Hey brand builder, Rory Vaden here. Thank you so much for taking the time to check out this interview as always, it’s our honor to provide it to you for free and wanted to let you know there’s no big sales pitch or anything coming, uh, at the end. However, if you are someone who is looking to build and monetize your personal brand, we would love to talk to you and get to know you a little bit and hear about some of your dreams and visions and share with you a little bit about what we’re up to to see if we might be a fit. So if you’re interested in a free strategy call with someone from our team, we would love to hear from you. You can do that at brand builders, group.com/pod call brand builders, group.com/pod call. We hope to talk to you soon.
Hey everybody, this is AJ Vaden. I am one of your co-host on the influential personal brand podcast. And I’m so excited about my guest today, because not only is he an amazing expert guest, he’s also a personal friend. And as someone who’s been helping me out a lot this year with some of my own goals, which maybe you’ll get to hear a little bit about in this interview, but before we get into it, I wanna tell you why you need to stick around and listen to this interview, right? So here are three things that you want to know that should entice you to wanna stick around and listen to what Matt Mayberry has to say. Number one, we’re gonna talk about how to use all the things that you’ve gone through in your life and how you can actually use those to help you leverage success and influence in whatever you’re doing right now.
Now, I think this is really important because for most of us, there are things that we have gone through in our lives that we don’t actually talk about, but it’s those things that endear people to us. It’s those things that help us build trust, whether it’s with clients or employees or with friends and family. And by just simply embracing those things and sharing them, they not only help you build trust in the marketplace, but they actually help you build your business. So that’s number one. Uh, number two, you wanna stick around if you have any desire now or later in the future to write a book or write a second book, um, to speak consult, train, uh, right. For, uh, very, very well known publications. If any of those things are going, like, how’d you get into that? You wanna stick around for this interview and then last but not least if you or somebody who has gone through are going through or who inevitably will go through as serious life or, or career transition.
And you’re wondering like, what do I do next? This is an interview that was literally curated for you. So that’s why you wanna sticker out. And we’re gonna cover all of that. I’m like 50 minutes. So it’s gonna be, be jampacked now without further. Anddo let me give you just a little bit of background on my very special guest, Mr. Matt Mayberry. So Matt is an internationally acclaimed keynote speaker. He does leadership development. He speaks on culture change, organizational performance. He’s actually been named one of the top 30 leadership thought leaders in the world. Like that’s huge, not in America in the world. His insights have been on all of the big name brands, Forbes, Fox news business, insider NBC at ESPN. Let here learn a little bit about his background with that. Um, but more than that, like he works for huge global corporations like Phillips 66, Allstate, JP Morgan chase, uh, fifth, third bank, the FBI, like even the FBI is hiring this guy. So y’all like, give it up for Mr. Matt Mayberry. I am so excited to have you, Matt. Thank you so much for being on the show today.
Hey AJ, thank you so much for having me I’m really excited for today.
Yeah. And so here’s, so here’s what I wanna start. Cause I know that, um, many people all around the world know who you are, but there might be many people in our audience who are getting to meet you for the very first time. And I know that even in this question, I’m going to learn things about you that I did not know before this call today. So here’s where I’d like to start is just, how did you go from where you were? Right. And it’s like, I know I have the privilege of knowing that you had this opportunity to play in the NFL, right? But even prior to the NFL, you had a lot of life events leading you on a certain path and a trajectory then that got you to the NFL. Right? And I’d love for you to talk about the path to the NFL, but then you took a really stark pivot, a career change into what you’re doing now. And I’d love to know is just like, give us a little bit of your background. What got you to the NFL and then what happened there? And then tell us a little bit about what you’re doing now.
Yeah, absolutely. Thanks AJ. You know, I, I think for me, my journey to help, you know, give some context and clarity for everybody. I, I think that anytime you hear, you know, former professional athlete or even former collegiate athlete at a very high level playing division one, you know, whether that’s football or basketball, I think the first assumption is that that individual was destined from a early age that they were gonna be a professional athlete in the next LeBron James, or, you know, Brian Och or Ray Lewis. For me, that wasn’t the case. I, I, I certainly was a gifted athlete, but really starting at the age of 14 years old, I started hanging around with the wrong crowd. Um, you know, I grew up in Dar Illinois, which is a suburb of Chicago, which I live in downtown Chicago right now. But for me, my life starting really from that age on all the way up to I was, you know, really 17, 18 years old was a full blown out drug addict, two near death experiences.
My own mother, the woman that brought me into this world that I love so much has seen me do cocaine five times with her own two eyes, uh, broke my father’s ribs on multiple occasions when he would confront me about why I was coming home past curfew and, and really my best sport growing up, believe it or not was baseball. A lot of people thought that I would be drafted straight outta high school, skip college and go play in the major leagues. But I got kicked off my baseball team cuz I got caught stealing one of my teammates wallet it’s one afternoon while the rest of my team was out, you know, at practice I stayed behind because when everyone was getting dressed, I saw all this cash that was sitting in one of my teammates, wallets. And I, I stole that money cause I thought about all the drugs that I could buy and the rest is history.
I got kicked off my baseball team, uh, and, and things were really bad for me in that point in my life, uh, so much so that my high school was gonna expel me. If I didn’t go to a drug treatment facility for at least one month. And even though me or my parents or, you know, people closest to me, never thought that I would be a professional athlete, even though that people around us would always say that I had the potential to one day be that I certainly had a lot of opportunities from the high school administration because I was a gifted athlete. Uh, for example, I probably got more opportunities. Uh, second chances, third chances, fourth chances that maybe the next person wouldn’t have gotten because I did have that talent. Uh, quite frankly, they should have expelled me right then and there, you know, it, it shouldn’t have been an ultimatum where, Hey, Matt, go to this drug team facility for one month.
