote this book called Sustainable Excellence. How can you not define Excellence? I said you gotta read the book. Because it's certainly in the introduction that excellence, like beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

[00:05:37] You may look at something and I may look at the exact same thing and you may say, man, that person or team or whatever is excellent. And I may say, eh, they're good, but I don't think they're excellent. It's a really subjective kind of thing. And. Sustainable. How do you get to excellence and then how do you sustain it?

[00:05:57] Because so many people get to the top of the [00:06:00] mountain and then they put their feet up on the desk, lean back, have themselves, you

[00:06:04] know,

[00:06:04] Terry Tucker: an adult beverage. I'm like, man, I've arrived. And then six months later or a year later, bam, somebody passes them up. It's wait a minute, what happened?

[00:06:12] What happened is you didn't innovate, you didn't grow, you didn't improve, and that's how you sustain excellence. You can't do the same thing because people will figure it out and they'll do it better. I guess it was just one of those things when I looked at the book, now I need a title.

[00:06:31] Obviously I wrote the book without having any idea what I was going to call it. . Then I had these 10 principles and it was like I think this is about excellence and how you sustain excellence once you achieve it. So that's how the two things got named.

[00:06:47] Scott Maderer: So with a couple of things come to mind a as you were talking the first off is you just mentioned police officer, but you've also been a basketball [00:07:00] player yourself, right?

[00:07:02] Correct. You've done. SWAT team negotiation, and then you've been a coach, then a business owner, so a lot of different things showing up in your life. What do you think are some of the common themes, and then what are some of the things that caused. The

[00:07:19] Terry Tucker: shifts. So I guess there, there is a backstory.

[00:07:23] If you kinda look at my resume, my first two jobs were in business and then I made a major pivot in my life and became a police officer. And as you mentioned I was a swat team, host negotiator. I was an undercover narcotics investigator and things like that. And and then I got into coaching.

[00:07:40] So let me give you the backstory. My grandfather was a Chicago police officer from 1924 to 1954. So he was in Chicago during prohibition when alcohol was outlawed in the United States during the Great Depression in the late twenties, early thirties. And when the mob, the gangsters Al Capone and those guys [00:08:00] were shooting up the town and he was actually shot in the line of duty with his own gun.

[00:08:05] Wasn't a serious injury, he was shot in the ankle. But my dad remembered the stories that my grandmother used to tell my dad was an infant. When my grandfather was shot about the knock on the door of Mrs. Tucker, grab your son, come with us. Your husband's been. And so when I expressed an interesting, not a, not

[00:08:22] Scott Maderer: a, not a knock on that door, you ever want to hear

[00:08:24] Terry Tucker: No. It's for a family member, that's the worst thing. You can possibly imagine. And so when I expressed an interest in following my grandfather's footsteps, My dad was absolutely not. You're gonna go to college, you're gonna major in business, you're gonna get a great job when you get out, get married, have 2.4 kids, and live happily ever after.

[00:08:42] White picket fence. Yeah, exactly. But that's what my dad wanted me to do, not what I felt my passion was. And so when I graduated from college, my father was dying of cancer. So I had a dilemma do I say, sorry, dad, I'm gonna go blaze my own trail and get into law enforcement or out of [00:09:00] love and respect for you.

[00:09:02] I will do what you want me to do and go into business. And so now the backstory, when you understand that you okay. And so that's exactly what I did. I went into business and then I joke, I did what every good son did. I waited till my father passed away, and then I followed my own dreams. So when my dad died, that's when I got into law enforcement.

[00:09:21] And I think it was good that I had those jobs before law enforcement because it gave me some life experience. It gave me the ability to, I've talked to a bunch of people and I have young people now that will reach out to me and say, Hey I want to be a police officer. And my first question is, why?

[00:09:38] And my and then it's what can I do to be a good one? I said, Put your devices down, go out on the street and talk to that homeless guy out there, and then go up to the penthouse and talk to that guy. Because if you can talk to people from all different walks of life, you can be successful as a cop.

[00:09:55] Scott Maderer: And I think some of that too and this is where. I'm hopeful that [00:10:00] we'll start to see more of this in police academies and that I have a lot of friends that are in law enforcement and then also the military is there's never in the past been an emphasis on things like.

[00:10:14] Teaching conflict conversations, teaching deescalation techniques it, it's not that it wasn't taught, but it was a very minor part of a very large curriculum. so to speak. Even just teaching some of the ins and outs of the actual law poll, I, I think it's funny cuz a lot of, there, there are police officers.

[00:10:34] don't and it's not their job, but they don't know quote the law, so to speak, cuz that's not their main focus. And we forget that but it's starting to show up. I think more that idea that you just said of no, no focus on how to have a conversation with people and actually understand what's going on as opposed to.

[00:10:55] What sometimes happens, which is a different kind of conversation. [00:11:00] So I guess we could put it that way. More of authoritarian than conversational. Yeah. And you need to

[00:11:05] Terry Tucker: know kinda like when do, when use your indoor voice and when to use your outdoor voice and yeah. You need to understand when it's appropriate, when it's kinda being a boss or being a coach.

[00:11:16] There are some players when they make a mistake that you need to get in their face and absolutely yell. And then there are some players, you need to look at 'em, and that's all you need to do because you know they're gonna be harder on themselves than anything that you're going to do to us.

