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Nov. 15, 2022

Listening to Create Impact w/Todd Kuckkahn

Listening to Create Impact w/Todd Kuckkahn

#53. As an independent certified coach, teacher, trainer and speaker with The John Maxwell Team, Todd Kuckkahn is an incredible resource for your intentional growth in your professional and/or personal life. In this episode, we discuss:

  • Complexities of culture
  • Why leaders need to listen more and talk less
  • How a simple postcard can change your life, and
  • “The biggest gap in life is between what we know and what we do.” 

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Review The "I" in Win on Apple Podcast or my website to let me know what you think of the show.  Follow me on Twitter (@LukeMertens)

Transcript

Luke:

This is episode 53 of the "I" in Win podcast.

Todd:

look for different ways to, try to lift people up. "I guess that's the kind of the general thing is, Find excuses to lift people up

Luke:

hello everyone, and thanks for joining us on another episode of The "I" in Win podcast. Today we welcome on Todd Kuckkahn, whose passion for leadership and culture earned him an independent speaker, coach, and trainer certification with Maxwell leadership. In this episode, we're going to explore the complexities of culture, why leaders need to listen more and talk less, and how a simple postcard can change your life. Todd, love the Wisconsin shirt. Thanks for joining us today.

Todd:

Yeah, "I. Gotta get a little promo on here. Luke, from my Badgers and, uh, everything else in Wisconsin. "I lived here my whole life, so "I gotta cheer for the Wisconsin teams.

Luke:

this is gonna be kind of a sensitive topic. Please don't tell me you're a Packer fan.

Todd:

well, uh, yes, "I am.

Luke:

okay. Well, I'm a lifelong Bears fan, so we're gonna have to make this go, but. "I will say, I'm, I'm rather reveling in the fact that you guys are finally experiencing some of the misery, this shit that we have dealt with for so many years.

Todd:

Oh, "I tell you, it's, it's a little painful after the success we've had, but you know, it comes in ebbs and flows and, and who knows which team will show up this weekend.

Luke:

Well, one thing "I want to talk to you about is culture, and in my opinion, it's overused and definitely misunderstood by many people. So how do you define.

Todd:

One way "I kind of, uh, put it, put it in position. Luke is, uh, it's a turn that "I learned from John Maxwell actually, and, and its culture eats vision. And you can have the best, uh, mission, vision, values, objectives, strategies, plans, whatever you know, you wanna do for planning standpoint. But if you don't have the right culture and "I, it's, it is hard to define "I. It's, and it is an overused word, but it's, it's really, uh, everything about the place that makes you want to work there, that makes you want to be there, that makes you want to be a. Entrepreneur versus an entrepreneur. An entrepreneur inside your workplace where there's some passion and meaningful engagement. So that's, that's some of how "I would define that.

Luke:

let's talk about that intrapreneur. That's pretty cool. So what if you have this passion and you just cannot make a living off of that? And I'm asking that because "I have so many assistant coaches throughout my career that they love coaching the boys and they can't get enough of it, but it doesn't pay the bills. And real life gets in the way sometimes. So how do you balance that? Cause sometimes these guys ask me, Hey, should "I just stay with my passion? Even though the other real job pays the bills?

Todd:

"I "I. Think you wanna work for your passion. You know, you start off probably near career after college or. Or tech school or high school with a job, and that may transition into a career, but you're really looking for as your calling. What's your passion? About what? What helps you get up in the morning? What makes, what turns? Mondays into Fridays, right? You're anxious to get up. And just like, you know, you're looking forward to Monday instead of hating and dreading it. Um, it's, it's a tough, it's taken me almost my entire career to get to that point. "I mean, I've had some great jobs. I've also had some crappy jobs. I've been fired four times in my life, and a lot of that reason was due to, to culture. And I'll take some blame for it, don't get me wrong. But, but really a lot of that was, was related to the culture and, and going to a place where "I really wanna work. So, and it's difficult, particularly if you're not in a leadership position, but you are a leader in your workplace. You're a leader as a coach, whatever the case might be. So in the workplace, you have to, the best you can with the team that you're given to. If your supervisor, if you can work with your supervisor, "I just came out of a four hour training this morning with some different businesses, a leadership academy, and they're sending their employees to, to this school. Essentially it's uh, eight weeks for four hours and, and training them up to be leaders. And that's part of that being an entrepreneur is taking advantage of those opportunities, but the company has to, has to give too and "I think the way the challenges we have with retaining employee. And attracting employees businesses really lead a look at how can "I give my employees meaningful engagement, like leadership opportunities.

