my name is Matt.
I'm so glad you stopped by to read my story.
I'm a struggling manager turned capable leader and talent optimization expert.
Over a 25-year career, my military and corporate experience helped me become a successful software product executive.
In 2020, I hit a wall.
I began asking myself the BIG questions:
🤔 Who am I really?
🤔 Where do I fit in?
🤔 What difference am I making in the world?
I decided that I needed to look to the past in order to move forward.
I embraced an enlightened leadership style—one inspired by ancient wisdom traditions yet uniquely suited to our modern world of work.
As a result:
🪶 I feel a sense of lightness in my leadership.
⚡ My energy levels have increased.
💗 I’ve fallen in love with my work again.
🤗 My relationships are deeper.
💪 My influence is stronger.
💰 I’m earning more than ever.
🦸 I’ve learned to let go of fear and self-doubt.
🧘 I’m at peace knowing all my problems are workable.
Since making this shift, I’ve been sharing my insights and experiences with other aspiring leaders.
My mission is to help us liberate ourselves from outdated attitudes and behaviors that hold us back from our true potential.
When working with organizations, I partner with HR Leaders, Executives, and Team Leaders who seek to help their leaders—and themselves—embody an enlightened leadership approach.
Together, we’re changing our world of work for the better.
If you want to learn more about how I did this (and how you can too):
📖 Read my new book “Expand the Circle”
🎧 Listen to my “Lead the People” podcast
📣 Invite me to speak to your team, company, or audience
Or reach out for a chat through my contact form or LinkedIn. I'm always happy to talk.
So, how can I be of service?
My Origin Story
My Call to Serve
From a very early age, I knew I wanted to serve in the U.S. Marine Corps. I’m not a particularly militant chap, but I felt that I had something to prove to myself and to the world. I wanted to challenge myself by becoming a part of the toughest and most elite fighting force I knew.
- I served 6 years as an Arabic Linguist and Reconnaissance Marine.
- My graduation from Boot Camp in San Diego, California was the proudest day of my life.
- I spent 67 weeks at the Defense Language Institute in Monterey, California learning the Arabic alphabet, vocabulary, grammar, and culture.
- I was stationed at Goodfellow Air Force Base in San Angelo, Texas for a quick bit of cryptography training.
- My fleet assignment was to Camp LeJeune, North Carolina.
Graduation Day | Marine Recruit Depot, San Diego, CA
When I reached Camp Lejeune, I still had something to prove, so I volunteered to join a type of special forces unit called Radio Reconnaissance. Part of my tryout included humping an 80-pound rucksack over a distance of 10 miles. I completed the trial in the allotted time, and I thought my chest would burst with pride and excitement. Never mind that the bottoms of both my feet had blistered off in the process.
- To prepare for future deployments, I was assigned to Fort Benning, Georgia for jump school.
- I was then assigned to New Brunswick, Maine for SERE school which stands for Survive, Evade, Resist, Escape. (Yes, there is training for those servicemen and servicewomen who may become Prisoners of War, and yes, Maine is beautiful even when you’re being chased across a mountain by baddies who want to capture and interrogate you.)
- I was assigned to the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU).
- I was stationed aboard the U.S.S. Inchon and headed across the Atlantic and straight to the Red Sea. Our destination was Mogadishu, Somalia.
- I had earned the lifelong title of Marine, I was serving with an elite team of Recon Marines, and I was heavily armed. Mission accomplished.
- Later deployments included serving aboard the U.S.S. Trenton and the U.S.S. Kearsarge as a force in readiness off the coast of Haiti and the former Yugoslavia, respectively.
- After my two MEU deployments, I spent a year training other Marines who were preparing for their own tours overseas.
First Deployment | U.S.S. Inchon
I loved the sense of pride and accomplishment I felt as an active duty Marine serving my country. As I neared the end of my enlistment, I had traveled the world, I had married the woman of my dreams (also a Marine, but the tough kind), and I knew it was time for a new chapter in my life.
My New Path
With just over a year of active duty service remaining, I realized that I needed to transition from bullets to books. On nights and weekends, when my mates would head out for drinks, I headed to the library. As compared to my civilian counterparts, I needed to play catch-up by completing my undergraduate degree as quickly as possible.
- I used a combination of standardized tests and distance learning programs to complete my Bachelor’s degree the same month I separated from the Marines.
- My first tour in civilian life was spent at Boston University where I completed my MBA and a second Master’s degree in Management Information Systems.
- I took a job at a DotCom startup outside of Boston during the boom and the bust years.
- I rose through the ranks of software Product Management and parlayed my military experience into leadership, strategy, and business success.
- My passion for personal growth and development never left me, and I decided to enroll in a part-time program at Capella University to earn my Ph.D. in Psychology.
- I wrote a series of personal development essays which I collected in the book Goals Gone Wild!.
- My doctoral graduation (replete with robe and funny hat) was the second proudest day of my life.
Graduation Day | Capella University, Minneapolis, MN
Throughout the years full of work and studies, my lovely bride and I managed to start and raise a family. With three kids and a hectic work schedule, we’ve experienced the stresses of too little time, money, and energy. At the same time, we’ve always have had a house full of love, laughter, and stories.
- It’s tough growing up when your parents are both Marines.
- It’s even tougher when one is a self-improvement junkie.
- I love Family Meetings.
- We have a 4’ x 6’ whiteboard mounted in our kitchen in an attempt to manage our home life.
- We somehow have a dog, a cat, and a horse even though I am neither a cat person nor a horse person.
One Long Day
Along my journey, I was bitten by another mammoth goal bug. When I first learned of the IRONMAN triathlon—a 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike, 26.2-mile run—I thought to myself that there was no way I could complete that event. That hesitation scared me. At the time, I couldn’t swim the length of a pool, I didn’t own a bike, and I was a painfully slow runner.
Fast forward four years, and after a lot of hard work and training, I finished IRONMAN Couer d'Alene in August 2017. The finish line call sounded even sweeter than I had dreamt all those years.
"You're an IRONMAN, Matt!" | Couer d'Alene, ID
My Current Work
In 2013, I landed my dream job at The Predictive Index where I served in a Product role for 7+ years. I then shifted to lead the Partner Growth team where I serve hundreds of PI Certified Partners and Associates across the globe. At PI, we sincerely believe that we can change the world by creating better working environments in organizations everywhere.
I'm also known as The Godfather of Talent Optimization. I serve as the primary architect of this new discipline that aligns people strategy with business strategy to produce optimal business results. If you're interested in learning more about talent optimization, please check out the educational resources available at talentoptimization.org.
That's my story so far. Thanks for your interest in learning more about my work and my life. I would love to return the favor!
Please consider connecting with me, telling me a bit about yourself, and letting me know if I can ever be of service to you in any way.
My Brand Story
Let's Get To Work
Follow me on LinkedIn
I practically live on LinkedIn. Check out my daily inspiration, and see what I’m excited about in the world of enlightened leadership.
Listen to my podcast Lead the People
Listen in on my interviews with experts and catch my Top 3 Takeaways from each Thursday’s episode.
Read my book Expand the Circle
Learn how everything in our world of work has changed—except our leadership approach. Break free using my 5-step framework.