[00:11:31] But that's a as a boss, that's something you need to understand regard regarding the type of people you have. What works for each person. It can't be a one size fits all. And that same thing is true in law enforcement. There are certain

[00:11:45] Scott Maderer: The problem is you don't have any history or relationship with those people.

[00:11:49] You wanna get into a cold situation, but no prior knowledge, right? Or at least sometimes you are you are. Yeah. That's what I've been told by my friends that they're like, traffic [00:12:00] stops are actually one of the scariest things in the world because you literally never know what's inside that car when you walk up.

[00:12:05] Terry Tucker: You don't. And that's a good point because you gotta understand and you certainly, safety is number one. You want to go home at absolutely the end of the night. But the bottom line is when you walk up into that car, to the person that you're contacting, that you've pulled over, that may be the scariest thing that happens to them all year.

[00:12:26] But for you, it's the third traffic stop on the night, and it's no big. And you have to understand that again if you're dealing with four gang bangers in a car, it's all about self-protection. If you're dealing with grandma, it's okay. Everything's okay. Not that grandma can't pull out a gun and shoot you, but you have to address the situation based on what you have in front of you and act accordingly.

[00:12:47] Scott Maderer: So I, sorry, we went on a rabbit trail there. Sure. But I think it's important cuz you've had that, not just the day-to-day police officer, but working in narcotics and hostage negotiation and all of that. It's [00:13:00] obviously, it sounds like you were good at that part of it to have started going down those roads of that.

[00:13:07] So you did the business cuz your dad wanted you to, and then you went into the police because. Felt that was your calling in your direction. So how did the coaching and all of that come into the picture?

[00:13:20] Terry Tucker: Yeah, that's that's a good question. And it was coaching girls and you're and for me that was something that was incredibly.

[00:13:29] Foreign. I had I have no sisters, so I grew up with two brothers. We were all athletes. I went to an all male Catholic high school in Chicago. I went to college at the Citadel, which is a military school in South Carolina. When I went there, it was all male. And I remember when my wife and I were having our baby or having our child and the OBGYNs like well, do you wanna know what it is?

[00:13:54] I'm like, yeah, sure. Let's, and she's you should buy pink. I was like, oh no, . You need to keep it [00:14:00] in there until it's done. I'm like I don't know anything about raising a girl. And our daughter, I'm

[00:14:06] Scott Maderer: okay. By the way, they don't come with instruction manuals when they're boys either.

[00:14:10] They don't. They don't.

[00:14:11] Terry Tucker: you wish they did. But my daughter got my height and is six foot two. Oh, okay. And was a basketball player. And Coaching her in high school. The school she went to was not they were, they they said they had an athletic program. They really didn't have an athletic program, at least what I knew of as an athletic program.

[00:14:31] So I wanted her and her teammates to have good coaching. So I stepped up to, to do that. And then I also had a school security consulting business on the side. So there, there was again, another backstory to why did I jump into coaching it? because I wanted my daughter to, to have an opportunity, and she did.

[00:14:49] She ended up going to the United States Air Force Academy to play basketball and blew out her knee her freshman year. Oh. Didn't play after that, but still graduated.

[00:14:59] Scott Maderer: Yeah. Yeah. [00:15:00] And not a light school either. Air Force Academy's a Yeah. Tough school to get into. So how you're hearing all of these different threads and.

[00:15:12] Weaving together, but how did your faith journey and your understanding of what you were being called to do. , how did that kind of show up through all of these threads?

[00:15:26] Terry Tucker: Yeah I think I it started with our parents. We were all, we were raised Catholic. I am still Catholic.

[00:15:32] I still I don't now with I I do mass online every day and that, but I've always felt a closeness with God. When I was in high school I was like 15 years old. I had knee surgery. I remember this was long before arthroscopic surgery was available and one night I had an hallucination because of the medication I was being given.

[00:15:55] And I had a high fever because I had an infection. And I called home at three o'clock [00:16:00] in the morning and I was like mom, I'm ha and my mom's open the nightstand. There's a rosary in there. Take the rosary out and start praying it. And so I did. And that helped me. And it's funny.

[00:16:11] I don't know if it's funny, but it's interesting when we, especially in America, we wanna blame people or we wanna blame something for our lack of success. We start down a road towards a goal and then we butt up against some, an impediment. Something gets in our way and we can't get around it.

[00:16:28] And so we quit you. But we just don't quit. We wanna blame somebody know, we wanna blame our parents. We wanna blame our boss or our station in life. And when I got cancer, People were like, first question people were asking like who do you blame? I'm like, what? What do you mean? Who do I blame?

[00:16:43] It's you've gotta blame somebody because you got cancer. I don't blame anybody because I got cancer. And then when people find out I have a faith life, people are like you must blame God. And I'm like, no. I joke, I don't think God got up on a Tuesday morning, checked his to-do list and said, Hey, [00:17:00] Terry Tucker Cancer today.

[00:17:01] I don't I don't think that at all, but I really think what God has given, Is the strength to get through this, because there were times where literally I was praying to die. I was so sick of being sick that I was like, look, I am, I'm done. I can't do this anymore. And somehow he gave me the strength, the courage to continue on this journey.

[00:17:24] And it's been over 10 years. .

[00:17:26] Scott Maderer: How did when did the cancer show up in that arc of the other journey the non-faith journey, but the career journey? What, where were you at in your. Period there,

[00:17:40] Terry Tucker: so it was 2012. I was a the high school basketball coach, and I had my own consulting company, and I had a callous break open on the bottom of my foot, right below my third toe.