Luke:

"I want to come back to the passion and the engagement later cause "I think our listeners will find a lot of value in that, given that so many are teachers and coaches. But getting back to the culture piece and how culture eats vision, you talk about changing a belief system and "I mean I'm in the middle of that right now. "I, "I took over a program that I'm trying to rebuild and "I have to change a belief system. How do you do that? you know "I want you to bottle it up for me and help me out on how we can change belief systems Because it's easy to present a vision. It's difficult to change a belief.

Todd:

Well, "I think a lot of it is by, by what, what you do actually. And when "I went to "I, coached at UW University, Wisconsin Platteville, uh, when, when Bo Ryan was there as a head coach, actually the bears were down there as well. That there's some team "I think in the NFL that I've heard of. But anyway,

Luke:

Ouch, Todd. Ouch.

Todd:

But, uh, "I can't say much this season, right, Luke, But, um, what, what we did, we just went in there and we, we were role models for what we wanted to happen. So for just simple things, we went every, every day. When we went to lunch, we went to lunch with the faculty. Were eating, we got to know the faculty, we sat down with them trying to change the culture. Cause the basketball team had won six games total in the previous three. So we were trying to turn into that winning culture. So we wanted put our faces out there in the community, speaking at different events. Again, going to simple things like lunches, really being engaged with our, with our students in the classroom. So showing that, showing how, how we wanted to change the whole belief system so that that's from a team standpoint. And individually, "I was on a call once, much, much like we're on, and the person said, Hey Todd, tell me about some successes in your life. So "I, kinda himmed and hawed and did that. Midwestern blue, you know, cultural, you know, blue collar kind of. And he said, Todd, shut up. You've accomplished some great things in your life. So we have to be, we don't wanna be arrogant. but we also wanna share our successes, and that's, that's part of it as well. And when you're starting to build a winning program, your successes are maybe different. They're smaller things, you know, you're looking at maybe at individual plays or quarters or haves versus the whole game or the whole season. You try to find those moments where you can really call out somebody for doing something positive and effective. Maybe it's maybe one of your players, their grades in the classroom where they got some school awards. So you look for different ways to, try to lift people up. "I guess that's the kind of the general thing is, Find excuses to lift people up.

Luke:

You hit a sore subject with me, and that is celebrating the little victories. I'm horrible at this. And "I, "I "I promise myself that I'm, I'm going to be better. But "I never am. And here "I am in the middle of trying to rebuild and "I get so caught up in the bad moments, right? And maybe it's the loss that you shouldn't have had, or whatever the case may be. Help me to celebrate the little victories. What do "I have to change from a mindset perspective to get me to focus more on the positive strides and the process of these little victories?

Todd:

Yeah, gratitude is a tough thing to, to show gratitude to, to people, whether it's your team, your family, your, your coworkers, whatever the case might be. And gratitude can be shown in, in, in such simple ways, and we just, we have to figure out a way, you know? And it's hard to, to keep it in, keep it in front of us. Some people do gratitude journals every day. There's a number of different things you can do. "I, I've talked about this, this, postcard that you mentioned before. And throughout the course of the day, just a little three by five postcard. You can do it on your phone too if you want to. If you know "I, I'm closer to a hundred and zero. So "I write things down instead of put 'em on my phone. But, writing down every day on a card, every time something good happens during the day, make a quick note of it. So at the end of the day, when you're looking back at your. you can see this list of things that you've written down. And when you go home to your spouse or your partner, your goldfish or your dog, and they ask you, How is your day? You can see, pull out that card and say, Here's all the great things that happened. So it's just a, a little way of, of that. It's all about self-awareness, right? When, when something good happens, make a special attempt to take note of it. And, another thing to do to show that gratitude that I've used throughout my career is a handwritten. Imagine if each of the players on your team received a handwritten note or you know, maybe a handful of them a week from, from you and the assistant coaches. Hey, glad to have you on the team. Great job. So you're doing well in school and send that to their home. And they open that note up from their coach, right? And they, and they see the note, their family sees the note, and it really helps build them up. And it really has not, maybe has nothing to do with football, maybe just about their life. You caught them doing something good in the hallway. But a little thing like even just like that can make a difference. When "I first started, when "I worked for the chamber here. In Steven's Point, I'm not there any longer, but when "I worked there, the first thing first year, we sent these notes out every day to different business people and it just created this whole kind of groundswell of, Wow, look at this, "I got a note. And you know, it wasn't even necessarily what we said, but just the intention of, of really doing something nice and show gratitude to others.

