Terry Tillman lives on purpose. While other people talk about pushing the edge, Terry just goes there. But it wasn't always that way. A "recovered businessman", he exchanged his Type A, entrepreneurial workaholic behavior for a life of service, spiritual development, coaching, facilitating the growth of individuals and organizations. He supports them to reach their goals and reconnect with their dreams. This is the focus of the professional and personal development seminars he designs and leads and the inspirational talks he gives.
Terry's life purpose is to be a scout; to be on the edge, ahead of the pack, to bring back lessons from the frontiers he's explored, and to turn his many experiences into lessons. From years of running marathons he learned to go the distance and run through the finish line. Being a pilot taught him to get a high altitude perspective on the opportunities life offers. He knows how to produce material success, but also how to detach from the world.
Every summer, he takes off his suit, turns off the electronic gear, and heads for the wilderness. There, the work and play of the 22/7 Company continues in a learning experience facilitated by a band of journeyers and adventurers who scout uncharted places inside and out. Terry’s the kind of guy who spends his time climbing two kinds of mountains. The big ones in places where the weather can change in a minute, that demand reliable ropes and gear, and promise a wild rush when you get to the top. And the other kind, the ancient mountains of hope and wonder inside the soul. In between treks, he teaches how to climb and to know the majesty of that territory within.
When the Berlin Wall came down, he went there the next day to photograph the graffiti and history, to talk to people, to find out what mattered to them, to touch the rubble that had been a prison. He brought back photographs and stories about hope and possibilities, about winning a life of freedom. His best-selling book and photojournalistic essay, “The Writings on the Wall”, tells the story.
Terry makes his own rules, like in the very early 1990s when he was invited to conduct leadership seminars in Siberia for military generals and industry bosses as Communism was falling. But the destination of Omsk (a center of Soviet military manufacturing) was a closed city, meaning residents didn’t leave and unauthorized people didn’t enter. In James Bond style, Terry smuggled himself and his team in on military cargo planes and became one of the first ten non-Russians to visit and work in Omsk in seventy four years. Participants in the seminars included Russian Generals, KGB Bosses, Political Leaders, teachers and students.
The entrepreneurial Terry creates. He's made a lot of money, lost a lot of money, and says it was an amazing ride both ways as he racked up a huge variety of experiences. He started in business at fifteen, manufacturing track hurdles with internationally famous track coach Bill Bowerman, founder of Nike. After a degree in economics and finance from Stanford University, he joined the Grammy award winning New Christy Minstrels band as their original banjo player. His business ventures after graduation in 1964 included membership in the Million Dollar Real Estate Sales Club, a real estate development and construction firm, ownership in TV stations, a satellite cable business, a mobile home sales and service company and a video production company. And in between, he found
time to be a whitewater rafting guide and a ski instructor. Today he gives seminars and talks around the world (ninety-four countries so far) for groups of 50 – 15,000 participants; produces, designs and facilitates leadership trainings for organizations and the general public; and coaches executives. Over 250,000 people have shared experiences and partnered with Terry in experiential, transformational learning.
Terry's mission is to support and mentor people in answering their call, discovering their value, and realizing their dreams. Graduates of Terry’s work gain the reference points to say, “Now I know that I can do anything!” He asks questions like, “What would you be doing in your life if you were not afraid?” “If you looked back from being ninety years old, is there anything you would regret or change?” and "Who are you and why are you here?" His clients find their answers.
Terry holds a Master’s certification in Neuro-Linguistic Programming from John Grinder, one of the founders of NLP. He’s a member of the Transformational Leadership Council (from which came the movie “The
Secret”) and one of the co-founders of the Association of Transformational Leaders Southern California. He has two grown daughters, who he says are among his best friends. He has held offices with his local Rotary Club and is active in many community and church service projects.
You can look for Terry in the movies The Answer and Discover the Gift.
He’s currently busy completing his next book, The Call.
And he still asks, “I wonder what I’m going to do when I grow up?”