[00:17:51] And initially I didn't think much of it because as a coach you're on your feet a lot. But after a few weeks of it not healing, I made an appointment and went to see a [00:18:00] podiatrist, a foot doctor, friend of mine, and he took an X-ray and he said, Terry, I think you have a little cyst in there and I can cut it out.

[00:18:06] And he did, and he showed it to me. It was just a little gelatin sack with some white fat in it, no dark spots, no blood, nothing that gave either one of us concern. But fortunately or unfortunately, he sent it off to pathology. And then two weeks later, I received a call from him. And as I mentioned, he was a.

[00:18:25] And the more difficulty he was having explaining to me what was going on, the more frightened I was becoming until finally he just laid it out for me. He said, Terry, I've been a doctor for 25 years. I have never seen this form of cancer. You have a rare form of melanoma that appears on the bottom of the feet or the palms of the hands.

[00:18:46] And fortunately we were living in Texas. He's I recommend you go to MD Anderson Cancer Center, which is probably the premier cancer hospital, maybe in the world. And be treated just because your cancer's so rare. So that started the 10 year journey.

[00:18:59] Scott Maderer: [00:19:00] Yeah. That's that is a melanoma doesn't usually show up on hands or feet.

[00:19:05] That, that's a little, yeah, little. I

[00:19:06] Terry Tucker: never remember as a kid laying out with my feet up in the air or anything like

[00:19:09] Scott Maderer: that. Yeah. Sticking your feet in the sunlamp or, yeah. Or you only put your feet in the tanning bed. So that's all I do. Not exactly. Yeah. That, that, That is a weird place for melanoma.

[00:19:20] It, what's interesting is and I think I, I mentioned this to another guest a while back, there's a bit of a it's cancer shows up and a lot of people's stories, and I think it shows up in a lot of our households. A lot of our. I think that's something that a lot of us have experience with, maybe either ourselves or with a close family member or friend.

[00:19:43] It shows up over and over again. And melanoma specifically, like with guests on the show, I think you're the fifth or fourth or fifth guest that's had some form of melanoma. What what helped you. And some of [00:20:00] it is your faith. You just mentioned that, but what helps you recognize this and what do you think helped get you through that journey?

[00:20:08] When you were having the days where you said that you wished you would've died or it was just so bad and so overwhelming.

[00:20:16] Terry Tucker: Yeah I think three things and I guess lemme go back. When I was growing up and we had acne, we would go to the dermatologist and the dermatologist would put us under a sun.

[00:20:30] To, to and so you wonder why all these people are coming up with melanoma now? It's because we didn't realize when I was a kid when I was in high school, that ultraviolet rays were bad for you. It was like it dries up your pimples, so it must be good.

[00:20:44] It didn't, so that's why we were doing it. But to go back to your question I talk about what I call my three F's, which have really gotten me through this. One is faith, the other's family and the other's friends. And we've talked a little bit about the faith journey. My family it's my [00:21:00] wife, just my wife and daughter.

[00:21:01] And I remember after I had my leg amputated in 2020, my doctor wanted to start me on chemotherapy for the tumors that I still have in my lungs. And I looked at 'em, I'm like, I, is it gonna save my. He was eh, probably not. I'm like I'm eight years into this fight.

[00:21:20] I don't really know if I want to go through all that ugliness, if the outcome is gonna be the same whether I take it or not. I said, but I'll go home and I'll talk to my family. So I go home and I start telling my wife and daughter and my daughter's immediately, all right, we need a family meeting.

[00:21:34] I'm like, family meeting. There's three of us, . It's not like we got a board or something like that so we sit around the kitchen table, but that is a family meeting you have. That's we're sit around the kitchen table and give our perspectives about dad having chemotherapy. And then when that was done, my daughter's all. all.

[00:21:52] Let's take a vote. How many people want dad to have chemotherapy? And my wife and daughter raised their hand. I'm like, wait a minute. Am I getting that voted for something [00:22:00] that I don't want to do? But I'll go back again to another example from the police academy. My police academy days, our defensive tactics in instructed used to have a spring of photograph of the people we love the most to.

[00:22:13] and as we were learning different techniques to defend ourselves, we were to look at that photograph because he reasoned you will fight harder for the people you love than you will fight for yourself. I ended up taking chemotherapy because my wife and daughter wanted me to, and I love them more than I love myself, which in hindsight was a good thing because it was a bridge to what I'm doing now and I'm still here.

[00:22:38] You. Two, two years after I said I didn't want to do it. And then the last thing is friends faith, family and friends. And I think you really find out who's in your corner. You know who's in that foxhole with you when you have a terminal or a chronic illness. Because a lot of people fade into the woodwork it's now I don't want to deal with that.

[00:22:59] I don't want to [00:23:00] think about that. I I just want everything to be sunshine and rainbows. As you said, you've had a lot of guests that are dealing with melanoma, e either themselves or in their family. I have a very small group of friends, but they're friends that I can count on regardless of how I'm feeling.

[00:23:18] Scott Maderer: So let's dive into the book a little bit. The book has 10 principles that you brought up for living your life well, having that degree of sustainable excellence and you just talked about your three F's. What. Where do those 10 principles come from?

[00:23:37] And you know what, share one or two maybe that are your favorites or that maybe I like asking for your favorite child. What, I guess you have one child, so you can have a favorite child. I have a favorite one. , you have a favorite may, maybe asking for who's your favorite family member?