Luke:

Those are some great suggestions on how to monitor, and celebrate the little victories. Let's get back to something that might be leaving a little bit more difficult to monitor, and that is the changing of a culture. How can "I have these checkpoints throughout this process? To really identify if "I am in fact, on the correct track to changing the culture, or is it related to what you've just described?

Todd:

Well, that's, yeah, that, that's a, that's a part of it. "I think, you know, "I "I still think while culture. Each vision "I still think you need to be planful about it. And, and think about where do "I, where do "I want the program to be in a month, six months, a year? Set up those milestones. Uh, you wanna stretch yourself. You wanna get out of your comfort zone with your, with your goals, the things you wanna achieve as a team, but you also don't want set them so high that they're, that they're not achiev. "I think to be valuable tool "I in terms of goals and objectives, had the team involved in that process in some way? One of the best, efforts "I had at that when "I was at United Way of Dane County and we put together a strategic plan, a three year strategic plan, and "I started with each individual. "I had 16 staff. Each individual staff member wrote down their goals. Then they bubbled up to the team goals and then they bubbled up to our department goals, and then they bubbled up the organizational goals in terms of, of what we were gonna raise. And along the way, not only was the staff involved involved, but our volunteers, so you could do that with the team too. Had the kids each write down what are the two or three things you wanna achieve, and then maybe do it by position. And then maybe do it by offense and defense. And then that can bubble up to the, to the coaching staff and the assistant coaches obviously are involved. "I would have the trainers, student manager, whatever, who's ever involved in the team. Because if you, if you want people to buy in, you have to get them in the process. and, and people have to understand that their goal is not necessarily gonna make it to the top, but their goal is important as an individual and it builds up to the greater team.

Luke:

There's a quote that you have on your website and "I know you, you love it. "I think it's a phenomenal quote from Bob Proctor, and that is the biggest gap in life between what we know and what we do. Why is this the case?

Todd:

Well, "I, if you look at people who are successful "I, think what they did and do is they take risks. They're willing to, fail. You look at a basketball player, they miss 50% of the shots they take, You know, how many times did Michael Jordan miss a game winning shot, "I think 26 times. If I'm not, if I'm not mistaken. So he became one of the best players ever, or the best player, arguably in the, in the nba. And he missed half his shots and "I think so. We all know what to do, Michael Jordan. That if he took enough shots, the, he was gonna hit one, he was gonna win some of the games. And that's what we need to do. Cause we know what we need to do. You could be an NFL coach if you wanted to. "I could be "I, could be one of the best leadership gurus in the world. But we don't take the risk. We don't, we, we aren't willing to fail. We aren't willing to put ourselves, And it sounds weird. It's not, It's not as, you know, not a simple thing, that's for sure. But the knowing is there, but the gap is getting to the doing. And the doing involves your comfort zone, taking risk, and, and a lot of times we get involved with our inner circle, the people that are closest to us, right? Sometimes that inner circle of people that are around us drag us. And sometimes those people are, you know, you look at people that get in trouble with the law, who's their inner circle, who's influencing them? You look at the people are successful, they're looking to always elevate the people that are around them, right? Cause they know that that's gonna help elevate them. If you're the smartest person in the room, you're in the wrong room. You want to continue elevating yourself with the people that around you in your inner circle. So if you look at where you were five years ago, anybody, not just you, Luke, but anybody five years ago where you are now, and then think about where you want to be in five years and what can "I do to continue to grow myself and get there as, as a person.

Luke:

the difficulty "I have as a coach is trying to motivate the kids that "I coach the student athletes, that "I coach to work towards greatness. and "I agree with you. You're talking about being uncomfortable and taking chances and be willing to fail. can "I as a coach help my young athletes and students to understand that failure and being uncomfortable and doing the work is the pathway?

