The Monthly Leader Review Volume 1, Issue 6
June 2006

Dear Steve,

Welcome to the June issue of the Monthly Leader Review. For the month of June, I will be interviewing a true renaissance man, Matthew Hudson. I have known and worked with Matthew for a little less than a year and I am truly amazed at not only the "number of balls he can juggle" simultaneously but at the success rate in which he does so. Matthew is an entrepreneur, author, trainer, consultant, board member, volunteer - and most important to me a great resource of knowledge and friend.

Matthew's extensive experience in retail and sales training and his research into organizational behavior and culture change led him to an experiential training methodology: an emotionally engaging technology that strikes at the heart of the matter and leaves a lasting impression on participants. A recognized authority on organizational culture change and behavior, Matthew has been honored by the American Society for Training and Development and other organizations for his training innovations. He is a gifted keynote speaker on the topics of organizational culture change and corporate universities.

Matthew is a Certified Training Professional (Texas A&M University) and holds his Ph.D. in Organizational Behavior. His research and unique conclusions can be found in his book, 'Culturiffic!', which outlines the steps an organization must take to create and sustain a highly functioning service culture. To purchase a copy of Culturiffic, just click on the book below.

On a final note, Matthew is also owner of a chain of shoe stores named Big Feet Shoe Stores. To visit, Big Feet Shoe Stores website, just click on the logo below.

The June Leader Interview
  • Matthew Hudson, Entrepreneur

  • Matthew Hudson, Entrepreneur

    Steve Gavatorta: What motivates you?

    Matthew Hudson: Creating. I love to start with a whiteboard and bring an idea to fruition. I have been very blessed in my career to have done this several times. Its funny that this is the part of consulting that I do not like. Many times you are just a piece to the overall plan and you never get to "build" anything. When I was in the corporate world, if I got myself into a job that was maintenance instead of creative, then I tried to get out as fast possible.

    Steve Gavatorta: How do you motivate your clients?

    Matthew Hudson: Simple math. We live in an ATM society meaning that with today's technology, you can do everything yourself. You don't need a banker or a sales person anymore. We do everything ourselves and try to pack as much into our week as possible. We have short attention spans and are way too generous with the Ridlin. So, if you can speak in bullet points and dollar signs, you can keep people's attention and help them achieve.

    Steve Gavatorta: Describe your leadership style?

    Matthew Hudson: Hopefully, my leadership style is based on the last answer. My mentor taught me to listen first, ask a ton of questions and then lead from the "follower's" point of view. Its what Robert Greenleaf called Servant Leadership and I believe this philosophy with all my heart. It is biblical-centered and principally sound.

    Steve Gavatorta: Who do you consider a good leader/role model & why?

    Matthew Hudson: Rather than give you a name, let me describe him or her. He is passionate about other's success. She leads from the heart and not the head. He admits when he is wrong. And she has to admit it a lot because she is not afraid to get out there and take a chance. Above all, she is creative. He is quick to listen, slow to speak, slow to anger.

    Steve Gavatorta: How do you continue to lead through times of adversity?

    Matthew Hudson: This is my favorite time to lead. When adversity strikes, we look within and start to doubt. As a leader, you can keep the team focused and remind them of the person they are and not the person they are right now.

    Steve Gavatorta: During these fast paced times, how do you lead during change and ambiguity?

    Matthew Hudson: I believe a person draws the majority of their self esteem from their job. I don't believe it is supposed to be this way; it just is. With this is mind, any decision I make any action I take, I must first consider the impact on the self esteem of those involved. The old saying "Its not personal its just business" is a movie line and nothing more. It is not the way to lead or serve today. In fact, it never was. Everything is personal. Believe that and you will do everything differently. Your reports will be different. Your meetings will be different. Your career will be different.

    Steve Gavatorta: Do you have any suggested reading on Management, Motivation and/or Leadership?

    Matthew Hudson: I get asked this question a lot. I have five books I recommend. 1. The Republic by Plato. Yes, it's old and very hard to follow and stay engaged. But if you make it through, you will learn from the best negotiator (debater) of our time. 2. Why Employees Don't do what they are Supposed to Do by Ferdinand Fournies. This book taught me a lot about myself in leading and managing people. I use it all the time. 3. If you are in business, you should read The World is Flat by Thomas Friedman. It is a lot longer than it needs to be, but the case for what's coming next for our country and economy is terrific. 4. All truth is God's truth, so if you do not put the Bible on this list, you are missing out on the best principle-centered leadership story ever told. Check out James and you will know where I got my answer to question 4. and 5. Built to Last by James Collins. Most people talk about the follow up to this book Good to Great, but it's just a lot of words to me - too "college textbook." The principles in Built to Last are solid and work for any type of organization.

    Steve Gavatorta: Thanks for your time, Matt.

    Steve G

    Hello, I'm Steve Gavatorta & welcome you to the first addition of the Monthly Leader Review. I hope you enjoy the interview and find it helpful. Please feel free to forward it on to others - there is no fee for signing up. For more about me, simply click on the link below.

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