Coach Mel Tucker Delivers Keynote: Keys to a Successful Turnaround for the Zeigler University Guest Speaker Series

Coach Mel Tucker on Keys to a Successful Turnaround

Zeigler Auto Group welcomed Michigan State University Football Coach Mel Tucker as its latest Zeigler University Speaker Series' celebrity guest. Tucker's presentation: "Keys to a Turnaround'' was delivered on Monday, March 7 at 9:00a.m. EST/8:00 a.m. CST in person at the Kalamazoo Honda Locker Room and through live streaming for the entire organization spanning four states to enjoy. Tucker, who has won Big 10 Coach of the Year awards with both Media and Coach votes, is among the top names recruited to lecture for the Zeigler University Guest Speaker Series, the dealer group's ongoing internal leadership and development program which invites entrepreneurs, athletes, innovators and leaders across different industries to share their stories and points of view with the Zeigler team.

KALAMAZOO, MICHIGAN (March 11, 2022) - Zeigler Auto Group's highly successful and long-running Zeigler University Guest Speaker Series welcomed Michigan State University Football Coach Mel Tucker on Monday, March 7, 2022. The Big 10 Coach of the Year winner presented "Keys to a Turnaround" in person at the Kalamazoo Honda Locker Room at 9:00 a.m. EST/8:00 a.m. CST.


During his session, which was also lived streamed across four different states to all Zeigler employees, Coach Tucker discussed a series of topics that came together to form the basis for keynote: Keys to a Turnaround. These included having a Relentless Mindset, a Sense of Urgency, Attention to Detail, Discipline, Communication, Connection, a No Excuses-No Explanations mindset, putting in Hard Work, having Conscious Competence and Accountability. He also spoke about the importance of Teamwork, being able to have Non-Negative/ Neutral Thinking, and the idea that Success Leaves Clues.


For Sense of Urgency, it's important to stay on deadline but to not rush, although there is a race against time, some things are worth taking a little extra time to do well the first time, over doing them badly twice. This can relate to having a Relentless Mindset, where everyone in the organization is responsible for coming together and making the puzzle pieces fit so that the organization as a whole comes out on top. His specific examples were working on recruiting the best, getting a great program that focuses on health and wellness such as the Athletic Mentors program; and continuing to provide leadership and development programs such as the Zeigler University Guest Speaker Series.

Just as important as the first two keys, is Attention to Detail. With attention to detail, it's important to stop and take the extra steps to make sure you're presentable. This can apply to different things, one example is having your shirt tucked in or your shoes tied; because how you look affects how you feel and how you perform. Likewise, your work should be presentable, taking the extra steps to make sure your work is free from errors and looks tidy will make you look more professional and inspire confidence. 

But even before you take any extra steps, finishing is important. Simply doing what you're supposed to do, the way it's supposed to be done. This is where the importance of Discipline comes in. 

Communication is always key, and over-communicating can mean the difference between assuming someone understands what is needed from them and them actually understanding exactly what you need. Jessica Rivera of Zeigler Subaru of Merrillville put it best in her reaction to the session, "the best quote I feel that relates to the success of any business is "Communication: WHO- person doing the task for accountability. WHAT -what is the task at hand. HOW -clear expectation of what the task or goals expectation is."

Of course in order to have great communication with someone genuine Connection is important. Fostering authentic relationships outside of the organization and also having an open door policy will always help with this. This is telling your team mate that you see them as a person. When this happens you are better able to communicate with them. Then there's also No Excuses. No Explanation. This part of the lecture talked about simply getting it done and not having excuses as to why it's not completed. This went into the topic of how Hard Work is essential to turning things around. When it comes to everything in life, you have to "Make practices be harder than the games," it's important to "reach deep down," and get things done so that you are prepared a

Coach Tucker also discussed Conscious Competence and Team Work, in that you have to know what brings success and failure and plan accordingly. And when failure is on the table how you hold people accountable with clear and defined roles within their job descriptions will help move the organization forward. It's also important to note that when it comes to teams, a player led team goes further than a coach led team, so it's always important for all team members to be accountable for their actions. 

There's also two important keys that focus on Non-Negative thinking and Neutral Thinking. Right now it's popular to think positively and just hope and pray things work out, this "unearned positivity" won't get you far if you aren't putting in the work. Instead, work on grounding yourself with the right tools, like books, to learn what it takes to move you forward in the best possible way. 

Finally, when you see success, it's important to pay attention, because Success Leaves Clues. See what that person or organization is doing that makes them successful, and what you can take and apply to your own strategy.

As all of these "Keys" come together, you start to see situations slowly turnaround in a positive way. Although it takes a lot of moving parts, and a lot of people working together, in the end the extra effort is always worth it. 


"'Customers do not want to pay for Average' You have to be at your best all of the time and if not, customers see it."

Mark Artibey

"No excuse. No explanation" 

"Neutral thinking is critical"

Matt Rydberg, Zeigler Subaru of Kenosha


"Make practice harder than the game."

"You have to recruit your own people every day."

 Mike Bihun

"To get what you want it's better to help people get what they want"

Laurie Myra

"Mel Tucker was a great way to kick off a Monday, reminding me to continue to stay positive and have a killer month!  A quote I took away from Mel was "'No excuses; no explanations. Find a way; get it done. You may have a good excuse but at the end of the day it doesn't matter. No one cares. Make it happen.'"   

Jessica Ray Business Development Director, Nissan of Gurnee

"A quote that stood out to me was 'Success leaves clues and they're all over.' Really stood out to me that 

if we want to have the success that others have, we can see what they did to have that success."

Titus Martin, Zeigler Subaru of Merrillville


"Discipline is an illusion of choice"

"Details are commitment to excellence"

"Consistency in performance is how you become successful"

 Kyle Faiman, GM Zeigler Subaru of Merrillville

The best quote I feel that relates to the success of any business is "Communication: WHO- person doing the task for accountability. WHAT -what is the task at hand. HOW -clear expectation of what the task or goals expectation is."

Jesse Rivera


Zeigler University is an internal leadership and development program within the Zeigler Automotive Group organization dedicated to attracting, training, and retaining the best talent in the industry. 

The program includes one-on-one mentoring, strategic recruiting; and programs such as the Zeigler University Speaker Series with past celebrity guest speaker appearances that include Grant Cardone, Bill Rancic, PJ Fleck, and more.


Zeigler Automotive Group is one of the largest privately-owned dealer groups in the U.S. with 78 franchises across 35 locations in Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, and Michigan. Vehicle brands represented include all of the domestic and the majority of the imported manufacturers.

Besides its extensive automotive portfolio, the organization owns and operates Zeigler Motorsports, an 85,000-square-foot motorsports dealership and action park, offering 19 different powersports brands, plus its own onsite restaurant: Trak Houz Bar & Grill. Additionally, Zeigler Motorsports houses the Elevate Leadership & Team Building Academy, an executive training company.

The Kalamazoo-based dealer group also owns and operates Zeigler Pre-Owned of Chicago, a Carquest Auto Parts store, three Byrider franchises, three finance companies, several insurance firms, and a leasing firm.

Founded in 1975, the organization employs over 2,300 people, ranking among the top 1% of automotive dealers in the nation with estimated annual sales of $2.2 billion for 2022. The family-owned and operated company is well known for its commitment to both customer service and employee satisfaction. Zeigler is regularly recognized as one of the Best and Brightest Companies to Work for in the Nation, also earning similar accolades in Chicago and Michigan.