Todd:

You know, there was an interesting, um, again, it was a John Maxwell called Live to Lead and. Tim Elmore was on Dr. Tim Elmore and he was talking about generational differences. And part of it is that that, you know, coaches connecting with their athletes or there are generational differences, doesn't mean you're a good person or bad person. It's just that the age factor is a different thing. And he said, What we need to be thinking about is reverse mentoring. Where the young people are mentoring us. So what you might think about as a coach is have conversations with, the people on your team and, and ask them the questions, the very questions that you're asking me. What would it take for you to become a championship level football player? help me understand what does it take Someone, you know, your age, the players around you, what can "I do as a coach? To help you become a championship football player, rather than you as a coach telling them what they need to do. If they come up with the idea or the thought. It's, it's an interesting twist and "I think, you know, in the workplace it's the, the Gen Zs that are out there, the 22 to 30 year olds, we should be having them mentor us as older people. And that's gonna get them better engaged in the whole process. Again, it goes back to that the planning thing "I was talking about where, where each individual person planned and we bubbled up this plan. So it's, it's in a similar way where we ask, get the advice of young people to help, to help us. Just a thought.

Luke:

"I Love it. And being a teacher, there's, it's the same concept idea of reversing the classroom and "I know you have extensive coaching background as well, and I'm sure you have done similar things with your athletes that you've coached. When "I try these activities, here's my frustration. It's such surface level answers. Like "I need to work hard and you try to press the athletes, but what does that mean? You know, like you, you try to get measurable and specific and you know, to the point that they actually have a plan in place. But it just seems, and it's probably that age gap you're talking about for me, cuz I'm getting older and they stay the same age. Yes. Stays in confused. There we go. But uh, it's like the surface. Answers right, superficial answers, and "I just can't get them to engage and dive deep and truly find solutions.

Todd:

Yeah. And "I "I, "I have a 10 year old grandson. So "I, "I, "I deal with it in a different way. And "I ask him, Hey, how was, how was school today? It was good. Well, what did you do? Oh, "I don't know. Then "I gotta go down each class. Okay. What happened in social stu? You know? And kind of, try to keep drilling down, asking the why. Questions. Asking, asking open-ended questions. "I think another thing too that that's important "I know, is you get to know your players more. If you see a player is off. Go up to the player and say, Hey, you know, you seem, you seem a little bit off today. Or How, how was your day? You know, you don't seem as, as upbeat and and positive as you usually are. Something happen, anything "I can help you with and sometimes they'll, they'll blow it off, but sometimes they're really looking for somebody to. To talk with. And it might be a situation too where maybe your, captains and co-captains need to get more involved in, in, in the whole, you know, "I hate to say the term structure, but they need to get involved with, with working one on one of the players too. Cuz obviously, teenagers are gonna react more positively to appear than they were to any, adult image, even a football player. One thing that "I heard, you know, "I, "I and "I don't like to talk about negative stuff, but, I was working with a group of, we're we're doing a critical business skills, "I, working critical business skills. And this one young lady who was a soccer coach, she said, Yeah, we're gonna have the kids run sprints. And one of the kids said, I'm not gonna run. And she didn't know what to do. It's like, Wait, wait a minute. You're on a team. In order for the team to get better, we all had to get in better shape if we, and they had to have this lengthy conversation. And it's like, again, "I think that's that generational thing of like, you know, they spent two years in Covid "I, and it's like, well, "I don't. "I don't have to go online right now to do my schoolwork. "I don't feel like, you know, So some of that comes down the parental part too. But "I think the more you can engage, the more questions you can ask, the more meaningful conversations you can have, the more you can figure out which, which adults do they really react positively to. It might not be you, it might be another one of the coaches where they, where you can have, they can have a different kind of conversation. And that's the value of assistant coaches too, is they have different relationships with the players than the head coach does. So "I mean just trying to figure or. There's like "I "I was a student manager for the badge of basketball team, and it was interesting how the trainers worked with the athletes and they had a lot of great conversations that "I might not have had the coaches. So you just never know who, who the person is that might influence that young player.

Luke:

Yeah, I'm sure the players felt very safe talking to the trainers and getting some things off of their chest. And you know, I'll tell you, I know how my coaches would've handled a player saying, No, I'm not running this sprint. It would not have gone really well.

Todd:

No. "I would not have been pretty

Luke:

Yeah, it wouldn't go well in my house either if my dad said clean the room. I'm like, Nah, that's,

Todd:

Don't think so, dad. Yeah, exactly.

Luke:

let's transition to working from the inside out. Why is that so important as a.

