The Primitive Podcast: Dr. Tedd Mitchell

Posted by Kade Wilcox | June 8, 2020

The Primitive Podcast with Dr. Tedd Mitchell

As the former President and CEO of the Cooper clinic in Dallas, Texas, Dr. Tedd Mitchell was already well-equipped for the challenges and opportunities he would face within the role of Chancellor of Texas Tech University System. Having held his position since 2018, Dr. Mitchell has already shown himself a proven leader, ground-breaker, and role model for generations of leaders to come.

Transcript

Kade Wilcox (00:00):

Hi guys. Kade Wilcox here, host of The Primitive Podcast. On today's episode we have the Chancellor of Texas Tech University, Dr. Tedd Mitchell. What a phenomenal leader. Lots of really great truth shared in this episode. I can't wait for you to listen. Like me, I'm certain you're going to get a lot of value out of this one. Thank you for listening and following along with The Primitive Podcast. You're going to really enjoy this.

Kade Wilcox (00:43):

So you've been in Lubbock about 10 years. Where did you come from? What were you doing prior to Lubbock? Did you wake up one day and decide you wanted to be a Chancellor? What does all that look like?

Dr. Tedd Mitchell (00:52):

It's the craziest thing in the world. So I grew up in Longview, in Northeast Texas and spent all of my life in the Eastern half of the state. So I grew up in Longview, Texas. Went to college at Stephen F. Austin behind the Piney Curtain. Went to medical school down at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston. I met my wife down there. She was a year behind me in medical school. And so we stayed in Galveston for our training. Trained in internal medicine. And my interests were always in sports medicine. So after we finished in Galveston, we moved to Dallas. There's a place in Dallas called the Cooper Aerobics Center, the Cooper clinic. And the fellow that started it, Kenneth Cooper, is known as the Father of aerobics. He's a physician. He had done his preventative medicine training and his MPH at Harvard, but he's the one that is credited with starting the modern fitness movement. So I worked at the Cooper clinic, started out as a staff physician and the medical director of the wellness program, an inpatient program there. And then worked my way up through vice president. And then eventually for the last couple of years, I was the CEO of the Cooper clinic. And while I was there, I had a patient, a crazy man from West Texas named Kent Hance.

Kade Wilcox (02:09):

No way.

Dr. Tedd Mitchell (02:10):

Yeah. And so Hance and I are dear, dear friends. And he called me and said, Hey, Tedd, would you mind serving on a search committee? We're selecting a search firm to look for a new president for the Health Sciences Center. And I told him, I said, well, Hance, I went to UT for med school, I didn't go to tech. He goes, no, we're looking for somebody from the outside. And so I was actually participating in the search for my predecessor at the Health Sciences Center, so I got a chance to meet a lot of the folks in the system and some of the board members and the like. And when Dr. Baldwin, my predecessor at the Health Sciences Center came out to Lubbock, there were some family issues that were going on with him and for a number of reasons with him, it just never really worked out.

Dr. Tedd Mitchell (02:55):

And so I got a call from one of the folks that served on the search committee, and it seemed like it was no time later, but about a year and a half or two years later, and she said, we're going to be putting together a new search. And I said, count me in. I'm happy to be on it. She goes, no. We want you to apply this time. So the whole thing was just, I'd never thought about that one way or the other. Jan and I, at that point, we'd been at Cooper for almost 20 years.

Kade Wilcox (03:20):

Wow.

Dr. Tedd Mitchell (03:20):

And so different challenges. And anyway, one thing led to another and I wound up at the Health Sciences Center. Phenomenal people in West Texas. Phenomenal people at the Health Sciences Center. And so was there for 10 years. And when things shifted at the system a few years back they asked me to step up as the interim chancellor. That was in August of 2018. And then in October of 2018 is when they appointed me, the permanent chancellor. And I kept the job at the Health Sciences Center because we were getting ready to go into a legislative session in 2019. And the absolute worst thing you can do is have all kinds of turmoil during a session.

Kade Wilcox (04:04):

That makes sense.