[00:23:51] We'll do that but that, but which, yeah. What's one or two that you feel like really resonated as you were getting [00:24:00] through and writing the.

[00:24:02] Terry Tucker: So the book was really born out of two conversations I had. One was with a former player that I had coached in high school who had moved to the area in Colorado where my wife and I live with her fiance.

[00:24:13] And the four of us had dinner one night. And I remember saying to her after dinner I'm really excited that you're living close and I can watch you find and live your purpose. And she got real quiet for a while and then she looked at me and she was like coach, what do you think my purpose.

[00:24:30] And I said, I have no idea what your purpose is, but that's what your life should be about finding the reason you were put on the face of this earth and then living that reason. So that was one conversation. And then the second conversation was with a young man who'd reached out to me on social media who was in college, and he said what do you think of the things that I need to learn?

[00:24:50] To not just be successful in my job or in business, but to be successful in life. And I didn't want to give him the get up early, work hard, help others. [00:25:00] Not that those aren't important, they are incredibly important, but I wanted to see if I could go deeper with him. So I thought about it for a while and I started taking notes and eventually I had these 10 thoughts, these 10 ideas, these 10 principles, and then I sent those principles to him and then stepped back and was.

[00:25:19] I got a life story that fits underneath this principle, or I know somebody whose life emulates that principle. So literally during the three month period where after I had my leg amputated and before I started the chemotherapy for the tumors in my lungs, While I was healing, I sat down at the computer every day and I built stories, and they're real stories about real people underneath each of the principles, and that's how sustainable excellence, the 10 principles leading your uncommon and extraordinary life came to be.

[00:25:51] Now, in terms of principles that, that, I like the principles. Each chapter is a principle, or each principle is a chapter. I guess that's a better way to say it. And they're [00:26:00] not in any order. Number one, isn't any more important than number seven or anything like that. . But as an author, it's always fun for me because there's always one principle that a reader reacts to or that resonates with that reader.

[00:26:12] And so that's a good starting point when I meet somebody who's read the book and we can talk about it. But the one that really resonates with me, and it resonates with me cuz I've done it so many times in my life, I'm not proud of it, but I am and this is the principle, most people. With their fears and their insecurities instead of using their minds.

[00:26:34] And I know I've done that. I've y yes, I've done that. Yes, I should do this. Oh, wait a minute. Maybe I'm not smart enough, or maybe I'm not good enough. Or what are people gonna say about me if I fail? That's thinking with our fears and our insecurities, not using our minds. So that's one. And then the other one that I really like, that I learned from being a hostage negotiator was the importance of, there's a chapter in there [00:27:00] about listening.

[00:27:00] And I'd be like of course you idiot. We all listen. What's that like? We don't it's listening to understand. Versus listening to respond and the importance of when I was a negotiator, we would parrot back what the person said to us. And then we would attach an emotion to it.

[00:27:19] But that emotion had to be what the person was feeling. If they were livid and screaming and you said you seem a little bit upset, you totally missed the emotion there. And that's why being a negotiator was exhausting because you had to get down in the weeds, gotta get down in the mud with these people and be on their level.

[00:27:41] And so when you were done after 2, 3, 4, 5 hours of negotiating, you were like, oh my God, I gotta go home and go to bed. I'm just beat the heck. And all you were doing was sitting, but you, you were being in that emotion with that person. So those are two that, I'm sure the

[00:27:56] Scott Maderer: adrenaline level was high too.

[00:27:58] It was [00:28:00] Yeah. It's not it's not like it's a low state conversation. No. It's life and death, put it that way. Yeah. It's somebody can get seriously hurt. With it. The that's interesting cuz you talk about listening and I think it, it is true that we have a tendency to hearing is required.

[00:28:18] Listening isn't if someone's talking. , you probably are hearing them but that doesn't mean you're listening to them. Why do you think communication? Because in both of those, it's those both have the underlying theme of communication. One is self and one is other, but still there's that idea of communication.

[00:28:37] Why do you think communication is so important and shows up as something that leads to sustainable excellence or doesn't? Depending on whether you do it well or don't, so to speak.

[00:28:49] Terry Tucker: I I think communication is key and it's and we always think of communication as I'm talking and you're listening, and usually the best [00:29:00] sales people are not the best talkers.

[00:29:03] They're the best listeners. I wanna understand what my client is saying. And that's what we did as negotiators. People always used to say nice job. You talked that person out. No. What we really did was listen that person out, we let them.

[00:29:21] Talk. We let them burn off a lot of that

[00:29:23] emotional

[00:29:24] Terry Tucker: energy and get 'em to a point where instead of thinking with their their emotional brain, they're thinking now with their rational brain. And we all make better decisions when we're using our rational brain as opposed to our emotional brain.

[00:29:40] So that's why when you go into a negotiation the first couple hours you could be over here talking about something with the person. But the real problem is over here and you won't even gotten to that. Yeah we just don't walk in and say, Hey what what would it take to put the gun down and for you to come out?

[00:29:56] That's usually hour three or hour [00:30:00] four or hour five. Because they've gotta burn off a lot of that emotional energy to where their rational brain is in control. It

[00:30:08] Scott Maderer: goes back to your first principle that you shared. Yeah. They've gotta get out of making a decision based on fear and emotion.

[00:30:13] Exactly. Anger and whatever.