Todd:

"I think self-awareness is critical. You have to understand who you are, not what your title is. Titles don't matter. You have to understand who you are and in all the training, "I do did it again this morning in the first class. We spend a lot of time on core values. We spend a lot, we talk about comfort zone. We talk about how differences make us better, but you have to, Train yourself as a leader. Now, one of the challenges and, and most coaches are servant leaders, is we spend so much time worrying and thinking about others that sometimes we forget about ourselves and pouring into ourselves and investing in ourselves, Going to those coaching clinics, reading those leadership self-help books, you know, getting involved in different things maybe in the community, but we're, we're so involved and engaged in it ourselves, for others, we forget. So it has to really start from the inside out. And the same thing with a. Your sales aren't the problem with the exterior customer. The problem is what's going on inside the company and the different personalities that you have in place in place. So "I use something called a DISC assessment. There's a lot of other personality behavior assessments out there to help people better understand who they are and better understanding who they are. They can better relate to who other people are because we're all different. We're all d. Personality styles. We all have different generations. We all have different learning styles. There's 8 billion different people in the world. So we just had to figure out, okay, how can "I work better with this person? But again, we have to make sure we're feeding ourselves the right stuff in terms of, leadership and, and growth and development.

Luke:

Yeah, it's interesting about forgetting about ourselves because. I'm definitely guilty of that. Not so much that "I. Forget to worry about my own personal growth. Sometimes I, forget about my own personal wellbeing. And "I obsess over perfection and "I think many coaches are guilty of this as well, and you're just continually chasing and. You just don't ever have time away, right? "I mean you come home and you're just obsessing over the day and what went well and what didn't go well. And then you're moving on to what do we need to do better tomorrow? And "I mean as soon as the game's over, sometimes you enjoy the victory for 20 minutes and then you're ready watching film for the next opponent. So what's the piece of advice there to. Coaches out there that yes, it's good to obsess and wanna be the best. Maybe obsess isn't the right word cuz that's negative connotation, but it's all right to chase perfection. It's okay to chase being the best. What's the advice you have though for own happiness and wellbeing. To allow ourselves moments to take a break and just be who we are as people, not just the.

Todd:

Sure. Two, two things "I would say. One is celebr. Take time to celebrate. So when "I was at UW Platteville, Bo Ryan would invite people over to his house after the game. And, and, when "I was an assistant coach with him, we lost half our games. So, "I "I, "I ruined his career record with all the losses. "I was a part of but, but, um, he would have, he would've people over his house. We'd have a few beers, we'd have some snacks. Didn't matter if we lost by 21 by 20, we just, we would unwind for a couple. And interestingly enough, he then, after everybody would leave and sometimes on a weekend we'd play cards till two, three in the morning. He'd stay up and he'd still go through the film, which, which was crazy to me, but that's how intense he was. But, but anyway, he took that time aside and just like "I, gotta take some time to, just to release, get, get away from it all and, and have a couple pops and, and talk with people. Play some cards. The other thing "I would suggest that you can do more on a personal level is create habit. And create time for those habits. And we all have time. If, if you did a time study of yourself, uh, now it might be hard for you, Luke, but you probably waste some time during the, the course of the day. But take, 15 minutes. First thing, when you wake up in the morning and read a leadership book or take, five minutes, write a grant, write some, What are three things you're grateful for? Then read for five minutes, then listen to a, a positive, John Maxwell does a minute with Maxwell every day. It's a couple minutes on a word of the day. Listen to that. It doesn't take a lot of time, but you have to let your body regenerate itself and your mind. And if you start the day. Something positive. So often, so many people, and I'm not saying you do this, but so many people when they wake up, they go right to that device and open up Facebook and read oftentimes about some of the crap in the world or, or posts that are going on. And particularly, you know, this is a big political year. Start your day differently and that's what "I do. And "I "I do. Turn on my phone, but "I do. "I. Go to the to the Bible, "I, Go to some posts that "I read on a regular basis. "I, try to feed myself. With as many positive things, and it takes me about a half an hour and it really sets the tone for the day. But it's, it's Todd time that's dedicated and, and it's a habit that I've gotten myself into and then you can always tweak that habit, but "I think, making sure that we celebrate and making sure you create those, positive habits.

Luke:

Yeah, that's great. The Todd time piece. Taking on this new position that I'm in, "I now have really increased my commute time. And a lot of people ask me about that. Oh. And you know, they ask it in a way like, Are you okay? How are you handling it? And "I, I'm like, "I, love it. It's my time. That's what it is. It's my time. And "I fill that time with podcast that "I really enjoy listening to. Hopefully people are listening to my podcast and enjoying it in their car rides. There's my, there's my shameless plug,

Todd:

There you go. A good.