Dr. Tedd Mitchell (04:05):

So stayed on through the session. And we worked very hard for the dental school in El Paso and for the vet school in Amarillo. And things worked out real well for us with that. And then as we got past the session and started looking toward the future, that's when I made the decision that the Health Sciences Center needed somebody full time over there. And the system needed somebody full time. And so I made the decision to transition in October.

Kade Wilcox (04:30):

Was it a huge adjustment going from Dallas to Lubbock?

Dr. Tedd Mitchell (04:34):

You know, it was, but having grown up in Longview, it was more like Lubbock than it is like Dallas. So I'll tell you probably the thing that hit me the most when I was a kid growing up watching all these westerns, you'd see all these Cowboys riding around with dusters on and stuff thinking in Longview, Texas, you don't ride around in July with any kind of jacket on cause it's hot and humid. And so the climate was one of the things that was the most striking to me because I had passed through Lubbock but I don't only been to the city of Lubbock two times in my life. Once was to watch a football game and once was an interview for med school and that was it.

Dr. Tedd Mitchell (05:10):

And so living out here and having those wonderful, wonderful nights. The first summer we were out here in 2010 there was tons of rain that summer and I was cutting the grass and putting the gear up one night and it had already gotten dark. And I remember walking out of the garage thinking, my gosh, I feel like I needed sleeves on or something. I've never had that in my life. That's never happened ever. And I also remember thinking, I don't know what they say about West Texas being dry, it's raining all the time. I don't think it rained another drop for about three years after that, but it's been absolutely wonderful.

Kade Wilcox (05:50):

That's great.

Dr. Tedd Mitchell (05:51):

Both of our boys wound up going to Texas Tech and our youngest actually had two degrees from tech. The oldest had one degree from Tech. So it's been absolutely wonderful.

Kade Wilcox (06:02):

Where are they at now?

Dr. Tedd Mitchell (06:02):

So Charlie is an engineer in Dallas. He's the oldest. We actually have a daughter that started college right when we moved out here. She went to Alabama and then she came back and she went to SMU to go to law school. And she's an assistant DA in Dallas. Charlie's an engineer in Dallas and the baby Chris, he majored in chemical engineering and then natural resource management and wildlife biology. So he just finished his masters at Villanova.

Kade Wilcox (06:26):

That's cool. That's great. Wow.

Dr. Tedd Mitchell (06:28):

Texas Tech's been good to us.

Kade Wilcox (06:30):

Yeah. That's great. I have a question for you. When you're recruiting faculty or staff or whatever it looks like to Lubbock, what is your approach? I remember we had a young professional event here some time ago and Coach Beard was the guest and someone asked him, why Lubbock? Why are you in Lubbock and how's Lubbock going to keep you and all this stuff. And he was kind of offended by it. He said, why not Lubbock? And it really struck me just the way he responded. And someone in your position, I assume you're constantly selling the Texas Tech vision and fighting for that.

Dr. Tedd Mitchell (07:08):

Of course.

Kade Wilcox (07:08):

So what's your approach there when you're casting that vision for someone who isn't used to Lubbock and West Texas and cotton fields and lots of wind?

Dr. Tedd Mitchell (07:16):

Sure. A lot of what I spend my time doing is talking to folks from West Texas who continually, and it's not downplaying West Texas. What you have in West Texas, there is a character trait out here that is phenomenal, but it works against you when you're doing PR. No braggadocio. No brag, no brag, just do the hard work, do the hard work. Do the hard work. But as a consequence people don't celebrate everything that we do out here. When you talk about quote on quote selling Lubbock, it becomes the place that becomes most important for me as a University President and as Chancellor is in Austin during the legislative session. Because what happens is if you look at the area of West Texas that we draw from a lot, it's the Western most 108 counties.

