Tye is a former hospital administrator and public healthactivist. As director of emergency medical services for the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, he was active in regional EMS planning and was the first president of the Association of Air Medical Services between 1981 and 1983. As a result of research he conducted while an MBA student at the Stanford Graduate School of Business, he founded STAT (Stop Teenage Addiction to Tobacco) in 1986. He played an important role in bringing about public policy changes to stop the illegal sale of tobacco to minors and raise public awareness of unethical cigarette advertising. He testified before congressional hearings on cigarette product placement in movies made for children and teens and was instrumental in killing the RJ Reynolds publication “Moviegoer,” a cigarette advertisement masquerading as a magazine that was given away free in movie theaters. The tobacco industry found STAT sufficiently threatening that they sent spies to the organization’s annual conferences, where they secretly and illegally tape-recorded closed sessions (14). STAT was presented the Award for Excellence for Adolescent Tobacco Prevention by the American Medical Association in 1990. Tye’s work was featured in the Pulitzer Prize winning book “Ashes to Ashes” by Richard Kluger (15).
Tye founded Values Coach in 1995. He teaches the company’s 60-module course on “The Twelve Core Action Values” and speaks on values-based leadership and cultural transformation. He is the author or coauthor of eleven books, the best known of which is “Never Fear, Never Quit” (16). His most recent book is “The Florence Prescription: From Accountability to Ownership” with his Values Coach colleague Dick Schwab (17). He is a frequent speaker and consultant for hospitals, corporations, government and education agencies, and professional associations.