Today I am interviewing a man I’ve known personally for more than 16 years. I met Todd Kuckkahn when I was working as a recruitment coordinator for a youth mentoring program back in Madison, Wis. Todd worked across the hallway for a different agency, but we both lived in the small town of Stoughton.
Like me, Todd is a DODO, or Dad of Daughters Only, although he and his wife raised four young women. In fact, his oldest was in the same grade as my youngest, and they both played on the same basketball team, for which Todd was their coach.
All this to say that Todd and I have enjoyed a truly, mutually-beneficial relationship with each other for many years. When I first met him, Todd was raising money for a large charity. Then, his family moved a few hours north where he went to work for a school, but eventually became the executive director of the Portage County Business Council where he forged a desire to develop leaders and help professionals improve their networking skills.
After Todd turned 50, he began pursuing a new direction for his life in a way that combined his natural speaking ability with his enthusiasm for mentoring younger professionals.
He completed training and became certified by the John Maxwell Team as a motivational speaker and leadership coach. Then, he started his own company providing training to a variety of businesses and other organizations where he encourages employees to lead efforts toward meaningful engagement and building trust.
Todd admits that he has been involved in some lousy work situations as well as some really great companies. What made the difference was the amount of engagement taking place among the staff. Today, Todd is on a mission to revolutionize company culture and leadership.
He speaks at companies and works with organizations to improve interactions among people of all ages. He also helps individuals to achieve career and personal success by focusing on five core values of optimism, trust, honesty, enthusiasm and teamwork.
Todd developed a five-step roadmap to help people shift their mindset toward better opportunities. That’s something all of us over the age of 50 could benefit from doing.
Todd has been a wonderful influence on my life for decades. He is one of the most consistently up-beat, forward-thinking people I’ve ever met. His attitude is contagious and it’s no wonder his is so successful today.
But, because I have known Todd for so long, I also know that fear worked like a magnet for many years to keep him tied to his comfort zone. Yes, having four daughters to care for was a good reason to pursue the security of a job with benefits for many years.
Yet, when Todd was closing in on his 60s and his daughters were established in their own lives, he saw an opportunity to spread his wings a bit to pursue something that he had wanted to do for many years. That was to coach people to change their mindsets and jump at opportunities coming their way, as long as the opportunities were good fits for them.
Before I started Forward From 50, Todd walked me through a DISC assessment, which is a series of multiple-choice questions designed to gauge someone’s personality, strengths and weaknesses. The resulting 30-page report, which includes charts and other data, helps to identify endeavors ideally suited to someone’s strong points.
With that knowledge, Todd then guides people into creating a wheel of life that focuses on nine key elements: career, finances, heath, family and friends, romance, personal development, recreation and their contribution to society.
Todd often teaches people who are still working, but who feel unfulfilled in their jobs, to become intrapreneurs for their companies. They do that by finding something they are really passionate about and applying their unique skills and knowledge at whatever organization they work.
But, Todd can also help people over 50 who are looking to make drastic life changes to pursue things they have dreamed of doing for many years. Perhaps you have felt trapped in a situation or, worse, feel you don’t have what it would take to be successful. Either way, Todd can help guide you toward taking that all-important first step to a better life.
That’s all I have for this week’s show. If you’d like help in identifying a purpose for your life or to get help planning your next steps, I’m offering a complimentary brainstorming session to members of the Forward From 50 Facebook community. For details, connect with me on Facebook or visit www.forwardfrom50.com.
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After closing his business and enduring several painful years of uncertainty regarding what to do with his life, Greg founded Forward From 50 to help men and women over 50 to live more purposeful lives by pursuing things they are passionate about. A Wisconsin native, Greg currently lives in Arizona.