Dr. Tedd Mitchell (08:08):

So if you take a line and draw it from Oklahoma down through Dallas, Fort Worth down through Austin, San Antonio, straight through the Rio Grande Valley, everything West of there is what we're looking at. It's an area that's 49% of the state's geography. It's larger than 46 States in the United States. And yet we only have about 15% of the population. And so when you go to Austin, and I noticed this during the first session that I attended in 2011, one of the things that you would get recurrently from elected officials, they would hear you about the importance of people doing things in rural America, rural Texas, this and that. But they would say at the end of the day, when we have a limited budget, we have 85% of the population in Eastern half of the state. How can we justify spending large amounts of money on the Western half of the state?

Dr. Tedd Mitchell (09:02):

And one of the things that you really want to make sure they understand is that yes, we only are 15% of the population, but we're the breadbasket of the state. And if you look at the economy and this is pre coronavirus, if you looked at the Texas economy as a standalone economy it would be the 10th largest in the world. Our economy in the state of Texas is larger than the economy of Canada. And so that economy is based on two things, energy and agriculture, both of which are focused in West Texas. So we provide the food, the fiber, and the fuel, not just for the state of Texas but to a large extent for the nation and even beyond. So one of the pitches that I'm constantly making in Austin about this is guys, listen, if you live in Dallas and you enjoy shopping at North Park, you better be thanking folks in Lubbock because that's where the cotton's coming from.

Dr. Tedd Mitchell (10:02):

If you live in Austin and you love going to that fancy restaurant, you better be thanking folks in Amarillo cause that's where your beef is coming from. And if you like driving fancy cars in Houston, you better be thanking people in the Permian Basin cause that's where your energy is coming from. And once they hear that again and again and again they start realizing the importance of this and the importance of West Texas. If you look then as far as selling Lubbock for folks that you're trying to recruit in, there is this intangible thing that if you can get them here and have them spend just a little bit of time then they see how people interact with each other. And in fact, I think on the front end of it, especially in academia where you have professors that have been around a lot of different places, they're almost a little incredulous, like are the people really this nice, I really can't believe that. But if you can get them to spend any amount of time here, the campus that we have is beautiful. The people are about as nice as you'll meet anywhere. Texans in general are nice and West Texans are a step up from there.

Kade Wilcox (11:05):

That's good. How do you view your role as a leader? I have to admit I'm not really knowledgeable in terms of how universities are structured and what's the difference between a chancellor and a president and all that stuff. So I am curious practically what a chancellor of a university does. And then the second part of that question would be, how do you view your role as a leader and how do you approach your leadership?

Dr. Tedd Mitchell (11:26):

Sure. Well, to the first question, if you look around the country in higher education you have independent universities both public and private that are scattered around the country. And then you have some States where the universities fall under systems. California is great example of a state that has university systems. Texas is a good example of universities with systems. So we have several systems, each of which is an umbrella organization for several universities. So in the Texas Tech University System, we have Texas Tech University, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, Angelo State University down in San Angelo, and Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center at El Paso. And during this next session, we're looking to add Midwestern State University to our family in Wichita falls.

Dr. Tedd Mitchell (12:19):

So the Chancellor's role at the system level, the way I look at it is to provide a service to all of those universities. To go and work with each of the university presidents. We'll work with their leadership and to be the conduit for government relations, things of that nature where I can take their needs and address them down in Austin.

Kade Wilcox (12:44):

That's good. That makes sense.

Dr. Tedd Mitchell (12:45):

Now, my leadership style is very much of a macro manager. To me, I'm always just looking for somebody that can come in and do a good job and stay out of their way. When I was practicing in Dallas, I had a group that came through for examinations that was this trucking company out of Oklahoma. And the owner of this company was a fellow who was in his eighties and had not even finished high school, but he had this national truck company, and he had a bunch of MBAs that worked for him.

Dr. Tedd Mitchell (13:15):

And I said to the fellow, it's really nice for you to do this for your guys. He goes oh no, no, no, cause I want to make sure they're in good shape. I work these guys. He said do you know the way to find a good executive Tedd? And I said, how's that? He said, it's like when you were a kid, you remember when you found an old car tire on the road? And I'm waiting for the trucking analogy. And I said, yeah. He goes, well, as a kid you struggled to pick that tire up, but once you get it picked up, all you have to do is point it in the direction you want to go and then just tap it. And as long as you'll walk along beside it every now and then and stroke it a little bit, it'll go right where you need to go. And I thought, man, that's pretty wise. So when you get good people working, and the Texas Tech System is filled with good people and say, what are the things that you're trying to accomplish? What are the things from a system level that we want to accomplish together? And then let's go after it. It works beautifully.