[00:30:16] Terry Tucker: Yeah. And so that's why I think it's right now in, in society, again, I'm gonna make a big generalization. We're just screaming at each other and when you're screaming at me and I'm screaming at you, I can't understand what you're saying and you can't understand what I'm saying.

[00:30:32] But if I am to the point where, okay, Scott I heard what you said. I may agree with it. I may not agree with it, but help me understand where I'm coming from. Now. We're communicating, now we're developing a relationship and like I said, may not agree with you, but that's okay. But for some reason in society today, it's not okay.

[00:30:53] If you don't agree with me, all of a sudden now you're a bad person. It's wait a minute, when did that happen? That [00:31:00] just because we don't agree, we don't see eye to eye on everything. You're a bad person and I can't associate with you anymore. I don't know how you get around that, other than having people understand that, guess what, it's not about.

[00:31:12] And, but, and I think that's a big problem, especially with younger people. Hey, it's all about me. I'm important. I deserve a trophy. Everything's great. Guess what? It's not about you. It's about us collectively can do a lot. You individually can't do nearly as much as us put together.

[00:31:29] Scott Maderer: And just to be fair, . I actually don't think that's unique or new to the younger generation. For one reason I think I, I always like it whenever and I was a school teacher for a long time, so I've got some of that history too. I always like it when people talk about how the younger generation is a certain way and it, and then recognize that you're of the generation that raised them.

[00:31:51] Oh yeah. Totally my fault. So maybe we wanna look at ourselves a little bit cause there's always that too. The other thing is, I [00:32:00] actually once did a historical reference study where I went and looked up quotes from history about how basically the world was coming to an end because the next generation was going to heck in a hand basket.

[00:32:10] And I found them going all the way back to Aristo. Oh yeah. So li literally since the Greeks, somebody has been saying ah, this younger generat, I'm sure the first caveman that invented fire, the older cavemen were like, oh, they're just, oh, it's new technology, . Yeah.

[00:32:27] Terry Tucker: Yeah. It's interesting I read a book a couple years ago called Legacy and I would recommend it to you and certainly your.

[00:32:34] And it, it's written by a man by the name of James Kerr and it's about the New Zealand National Rugby team. They're called the All Blacks because they're, their uniforms are all black and by most accounts, they are the most successful sports franchise in any sport, in any country of all times. And what I thought was interesting, When they come to hire or bring another player [00:33:00] onto their team, you would think they would hire for technical competency.

[00:33:04] This is what we're doing. But and they do to a point obviously if you're a terrible rugby player, you're not gonna get there.

[00:33:10] Scott Maderer: But they're not gonna hire me to play for them.

[00:33:12] Terry Tucker: They're not gonna hire, it's not gonna happen. I can't even spell rugby, not alone know anything about it.

[00:33:16] But the two things that I thought were interesting that they look at. Number one character. What kind of a person are you? Do you go home and kick the dog after a loss? Or you can you handle defeat? Can you learn from it? And the second thing and I thought back on my own career was humility.

[00:33:37] How many times have I gone into a job interview where it's oh my God, I better have all the answers to all these questions, or I'm never gonna get the job. And what they say with that humility piece, You don't have to have all the answers. As a matter of fact, we don't expect you to have all the answers as an individual, but us together, when we come together as a team, as an organization, we will figure [00:34:00] out the answer and that's when I talked about young people and stuff like that's when I think.

[00:34:06] Young people are missing. And I'm sure a lot of that comes with maturity and age and emotional intelligence and things like that. Is that it isn't about you having all the answers, it's about you working within a group to come up with the answers. So don't feel you have to have everything.

[00:34:23] You don't, we nobody does. And that was one of the beauties. I taught. One of the beauties of teaching science was when you do lab work and that sort of thing, you always have a lab partner. There's built in collaboration and teamwork and project driven things That's built into the curriculum, at least in my opinion.

[00:34:41] Scott Maderer: It should be. . Sure there are teachers that would argue with me about that, but that's a different conversation. that built in idea of teamwork and collaboration is somewhat built in. And politically, in o other ways, I think I, one of the things I've said before is if you start the conversation from the point of view of [00:35:00] I'm right and you're wrong, you're very seldom gonna go anywhere.

[00:35:03] If you start the conversation from the point of view of we probably. Actually want the same things. We just don't necessarily believe that to get there we're is the same route. We're, in other words, we're more about how we get there. That's the actual difference. where we wanna go cuz again, Democrat, Republican, they both want a happy, healthy, successful world.

[00:35:28] They both want now sometimes how they define that or how they wanna get there, that's where the differences lie. But we sometimes forget that. And it does change your frame a little bit to be able to go, oh you, you're not a monster with three eyes and a tentacle coming outta the back of your head, after all, So how do you think you mentioned finding your purpose then living it, and we talked about your diverse journey through different careers, but how do you think your [00:36:00] purpose has actually shown up and in that life journey that you've had?

[00:36:06] Terry Tucker: Yeah, I guess le let me start by saying this, and a lot of times we feel that our purpose has to be our job or our profession or our occupation, and it doesn't you can have a job over here and this is what you do to pay the bills.

[00:36:21] But your purpose in life is to write or to be a podcast host, or to volunteer or to coach what, whatever it ends up being. So I guess starting with that is, is important because people a lot of times fail. I'm a failure because this is my job, but Oh, and you're not a failure. So I think that's incredibly.