Luke:

but seriously, "I "I fill my day with these TED Talks and podcasts that are centered around my own personal growth or just positivity, because "I know once "I get into my day, especially the nature of what "I do. For those of you who don't know, I'm currently a dean of students as well as the head football. There's a lot of negativity in my day and "I wanna be able to enter that building, feeling good about what I'm doing and feeling good about the people I'm gonna be around rather than, like you said, picking up the device and letting the feed impact our mindset. And part of that was learning that we do control that feed that been something that has been really profound in my own personal growth. "I fought social media for a long time. I'm an old soul Todd "I really am. I'm "I Am from a different generation. So, um, you know, I'm stuck in the world. "I live in now, and "I fought social media. So then "I finally just said, You know what, I'm gonna study social media since, since it's not going away. And it's a part of coaching teaching. Parenting it's going and it's not gonna, it's going nowhere. Right? Like "I, just wanna understand this a little bit more. So "I really like what you have to say because we do control the feed. The feed doesn't control us, So it's what we're filling our day with that is so important. So thank you for sharing that Todd time piece because now "I don't feel as selfish when "I tell people it's Luke time. So now,

Todd:

time, man. Yeah. Well, "I, "I, you know, "I. Luke going back to, uh, the, biggest gap in life is between what we know and what we do. We all have the same 24.

Luke:

"I

Todd:

it's how we choose to use that 24 hours. And you've made the choice of using your drive time to feed your, your mind and body with some positive podcasts. And you know, some people will listen to the radio and listen to all the crap on the radio sometimes, and there's good music. Don't get me "I. Don't want to think "I, don't listen to country music up, up here in Wisconsin. But, you know, "I, it's, it's, it's what you do with that 24 hours that, that makes so much of a difference. And, and you can look on Facebook and it, it, it has a report or whatever on how much time you're on. So maybe you're on there for an hour and a half. Well, he is all hour and a half of that good time. If not, car some of it away and put something good into your brain.

Luke:

Absolutely "I. Love it. The other thing, "I, love that "I got off your website, is this concept of a true coach is going to ask questions, shuts up, listens, and then adjust from there. Every Coach "I know, and I'm guilty of it as well, we just talk too damn much. So convince me that shutting up and listening is going to make me a better coach.

Todd:

Oftentimes we think that when we're talking, we're in control of the conversation when in fact, when you're asking questions, you're in control of the conversation and people will say, They will answer almost any question that you ask them. So think of your think of ways and it it, it's also a better way to listen. Think of questions. You want to ask the person who's talking when they're done so you can, you can gain more from them. Nobody ever learns anything when they're talking either. The only time you learn is when you're listening. So that's how "I always say, ask a question, shut up. And. John Maxwell, as a matter of fact, just he told a story in the same live tole thing. "I mentioned earlier when he went out to visit with John Wooden a number of years ago, and he knew that he had an hour and a half with John and he knew he had to make the best time of us. So he read all of his books, and as he read John Wooden's books, he wrote down questions he want to ask John Wooden. And when he sat down with John, he had five pages of questions. John, not only John Wood, not only took the time to the hour and a half that he promised him, he then invited him to his, house for another two and a half or three hours to answer, answer more questions. And then he and John got together regularly. So here's a guy that's won 11 National Champ. John Maxwell didn't know from "I, mean he knew of him of course, but they had no relationship. But because John asked the questions and was in control of the conversation, he learned a lot from John Wooden and John Wooden had a lot of respect for, for John Maxwell because of the way he handled the conversation and then, What John learned, he would take back implementing his, his career and his leadership business. And then when he got back with John Wooden again, he would say, Hey, John "I took this point. You told me last time this is what "I did and this is what happened. So again, it kind of gets back to that knowing and doing. He took the advan, the opportunity to ask John Wooden questions to help impact his business and then report it back to John Wooden and they just had continual conversations and it was a great relat.