Kade Wilcox (14:05):

Yeah, that's good. You mentioned the Coronavirus, and I'm sure there have been other challenges within the institution that you have to address, but this is obviously a significant one with no real playbook. When you started seeing that coming, how did you approach getting your leaders together and beginning to formulate a plan? And if you don't mind being really practical, what was your leadership approach and what did you do to start creating a pathway forward? How does an organization of your size and a leader like you manage a crisis and look at challenges like that?

Dr. Tedd Mitchell (14:47):

So with the Coronavirus you hit the nail on the head, this is not anything anybody could have seen coming. You go back December 31st, when the first clusters in China were made known publicly. The first American that was diagnosed in January was up in Washington state. And there was a period of six days from January 14th until January 20th, that the reports are all saying during that six day period, that was really, really crucial. China knew it had a problem and it was trying to shut things down there, but it was being really tight lipped about it. So 3,000 people infected with the virus then headed worldwide. And that sowed the seeds for things in Northern Italy and in Taiwan and South Korea and North Western United States. So all of this stuff started when it started rolling out by the end of January.

Dr. Tedd Mitchell (15:41):

And the thing was January 27th, we knew there was something going on up in Seattle. And so with our leadership team, and by that I mean the leadership from the system and all four universities, we started having daily calls at nine o'clock in the morning. We have two health-related institutions and two general academic institutions. And it worked out beautifully that way because we could get an update every single day on what's the latest information health-wise on things going on, and then how's that applicable to our four universities? And so the key for me from a leadership perspective is communication, regular communication, round table communication. So every day we'd start with a nine o'clock call with everybody on it and we would do a round table discussion. What's going on at Texas Tech? What's going on with the Health Sciences Center, El Paso, San Angelo walk through it.

Dr. Tedd Mitchell (16:41):

What have you seen new here? What is it you're doing? What do you see coming? So for example, on the general academic side, in the two universities that are the general academics they started saying, we're going to have issues with our dorms. We're going to have issues with having to provide refunds for kids that are in dormitories. So you could see those things coming through this round table discussion oftentimes before they really became an issue. I'll tell you at certain points with this whole thing, you have to make decisions based on limited data. And I'll give you a great example. We had 105 students studying abroad at the time this all was happening. Most of them were in Europe.

Dr. Tedd Mitchell (17:27):

Most of them were in Spain at a campus that we have in Seville. So we had 105 students that were scattered around the globe. And as the illness became more of a crisis, and then a pandemic when Italy went to a high risk country, Spain, right next door was still a low risk country. But we made the decision to get those kids home and we actually had a lot of pushback and a lot of the students were saying, no, we want to stay here. I said, well look, this is an adult decision and it's gonna be made by the adults. So we paid to get all of them back. The next day after that, Spain went to a high risk country after we'd made the decision to get the kids home.

Dr. Tedd Mitchell (18:15):

So we got all our students home over the course of the next week. By the end of the next week, we had accounted for all 105 students. The next day after we got that report back the inside higher ed magazine came out saying there were 13,000 requests from American students around the globe trying to get back. Because at this point, President Trump had restricted travel from China and then he restricted travel from Europe. And then he restricted travel from the UK and Ireland as well. So people were now having problems even trying to get back at that point. And at that point we'd already gotten all of our kids back.

Kade Wilcox (18:53):

How many people are in that nine o'clock meeting?

New Speaker (18:56):

Roughly 40.

New Speaker (18:57):

40?

New Speaker (18:58):

Yeah.

Kade Wilcox (18:58):

How do you have a productive meeting and how do you encourage people to communicate when there are 40 people with limited time, but you need good information to make good decisions? What does that practically look like?