[00:36:40] Important. And Scott, that my answer just totally went right outta my head. So ask me that question one more time. So

[00:36:48] Scott Maderer: what, how do you think your purpose is showing up? Oh. In your life? Yeah. Yeah. I,

[00:36:52] Terry Tucker: I, and I think my purpose over the course of my life has changed when I was younger, It was basketball.

[00:36:59] I [00:37:00] ate, drank, slept basketball. I, it was didn't care about anything else. I went to school. was a good student, but I wasn't a great student. I didn't apply myself. All I cared about was basketball. And then when I graduated from college and my basketball career ended, I felt my purpose was to go into law enforcement.

[00:37:16] Now that was a deviated track there, but eventually I got to that point. And now as I'm more than likely coming to the end of my life, I think my purpose is to put as much goodness, as much positivity, as much motivation, as much love into the world as I possibly can with whatever time I have left.

[00:37:36] So I think my purpose has morphed as I've gone through my. And I think it's important to understand that may happen. It's, it may not be one thing for your entire life. It could be several different things along the way. And I think you need to be open to it and I always tell, I like I told my player, I think you need to find your purpose.

[00:37:57] How do I do that? Coach, you do it with an [00:38:00] open heart. You do it by saying these are my gifts and talents. These are the things that interest me. I'm going to go down that path and I'm gonna try this. Oh, maybe that wasn't for me. I'll try this because that interests me too.

[00:38:13] Being curious, being a lifelong learner, keeping an open mind, I think will eventually get you to your purpose.

[00:38:21] Scott Maderer: So go back for a second. Say again. What? What do you see your purpose being now? To put out what?

[00:38:28] Terry Tucker: To put as much goodness, as much positivity, as much motivation, as much inspiration, as much love back into the world as I possibly can.

[00:38:36] Scott Maderer: Okay. So let me do you mind playing for a minute? No, not at all. So let back when you were eat, drink, sleep, basketball, stage of your life, what kind of player were you? I was. Okay. Were you a team player or were you a ball hog center of attention, wanted to be the star player kind of.

[00:38:58] Terry Tucker: I, I didn't [00:39:00] want to be the star player. I was in a lot of ways I was six five when I was 13 years old. There's that how do you get grade? It's the 10 years or the 10,000 hours and all that kind of stuff. When I started playing basketball, I got incredibly lucky because my first basketball team ever, I was like nine years old.

[00:39:20] I was on the same team. With the son of the assistant coach for Ohio State's basketball team, Bob Berkholder. And I had access to the Ohio State basketball camps and all those so I was fortunate. And that was just a luck of the draw I didn't know who he was and I just happened to get on his team.

[00:39:41] Yeah I was a good player and the better I got, the more I wanted to practice and the more I wanted to learn. But it was about I was a smart basketball player. I I understood the game as much as I was good at playing it.

[00:39:57] Scott Maderer: Just curious, [00:40:00] whenever coaches saw you in things, did they did they look to you to be a leader within the

[00:40:06] Terry Tucker: team?

[00:40:07] Sometimes I used to go to basketball camps in the summer and I remember I was at this small college in Ohio basketball camp, and because of my height and my ability I was given a choice, said based on your age, you can practice and play with the younger campers. or you can play and practice with the older campers.

[00:40:30] And so I practice and play with the older campers, but at the end of the week they had different competitions, free throw shooting and stuff like that. And they gave me the choice again, you can shoot with the younger players. And I thought, oh, I'm gonna shoot with the younger players because I'm sure I can beat them well, I lost the free throw shooting contest.

[00:40:48] And I'll still never forget the, I don't remember the coach's name, but I remember what he looks like. He put his arm around me. He pulled me aside. He. Why did you shoot with the younger players when you'd played all week with the older [00:41:00] players? And I said, cuz I wanted to win. I I wanted to win that trophy.

[00:41:04] I wanted to. And he said, and what happened? I said I didn't win. Another kid beat me. And he said, I'm gonna tell you right now, you're gonna play better. You're going to do better. If you surround yourself with better competition, it's gonna force you to bring your A game, so to speak.

[00:41:21] All the time. And he said, I think if you would've shot with the older. You probably would've won that free throw shooting contest, but because you thought you could win by going the easy off you did. Yeah. And I still remember that today. I still was like, yeah bring your A game.

[00:41:38] Surround yourself with people that are smarter than you, that are better than you, that have higher ambitions and higher goal, because they will force you to raise your game in life. And that was a big lesson that I learned at a young. .

[00:41:50] Scott Maderer: And when you were a police officer, do you think again, did you show up as the guy that went out on your own and did your own thing?

[00:41:59] Or [00:42:00] were you a team player there and somebody that, that obviously you worked in some pretty extreme environments and situations. How do you think you show. There.

[00:42:10] Terry Tucker: Yeah, I when I was a negotiator, we would train at the police academy and a lot of times when there was an academy class there, we were they had some time to kill us.

[00:42:21] Hey, will you talk to these these recruits? And when I would talk to 'em, I used to tell 'em they're gonna spend six months teaching you how to use all these tools on your belt. But the two biggest tools you bring to this job are your brain and your. You know what you say and how you say it can turn a yes person into a no person.

[00:42:41] Yep. Or a no person into a yes person. So if you're here to kick ass and take names and arrest people and all that stuff, you're in the wrong profession because somebody's gonna, there's always gonna be somebody bigger, stronger, tougher than you, and you're gonna get hurt or somebody else is gonna get hurt.

