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Jim Tunney, Ed.D., CSP, CPAE California
Photo of Jim Tunney

Jim Tunney has had an exemplary career in sports. A former high school coach, teacher, principal and district superintendent, he had a 40-year career in officiating football and basketball. Thirty-one of those years he was an NFL Referee working a record twenty-nine post-season games including three Super Bowls, ten NFC/AFC Championship games, six Pro Bowls and twenty-five Monday Night Games.

He officiated some of the most memorable games in NFL history, including "The Ice Bowl," "The Kick," "The 100th Bears-Packers Game," "The Snowball Game," the "Final Fumble," "The Fog Bowl" and "The Catch." His book Impartial Judgment: "The Dean of NFL Referees" Calls Pro Football As He Sees It, chronicles his NFL career.

As a Professional Speaker, he is Past President of The National Speakers Association and a Charter Member of its most prestigious group - The CPAE Speakers Hall of Fame. Jim holds every professional designation of the NSA, including the Oscar of Professional Speaking - The Cavett.

Dr. Tunney (a doctorate in Education from the University of Southern California) continues to serve his community as a Trustee of both Monterey Peninsula College and York School; where he once served as Headmaster. In 1993, he founded the Jim Tunney Youth Foundation to support local community programs that develop leadership, work skills, wellness and self-esteem in youth. He and his wife Linda live in Pebble Beach, California. They have six children and thirteen grandchildren.

As an author he has written and/or co-authored nine books: Impartial Judgment, Chicken Soup for the Sports Fan's Soul, Speaking Secrets of the Masters, You Can Do It!, Super Bowl Sunday, Insights into Excellence, Lessons in Leadership, Build a Better You and It's the Will, Not the Skill.


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  • THE POWER OF MOTIVATION: Improving Employee Enthusiasm and Resourcefulness - When thinking about how to correct self-defeating patterns, it helps to ask yourself: "What would I think of the choices I have been making if a teenager I loved were making the same ones?" We don't allow our children to adopt habits that are damaging to themselves or others. All too often, though, we are more lenient with ourselves than we would be with our children. Perhaps this is because we have the mistaken idea that self-defeat is a victimless crime. One lesson we learn from football is that the more self-discipline you apply to yourself, the better you will be and the better off those around you (crewmates, teammates, etc.) will be. That interaction works in life as well.

  • CUSTOMER CARE: Exceeding Customer Expectations Every Time - Customer service isn't enough anymore. The times have changed. The customers have changed. The minimum goal now is customer care. The drive for quality started it. As customers' dollars shrank during the recession, customers started asking a lot more questions. They would stand there reading the fine print on warranties. They would come back at you with blunt questions about financing plans. They might buy, but they couldn't be sold, at least not as readily.

  • WELLNESS: Living Every Day for Peak Performance - To sustain top performance, we must develop and maintain balance in our lives - between work and play, between the fiscal and the physical, between duty to others and duty to ourselves. In today's fragmented and pressured pace, achieving wellness - the combined condition of your physical and mental health - is often an early casualty of too many options. It takes a smart, even artful, integration of lifestyle and workstyle to create a balanced life, one that is smoothly conducted with vigor, intelligence, and individuality. If you don't take care of your mind and body, where else are you going to live?

  • LEADERSHIP: Six Essential Qualities of a Leader - Leadership begins with setting a strong example. It was Jim Tunney's job, as the NFL's most-respected referee, to be "on" for every game - alert, prepared, precise. If he expected his crew to be ready, he had to be. Organizational behavior is reflective. Just as essential; in leadership are the skills of team building. The ref can't do his job alone, nor can you. Optimum professional growth, and fiscal gain, are premised on everyone involved executing at their position, excellently, every time.

  • T*E*A*M BUILDING: Involving Everyone in the Process - Loyalty rolls on a two-way street. This truth is evident in every human relationship that grows. From childhood through job changes, to the selection of a spouse and all the choices we make that involve forming a team, trust arises as the most important issue when we hope the relationship will endure. Without trust, there is no incentive to invest our emotions and we become vulnerable to the goodwill and constancy of another.

  • HERE'S TO THE WINNERS: The Basics of Increasing Productivity - Tom Peters tells a story about Lee Iacocca that demonstrates Iacocca knows purpose and when now begins. One day Iacocca went to his chief engineer and said, "I want to add a convertible to our line." The engineer responded, "Yes sir. We can have a design ready for you in about nine months." Iacocca fired back, "No! You don't understand. I've made a decision. I want action. Take a car and saw the damn top off." Whether true or not, this story emphasizes the dispatch that should follow immediately upon naming a goal. It also highlights one of Peters' central themes about management styles: The difference between patience and purposeful impatience.
It's the Will, Not the Skill Impartial Judgment Chicken Soup for the Sports Fan's Soul
It's the Will, Not the Skill:
Principles and Philosophies of Success as Seen Through the Eyes, Mind and Heart of Herman Edwards, Head Coach of the New York Jets
Impartial Judgment: The "Dean of NFL Referees" Calls Pro Football As He Sees It Chicken Soup for the Sports Fan's Soul: Stories of Insight, Inspiration and Laughter in the World of Sport

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