Dr. Tedd Mitchell (19:10):

So there are about 40 people that are on these calls during the nine o'clock call, but they're having their offline calls for the HSC, for Texas Tech, for San Angelo. So the presidents are speaking at the meeting. So we'll start out with Texas Tech university, what do you have going on? And they'll have a conversation and you'll hear them. The president will say, okay, we had this. He goes, Noel, how much money was that going to cost us? Alright, HSC. And then the president will present. The president will present but they're all there. All their support folks are there with them. All their VPs are with them so that if there's a question they can right then and say, Hey, what about this? What about that? We actually even had Midwestern State University joining in on those calls as well. They're an independent university right now and Stephen F. Austin over in East Texas is joining us on some of those calls as well, simply because as a system we have a more established government relations program, not just in Austin but in DC as well. So when you have that discussion where the conduit in discussion are the presidents and then they will defer back and forth to their vice presidents as they need it. It operates very smoothly.

Kade Wilcox (20:17):

How do you fight bureaucracy? I don't know you very well at all, but listening to you talk, I don't see you being someone who would really tolerate inefficiencies. So I'm curious how you work through that dynamic?

Dr. Tedd Mitchell (20:32):

Well, I will tell you this, when I first started, I'd come from a private system and coming into a state agency. And all of a sudden the wheels slow down with everything. We'd be in meetings and people say, Oh well we can't do that. Alright, well we can't do that. And then after a few months of that, it clicked and I said, wait, alright, so when you say we can't do that, do you mean it's violating a federal law or a state law? That's why we can't do that. And most of them would say well, no, we have an OP and Operational Policy about that. Okay, well hang on. We write those. And so we've got to make sure that we're not stepping on our own toes with this. So if you are working at a state agency, there are obviously state regulations of things that you have to abide by.

Dr. Tedd Mitchell (21:17):

But you have to make sure that your own internal bureaucracy is not just layering stuff on top of that because there's a tendency, and this is human nature, for people to get calcified in the way they think and nobody likes to change. Nobody likes something different than the way they've done in the past. Even if the way they've done it in the past is not the most effective and not the most efficient. So having people understand, and we do this throughout the system, that OPs that you have that get in the way of doing business, you've got to do away with them.

Dr. Tedd Mitchell (21:53):

The other thing that we did, starting at the Health Sciences Center, we've now done it at the system level and we've done it at the Health Sciences Center El Paso. We have established what we call a values based culture. So at the Health Sciences Center, we have 5,000 employees just at the HSC. And we went through and we had over 120 something meetings with every employee in the entire system. Define or give us a list of five values that you would want people to live by here at work. And when we started this I thought we we're going to have hundreds of things. It actually condensed down really fast. Now give us a definition. We will come up collectively with what the definition of the value for kindheartedness, one of the values. Let's define kindheartedness as we see it. Once we define it, okay, let's give some behaviors that we expect people to have with that value. So as we rolled this thing out a few years ago, we'll sit in meetings and somebody will say, well, hang on.

Dr. Tedd Mitchell (22:49):

If you look at our beyond service value, we really need to think of this, this, or this. Or if you're thinking of our integrity value, we need to think of this, this, and this. And the fact of matter is by really steeping our entire population of students, staff, and faculty in a values based culture. Fact of matter is you wouldn't even need a single OP if people lived by those values. And so those are values that will say, if I'm in this institution, you can hold me accountable to those values. And if you're in this institution, I can hold you accountable for them.

Kade Wilcox (23:26):

That's powerful. How did you grow in patience? When you first started, I'm sure it was hard, so how have you adjusted to that?

Dr. Tedd Mitchell (23:37):

This is funny that you say that. My wife and I have this discussion a lot. So the Lord does not give you patience, the Lord gives you opportunities to practice being patient and that's been it.

Kade Wilcox (23:52):

And he's giving you an extra heavy dose.