[00:42:57] So [00:43:00] use this and this before you use these things. And if you're good at using your mouth and your. Most of the time you won't have to use these tools on your belt. So that's the way I approach things. Again, I was older, I was a 37 year old rookie police officer, so I brought some life experience to it and realized, yes, I'm six foot eight, I'm 240 pounds.

[00:43:23] Most people didn't want to try me just cause it's yeah, I'm probably not gonna win this. But there were when, especially when you're drunk or high you don't have no. Or stupid . Yeah. But I had a partner, I had a female partner from my academy class. Who was she had a master's degree.

[00:43:40] She was a black belt in karate. She she was amazing, but her dad used to always say, Hey, when the shooting starts, make sure you hide behind Terry. Cause , he's got a bigger target. But no, I was not somebody that I wanted to make a difference. I wanted to help people as opposed to arresting them or jamming 'em up in some.

[00:43:58] Scott Maderer: So the reason why I [00:44:00] ask those follow up questions is I would argue that your purpose actually hasn't changed as much as you think it has your assignment and where you lived out. That purpose has changed pretty dramatically, but and you've probably gotten clearer on your purpose and had more understanding of it.

[00:44:17] With more gray hair, so to speak. Yeah. But but it's and better at articulating it and I bet if I went back to that high school kid playing basketball, you wouldn't have been able to put it into words. No. But it sounds like you were the player that didn't. Yeah.

[00:44:33] There was part of you that showed up for yourself and wanted to win and like you had that experience you just shared of oh, I'm gonna play with the younger kids cuz I can win. But you also learned a lesson from it and that began to inform some of how your purpose showed up later in ways of it's not just about whether or not I win, it's also about what happens to the larger group?

[00:44:53] What happens to the team? How do people succeed? What, what is, what motivation, what am I putting [00:45:00] out into the world? Speaking thinking is more important than just whether or not I win the trophy at the end of the day.

[00:45:09] Terry Tucker: Does that make sense? That's a good point. I've never thought about it that way, but you very well made rewrite

[00:45:14] Scott Maderer: Yeah.

[00:45:15] Anyway, I, because I think a lot of times you're right. I'm not saying our purpose and our calling and whatnot doesn't necessarily change. But again, we're back to what you said at the beginning, we often look to our purpose. out of our, what I call assignment, which is just, yeah. The role we're taking and our roles change all the time.

[00:45:33] You're a dad, you're a husband, you're a police officer, you're a business owner, you're a Arthur, you're a and you can actually have five or six or seven or 12 roles at one point in your life. , right? But yet, a lot of times our purpose or our calling will show up in all of those roles, not necessarily identical.

[00:45:52] But it'll still show up if that makes

[00:45:54] Terry Tucker: sense. Yeah, that's a good point. You I had never thought about that way, but you've certainly gimme something to think about now. . There

[00:45:59] Scott Maderer: you [00:46:00] go. Free coaching. Yay there.

[00:46:06] So one of the questions I like to ask all of my guests has to do with stewardship. My brand is inspired stewardship, I use that word. I talk about that word a lot. And yet I've discovered like excellence and like leadership and like some of those other words, we use it, but we don't necessarily all mean the same thing by it.

[00:46:26] So for you, what does the word stewardship mean and how has that shown up in your

[00:46:31] Terry Tucker: life? Yeah that's a great question. I was thinking about that before we, we jumped on the call and I'm not a very smart guy, so I try to keep things in a simple as I possibly can. And I, I think stewardship is just basically taking care.

[00:46:48] Of something and I think maybe in this case we're talking about our gifts, our talents, our treasures, our time, and things like that. And I have, I've always [00:47:00] believed that we were put on this earth to serve in some capacity, whether, if you believe in God to serve our God, but certainly to serve ourselves and our fellow man, i, I and when I start to think about this, I get overwhelmed. It's there has never been anyone with the same unique gifts and talents as you Scott or as me or as our spouses and things like that. And when you think about that, it from the dawn of time till the end of the world, there never will be anybody.

[00:47:29] As unique as us. So I think it's important that we are good stewards of those gifts and those talents that we've been given. And the other thing I think we need, we absolutely need to be good stewards up, is time. I've come to realize as I've probably come to the end of my life that time is something that we all take for granted, but it's really a very important thing.

[00:47:51] And if you look at the most successful people in the. They covet their time that one of the words that those people use [00:48:00] often is, The word no does what? This thing you're asking me to do coincide with my values and my mission, and if it doesn't then no, I'm not doing that. No, I'm we tend to be pleasers and so we say yes to everything, but the most successful people in the world use no a whole lot more than they use Yes.

[00:48:21] Because they are good stewards of their time and they want to use that time in a way that is productive, that goes along with their values and their missions. So I guess that's a long-winded answer to your question. .

[00:48:33] Scott Maderer: No, that's a very good answer to the question. So this is my favorite question though, though some guests don't like it.

[00:48:40] So we'll see how you, how you feel about it. If I invented this magic machine and I was able to pluck you from where you sit today and transport you magically into the future, 150, maybe 200 years, and through the power of this machine, you were able to look back on your entire. And see all of the connections, all of the [00:49:00] ripples, all of the relationships, all of the impacts that you've left behind on the world.

[00:49:05] What impact do you hope you've had on the world?

[00:49:12] Terry Tucker: Yeah. I've had people, I how do you want to be remembered and I don't. I don't really care how I'm, remember. Nobody's gonna name a street or a building or anything. And those are all transient and just things I guess I want to be remembered as somebody who left this world better than I came into it that put more.