Luke:

I want to take this conversation full circle and go back to finding passion "I "I. Think that one of my. Roles as a teacher and a coach is to help my kids find their passion and help them to understand steps to, to get there, to maximize it. "I notice a lot of kids just don't know "I mean you, you ask them and you talked about the conversation with your 10 year old grandson. Everything is just fine. Okay? Sure. How do we. This generation, the Gen Zs of the world find their passion because a lot of 'em are passionate about TikTok and YouTube, and, and we both know that that's not sustainable. So how do we help them to truly find passion, find purpose, and go make a difference in the world?

Todd:

"I think it gets back to, and "I mentioned this, or speaking of full circle, meaningful engagement. Well, what does that mean? Well, "I "I, think again, it's things like it. Working from the inside out. So "I think it's opportunities to talk about things with young people, about what are their core values, What, what are the things that are, are really important to 'em. there's an exercise that "I take people through. It's, it's "I. Ask a number of questions and, and so on and so forth. And then we look at this list of a hundred words, and you go through these a hundred words and pick the words that mean the most to you, and then define these words and talk more about them to really help you figure out. So it's not, it's not, it's not like a multiple choice. Asset inventory online or anything like that. This is like you get a group of people together and walk them through this. It takes. Probably 45 minutes or so to to do the exercise. Exercise completely. But the first thing is you're asking a number of questions to get 'em in the right mindset, to be thinking about their emotions, what's important to them, what brings them joy, what causes them issues. Then again, you go through this list of words, narrow it down to 20, to narrow it down to five. Then you write sentences about each of those words and what those words, mean to you. Mine are optimism, trust, honesty, enthusiasm, and teamwork. Those are my five core values. as you can tell, "I, "I, think about them regularly and they pop up on my phone regularly. Again, it's what whatever you feed yourself is what's gonna come out. So if you're feeding yourself these positive core values, and again, "I think that that's something that's meaningful to people, it's not. It's not talking about a widget or talking about a offensive or defensive play. It's really something about who they. Not, not what they are, not that if they're the quarterback or if they're the water boy or girl, you know, if they're the line judge or if they're the principal, it's about really gets to who they are. And it puts everybody on a, a level playing field. Cause everybody has things they value and everybody has different things they value. So that, that, that's, you know, maybe one thought.

Luke:

And speaking of writing things down, let's talk about the postcard concept and how a simple. Postcard can change someone's life by, prioritizing their day, and then the gratitude on the backside. Talk a little bit about that, Uh, "I, read about it on your web, on your website, and your blog. "I, absolutely love it.

Todd:

Well, thanks "I. "I. Didn't think anybody read that stuff, but "I guess at least one person does. Luke, thank you. You make my day.

Luke:

here, "I Am

Todd:

Yeah,

Luke:

you're my one, you're my one listener to my podcast, so we're helping each other out.

Todd:

Well, maybe, maybe Coach Al the campers, pal listens too. Um, but, but anyway, yeah, it's, it's a simple thing. Again, old school postcard, "I kind of mentioned before. During the course of your day, write down the things that happen to you that are positive. Kind of keep a track, you know, and you can stick a postcard in your pocket. You can stick it anywhere, pull it out real quick, jot something down. So at the end of the day, you've got these positive things to think about. And then at. Write down, what are the six things that you wanna accomplish the next day? What are the six most important things you need to accomplish the next day? Not all the little crap, but what are those things? And then as you go through your day the next day, Check 'em off again. Another positive feeling. It gives your body some endorphins. "I accomplished something. So when you look back at the day, not only have you written down six positive things, you've seen the things that you've accomplished, and every day you won't hit all six of them. Someday you might hit three, somebody might hit six. Some days you might not hit any. Something comes up. Life sometimes happens, but it's a real simple way. And then "I, "I, "I, keep those and "I you kind of file 'em. And at the end of the week or the end of the. Or the end of the year, you can kind of go back and say, Oh my gosh, these are, you know, look at all the great things "I accomplished. If you, if you have six good things that happen to you every day, that's, I'm not a math teacher that's over 1800 good things that happened to you during the course of the year. But anything that, you know, anything that happens, you know, Hey, this girl smiled at me in the hall when "I was walking to my next class. Right? If you're, if you're a student, Whatever the case might be, jot it down, you know, and get that, get that feeling of, of gratitude, of, of self-esteem and, and self-awareness where you're really focusing. It forces you to focus on the good things that have happened in life. When you ask people a question, How was your day? What do most people start with? Probably something negative. That's why having those six things that you write on the, you know, on your card or however many things it is that are positive, you can focus on that at the end of the day when you get home and talk to. Partner, spouse, parents, goldfish, dog, whatever the case might be.