New Speaker (23:53):

An extra heavy dose. And so what you wind up having to do is pick and choose the things that are important and the things that are not important. And as you're well aware, once you start developing any type of enterprise, there are a lot of issues that come up that with just a little bit of benign neglect, they'll go away. And you've got to stay focused on what the real issues are. Winston Churchill said that if you throw a rock at every barking dog that comes along, you'll never get where you want to go. And so you have to just focus on the things that are the most important and other things let them go and be patient about.

Kade Wilcox (24:39):

How do you manage your time? Practically speaking, you run an institution that has lots of employees, a lot of direct reports, you've got government folks that you're working with and you just got a lot of stakeholders, alumni, athletes. It is just large. So how do you approach your time?

Dr. Tedd Mitchell (24:59):

I've always been, for whatever reason, I'm pretty good at compartmentalizing stuff. Starting back at Cooper when I was in administration in Dallas in this large practice, my wife and I get up early in the morning, we get up at five. We go work out together and then the day begins. And yet when you have good folks in good positions around you and stay out of their way and let them do their thing, then from my perspective, I think the higher you get up in any organization, the more you have to look at the horizon. And if you can't extricate yourself from the weeds you can't get done what you need to get done. So along the way, as you go up in an organization, your focus has to be farther and farther down the road.

Dr. Tedd Mitchell (25:46):

It's like driving a car. If you're driving a car five miles an hour, you can look at the pebbles on the side of the road, but if you're going 60, you'd better be looking way down the road where you're going. And it's the same thing in any type of administration anywhere. The higher you get up, the more you have to rely upon the folks that are around you. And we've got a great team of people and many of them I was able to select along the way. And you have to have confidence in what it is they're doing. And one of the hardest things in leadership is looking for the right place for that person to be. Because if you have somebody that as an institution or an organization has grown, sometimes it will grow past their capacity to do something.

Dr. Tedd Mitchell (26:32):

And when people have really good intentions and they're a good part of the family, they just need to be placed in a position where they're going to succeed. Now, there are folks that as the institution grows it grows past their capacity to do that or they don't want to do that. And then you've got to be kindhearted in the way you help them find something else to do. There's a great presentation that Jack Welch, former CEO of GE did back in 2002 for his own employees. But he drew this out a big four square grid. And so he had someone's values on one axis and they had their performance on the other. So their performance versus their value. So if you look at the folks that are the high performers, high value, they have your values, those are you A players, you want you to do anything to keep them.

Dr. Tedd Mitchell (27:24):

If you have somebody that's a low performer, low value person, hopefully they were never hired. But that's somebody that is not going to be part of the team. If you have somebody that is a high value person but they're not performing, they need remediation. They're a great team member. They're just in the wrong place. But Jack Welch said, and I agree, the most dangerous quadrant is the group of people that are the high performers, low value. So these are the folks that, Oh, he or she, they're really good at what they do in the lab or they're really good with what they do in the clinic or in the operating room. They're just kind of jerks. Well, that's the most dangerous individual you have because there's two messages. One of the messages is to them, they can get away with whatever they want as long as they're bringing in money or this or that. But the other message is to everybody else that that behavior is allowed. So by making sure that you hold people accountable that's one of the best ways I think of establishing any type of credibility with the rest of your team.

Kade Wilcox (28:33):

Something I've observed in our conversation is with a lot of the questions I've asked you, you come back to people. So is that intentional? Is that something somewhere along the way you learned about your leadership? Because you run into a lot of leaders where their leadership is about them, their leadership skills, their leadership abilities, and something I'm observing in your answers is you keep referring to other people, even when my question is about you, is that intentional? Because it seems like a really powerful thing.

Dr. Tedd Mitchell (29:01):

No, no. But if it were just about me I would not be the Chancellor of the system and I would not be the President of the University. I wouldn't have been the president at the clinic. It's one of those things that if you ever start, this is a Mark Twain quote, if ever start thinking you're a person of importance, try to order around another man's dog. And the graveyard is filled with indispensable people. So, I think that one of the things in life, if you always keep everything other person focused, because at the end of the day, I know good and well that when people want to interview me, they're not wanting to interview Tedd Mitchell, they're wanting to interview the Chancellor of Texas Tech and 20 years from now there'll be somebody else they're wanting to interview because they're the Chancellor of Texas Tech. And so I'm a steward of that position. And by the same token, if you're trying to accomplish good things for the students that you have, for the research that you're doing, for the services that you're providing, it can't be about you. And if it's about you, you're missing the boat and you're missing a huge opportunity, number one to watch how rich it is for interpersonal relationships. But number two, you're missing the boat on your ability to get things done.