[00:49:33] Love into the world than when I got here. And I think I've done that. I mean there's certainly times I've failed miserably on that, but I really think and that's not something especially guys want to talk, guys don't talk about love that's not. That's not a macho or kind of thing to talk about, but it's important.

[00:49:51] And it's not just love, it's not romantic love, it's love for, if you believe in God, you're creator. It's love for yourself. It's love [00:50:00] for the job or the passion or the purpose that you do in life. Love kind of permeates our entire lives and to me, it's really the only thing that we can take with.

[00:50:12] Beyond this life that we have. So I guess I would hope that I would put as much love in the world as I possibly could with whatever time I have.

[00:50:21] Scott Maderer: So what's coming next for you as you continue on this journey to living out your call?

[00:50:26] Terry Tucker: A couple things. One I've just recently started A, a membership program around sustainable excellence around the book that really dives deeper into the the reasons some of those principles exist and how you can use those reasons and apply those principles.

[00:50:44] I've thought about toyed with a second book. Sustainable Excellence is about success, and success is what we,

[00:50:53] we

[00:50:54] Terry Tucker: do. We're we're a successful business person, a successful podcast, or whatever. But I think I'd like to write another book [00:51:00] also about another word that begins with s and that word is significance.

[00:51:04] Significance is what we do for other people now. I think you can be both. I think you can be successful and significant, but I think it's more important in life to be significant. So I'm toying I haven't even started writing yet, but I'm trying to pull stories and things together about maybe doing a second book around significance.

[00:51:30] Scott Maderer: You can follow Terry on Facebook as motivational check or find him over on LinkedIn or Twitter as Terry Tucker or he has an Instagram under Sustainable excellence. Arthur, the easiest way though. You can find out details about all of this and his book, and Of course, I'll have links to all of that in the show notes as well.

[00:51:51] Terry, is there anything else you'd like to share with the listeners?

[00:51:54] Terry Tucker: I guess could, if I could end with just one final story if I might. Always been a big [00:52:00] fan of westerns growing up, television shows, movies and things like that. When I was young, my mom and dad used to let me stay up late and watch Bonanza and Gun Smoke and Wild, wild West was my favorite.

[00:52:11] 1993, the movie Tombstone came out. You may have seen it. It was a huge blockbuster. It starred Val Kilmer as a man by the name of John Doc Holiday and Kurt Russell as a man by the name of Wyatt Earth. Now, for your audience that don't know this, Wyatt Earp and Doc Holiday, were two living, breathing human beings who walk down the face of the earth, and I just made up characters for the movie.

[00:52:32] Doc was called Doc because he was a dentist by trade, but pretty much Doc Holiday was a gun slinger and a card shark. And Wyatt Herp had been some form of a law man almost his entire life. And somehow these two men from entirely opposite backgrounds come together and form this very close friendship.

[00:52:50] And at the end of the movie, Doc Holiday is dying of tuberculosis at a sanitarium in Glenwood Springs, Colorado, which is about three hours from where I live. The [00:53:00] real Doc holiday died at that sanitarium, and he's buried in the Glenwood Springs Cemetery. And Wyatt, at this point in his life, is destitute.

[00:53:07] He has no money. He has no job, he has no prospects for a job. So every day he comes to play cards with Doc and the two men pass the time that way. And then on this almost final scene in the movie, the two men are talking about what they want out of life. And Doc says when I was younger, I was in love with my cousin, but she joined a convent over the affair, but she's all that I ever wanted.

[00:53:28] And then he looks at Wyatt and he says, what about you, Wyatt? What do you. And Wyatt nonchalantly says, I just wanna lead a normal life. And Doc looks at him and says, there's no normal, there's just life and get on with living yours. Scott, you and I probably know people, there may be members of your audience that are sitting back and saying when this happens, I'll have a normal life.

[00:53:49] Or when this arises, I'll have a successful life. Or when this occurs, I'll have a significant life. I guess what I'd like to leave you with is, Don't wait. Don't wait for life to [00:54:00] come to you. Get out there, find the reason you were put on the face of this earth. Use your unique gifts and talents and live that reason because if you do, at the end of your life, I'm gonna promise you two things.

[00:54:11] Number one, you're gonna be a whole lot happier, and number two, you're gonna have a whole lot more peace in your heart. Said.

[00:54:24] Scott Maderer: Thanks so much for listening to the Inspired Stewardship Podcast. As a subscriber and listener, we challenge you to not just sit back and passively listen, but act on what you've heard and find a way to live your calling. If you enjoyed this please do us a favor. Go over to inspired

[00:54:50] Rate all one word, iTunes rate. It'll take you through how to leave a rating and review and how to make sure you're [00:55:00] subscribed to the podcast so that you can get every episode as it comes out in. Until next time, invest your time, your talent, and your treasures. Develop your influence and impact the world.

In today's episode, I ask Terry about:

  • His book Sustainable Excellence... 
  • How his faith journey intersects with the principles that led him to write this book...
  • How he sees his calling and how it’s changed...
  • and more.....

Some of the Resources recommended in this episode: 

I make a commission for purchases made through the following link.

A lot of times we feel that our purpose has to be our job or our profession or our occupation, but it doesn’t.  – Terry Tucker

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About the Author Scott

Helping people to be better Stewards of God's gifts. Because Stewardship is about more than money.

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