Luke:

It's interesting because, I have heard "I, I'm a to-do list guy, and, I have heard that to-do list creates anxiety in some people, and "I have noticed that it, it's starting to do that for me. And here's why. You, you mentioned write down your six things and maybe don't get you all of them. And that's what stresses me out. "I write, I'll write down what "I have to do. "I don't get to it. And then "I go to do it for the next day. And "I like transferring over half the list cause "I didn't get there. So what am "I doing wrong? Am "I putting too big of items on there? Or am "I shooting too large? "I.

Todd:

"I, you're, Yeah, you probably need to break down the task some. So you know if in August for the day you write down, win the conference championship. That's not gonna happen in the day. So what's the one thing that you can do that maybe that day to help build towards that conference championship or whatever your, you know, whatever your goals are, a certain number, you know, turnover ratio or whatever the case might be. And that's, that's, that's part of the problem is that our, our tasks are too big sometimes. So we, we have to figure out how to break those things down. the thing that holds me account. I'm horrible with to-do list. Also, "I "I have stopped doing them. You know, "I. "I mean "I. Put stuff on my calendar. "I put the best thing that keeps me accountable is the person next to me. So "I get two different calls, "I do every week one's. One's with one person from uh, I've met down at San Antonio. Another one is the two guys. One in Nina, Wisconsin and one out west in California. Two different calls we get on and we hold each other. What did you accomplish in the last week? What's your goal for the next week? Keep it real simple. Try to break it down for me cuz of my personality style being account. Cause "I don't wanna let people down. I'll let my to-do list down. I'll let my calendar down, I'll let a project down. "I won't let a person down. Right. If "I do, it makes me feel horrible. Right. So, so, and you know some people to do list work that's the best way they work. They love checking it off and, and they've got it figured out. you have to be, like you say, you have to be strong and willing to accept, not maybe achieving everything every day, but that's okay. That happens to everybody.

Luke:

Absolutely. And "I really appreciate you hopping on with us. And "I know we are, we're up late at night here, here in the Midwest. So, you've been great with your time. There's a lot more that we could dive into as well. So "I think this was a really good banter. Hopefully, I could count on you to hold me accountable in the future. "I could give you a call or text and you could help me with my to-do list as "I struggle. With that, as "I mentioned as well, celebrating the little victories as well as giving myself a break. So those are the things you need to help me with, Todd. So can "I, Can "I count on.

Todd:

We'll be here for each other.

Luke:

appreciate that. And to our listeners out there, "I will have Todd's bio, link to this episode as well, uh, along with his Twitter and all of his social media feeds. If you would like to reach out to Todd, but if you wanna give just a real quick overview, Todd, of, of what you do and how you might be of service to someone listening, right.

Todd:

My "I "I love adding more value than "I. And "I do that through my faith, "I, do that through my speaking, coaching, teaching training. "I. I'm really on a mission of revolutionized company culture and leadership and "I think it's so critical, especially now where we're at with, you know, some of the challenges we've talked about during the podcast. So "I and "I love getting on a call like this or, or getting on a Zoom call, just chatting it up with somebody. And helping 'em walk through some things and maybe we stay, you know, maybe we spend a lot of time together, maybe not, but just get on a call with me, reach out to me, message me, whatever the case might be. "I, love to talk to you.

Luke:

Well, you added a lot of value to me and "I guarantee you add a lot of value to our listeners today. So thank you for hanging in there with us throughout this late night and again, listeners, "I will have all of Todd's information "I link to this episode. So feel free to reach out to him as well as he will hold you accountable. So Todd, good luck to your Badgers this upcoming basketball season and we will be in touch.

Todd:

Thanks, Luke.

Todd Kuckkahn Profile Photo

Todd Kuckkahn

Leadership Consultant

Todd Kuckkahn’s passion for leadership and culture earned him an independent speaker, coach, teacher, and trainer certification with Maxwell Leadership. Throughout his career, Todd has done countless presentations, workshops, and seminars at local, state, national and international conferences.

Todd is passionate about sharing his experience and knowledge in communication, leadership, personal growth, company culture, and non-profits. He is a DISC certified consultant and writes for numerous publications, including an international publication. He has also been certified as a DEI trainer for diversity, equity, and inclusion through Empowered Living.

Didn't include my sports background as I know this isn't a sports show necessarily, although it has had a huge impact on my life.