Kade Wilcox (30:22):

That's good. How do you manage your energy? He just raised his coffee. That's good.

Dr. Tedd Mitchell (30:31):

If you ask my wife, my wife is far more energetic than I am. I mean, from the time we get up in the morning until the time we go to bed at night, we stay up just late enough to watch the weather report on the news and we go to bed. I think that if you enjoy what you're doing and if there is a purpose to what you're doing time flies fast. Time just goes by every day very quickly, like that. And I think that you have to be committed to what it is you're doing. Now, one of the things that we do, and we talk about this with our kids is when you finish high school, I certainly know that when I finished high school, I didn't have a clue about what I wanted to do in life.

Dr. Tedd Mitchell (31:16):

But that's the point where you have to make decisions. And so whatever it is you're doing, work it hard and you never know what that leads to in the next step. If it's worth you taking some time out of your life to do it, it's worth doing it with all of your energy. And if you take that approach with things, for us it just clips by really fast. And this whole Coronavirus thing has been really eye opening because on the one hand, it seems like just yesterday that we were talking about March Madness, on the other hand, it seems like that was 10 years now.

Kade Wilcox (31:56):

Yeah. It's crazy. How do you stay sharp? How do you stay inspired? Like how do you learn? Are you an avid reader? Do you listen to podcasts? What do you do to stay really sharp?

Kade Wilcox (32:07):

I love to read and I actually like paper books. This is terrible. Janet says that one of my best friends is someone named Amazon. So I'm constantly ordering books and things. And I like reading a variety of different things, a variety of different topics. I obviously try to get other people's perspective on business ideas or on leadership ideas or things of that nature. But I enjoy reading and I would say that of all the things that I do outside of work, that's the last thing I do at night, I'll be reading a book before I go to bed. And so for me, that's the way I keep up. I do listen to a lot of podcasts and things when I'm working out, if I'm working out by myself. But with Janet, when we walk in the morning, obviously I'm not listening to a podcast.

Kade Wilcox (32:55):

Listening to the boss.

Dr. Tedd Mitchell (32:59):

I've got a workout place in our barn in the back. And when I'm out there what I do is I zone out and I have a lot of old seventies rock and roll.

Kade Wilcox (33:06):

Alright. That's great. Alright this is my last question for you, I always enjoy asking this question. If you could speak to your younger self, think when you're 20 or 30, what advice would you give yourself based on what you know now?

Dr. Tedd Mitchell (33:18):

If I could speak to myself back at that age I would have told myself you're going to excell at the things you put time and energy into, and those things that are going to be your regrets later in life are not other people's fault. They're your own. And when I think back on my own life, those areas of my life, both professionally and personally and everything else where I really excelled and did well, it was because I paid attention to it. And those areas where I didn't succeed at something while at the time I may have complained about it, in reality, and in retrospect, at the end of the day, it wasn't a coach's fault, it was me. I was not willing to put in the time and effort. And so if I were speaking to my younger self and said, this is the lesson you need to know. The other thing is my mother died when I was in my thirties and if I could talk to my younger self, as a parent now I know what it is like when your kids come home and they immediately want to go spend time with their friends. And I was guilty of that too. And I would have taken a few more evenings that I would have stayed at home with my mom and my dad and had supper with them before I took off with my buddies.

Kade Wilcox (34:44):

That's good. Yeah. Thank you for your time. There's so many things you could be doing with it right now and that you chose to be here with us means a lot to me, so thanks for being a part of this.

Dr. Tedd Mitchell (34:55):

Sure, thanks for having me. I enjoyed it.



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