We’re gonna give you an opportunity to get sober and get your life in order. And maybe, maybe you’ll be able to come back to school and you still have football, right? So you can utilize that. And, and for me that was a turning point in my life because, you know, I always say that, you know, an individual can change their life. In one of two ways, they can either get inspired by some monumental event. They can get inspired by the, uh, hustle and bustle of life. They can get inspired by an audacious goal or dream that they have that’s near and dear to their heart, or they can change their life out of desperation. And for me it was desperation. Uh, this for me was really my turning point where I didn’t wanna put any more tears in my mother’s face. I, I didn’t want to experience another near death moment where my mother, father, younger brother and all my aunts and uncles and cousins were gonna be in the hospital room, thought that they were gonna lose their son, their cousin, their brother, that particular day.
And I, I remember very vividly when I went to that drug treatment facility. You know, I didn’t go to change my life, but I, I I’ll never forget the moment that changed at all. It was, I never believed any epiphanies or moments in time that could drastically alter one’s life until that moment and experience. And I came home and had the opportunity to eat dinner with my family one evening. And I has to be excused after maybe 15 minutes of sitting down at the dinner table and I went to take a shower. But the turning point for me was when I had the strength and courage for the first time, really in three years, at that point in my life to look myself directly in the mirror, I looked back and, and I, I saw just what a terrible human being. I was all the hurt that I caused and my family members, my friends, the people closest to me, my grandparents who loved me so much.
And, and for me that moment, I, I still remember it to this day. And I got goosebumps on my arms right now, talking about it, you know, for me that was the turning point that changed at all. Hmm. And I, I never believed in moments in time or epiphanies that can, that can just change it all for one person. Right. I always thought it was an accumulation of events. And for me, it was obviously there was a lot riding on that one particular moment, but it was that moment of looking myself directly in the mirror and seeing what a Demonn and terrible miserable life I was leading that really just made me go back into my room and say, okay, thi this isn’t how I wanna live the rest of my life. And I, I guess you could say from there, the rest is history.
I still had football. So I made a major goal of, I, I want to get a division one college scholarship. I want to have new friends. I wanna get rid of my drug friends. I, I quit the drug cold Turkey, continued through the drug treatment program, got faster, uh, went to college football camps. I, I think one particular summer before my, my senior year, I think I went to over 45 colleges, uh, where my father drove me all across the country, just going to their camps, meeting the different coaches. Wow. And I ended up going to Indiana, had a great career there. And then obviously I had an opportunity to play for the hometown team, the Chicago bears, uh, which I did not have the eight year, nine year NFL career that I had hoped for. And at this point it was a monumental event for me in my life because here’s the hometown kid, drug addict, overcame, you know, that period of his life, hometown, newspaper.
I mean, all my friends, family, everyone ate it up. But for me, I got hurt in a pre-season game. And what was projected was which in my eyes, I thought I was gonna have this very long fruitful career. I was gonna set my family up for success. One game, one dream, completely shattered in, in one, one moment. Uh, I was not able to come back from that injury, playing the San Diego chargers out in San Diego, California. And for me, that was my career. Um, and , you know, in that moment I was so broken because football’s a very violent sport. And even though that getting hurt in the NFL and playing a violent sport like football, I couldn’t do anything about it. I still viewed that particular event as a failure. Um, everything was riding on this moment. I finally get to this, this moment after all of this self destruction and all the failures I’ve been through. And then boom, just like that. I, I lost that dream and, uh, to make this story shorter, that’s what helped me really cultivate and, you know, just really discover my passion that I get to do now, which is travel all over the world and deliver keynote presentations and consult and advise leading organizations, particularly as it relates to leadership performance and cultural transformations.
Yeah. I mean, wow. Like that’s so crazy. Like we could spend the rest of our time today, just talking about that little part of your story. Um, but there’s two things about your story that I think are really applicable to our audience that I wanna kind of like talk about is one you’re pretty open and vulnerable and transparent about all these different things in your life. And I actually, I believe that’s probably one of the things that makes you so sought after is that it’s not about all of your successes. It’s about all the things that you’ve gone through, Phil, the failures and the successes. Right. Um, that really make you so personable and relatable. And so I’m just kind of curious for you cuz I know being in this industry and honestly just being a human being, most people don’t wanna talk about all the things that didn’t go well.
Um, because we all have them, right. I have a whole dark closet of dirty secrets that it’s not awesome to like put out there. Right. But at the same time, that really is what makes us who we are. And so I would just love to hear from you, it’s like how much of your story do you build into everything that you talk about? Why is that important to you and why do you think that helps people when they’re building their career to actually cover all the story? Not just the parts that make you look really good.
You know, that’s a fantastic question, AJ. I think for me, I had to learn the hard way. You know what I mean by that is when I did get injured in the NFL and I got asked to speak at a leadership event, you know, I, I didn’t have the really desire to do the work that I’m doing now. It wasn’t like I wrote this down on a piece of paper and said, Hey, when I’m done playing football, this is exactly what I want to do. Um, you know, for me, I got asked to speak at an event and really for the first two years of me speaking, when I knew that football wasn’t really gonna be a part of my journey moving forward, I didn’t talk about the things that I just shared. And I’ll never forget a moment where I had a mentor who knew my story kind of knew what I overcame from an early age.
And he said, why don’t you ever talk more about your struggles and all the challenges and obstacles that you had to overcome throughout the course of your life? And I said, why would I share that? Why would I share the, the, the, the darkest and deepest secrets that really only my friends and, and closest relatives knew and the, the people that were a part of that journey? Why, why, why would I talk about that stuff? And he said, watch what happens when you do mm-hmm ? And I’ll never forget the very first event I was in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. I was speaking to 500 educators. I’ll never forget where the very first time I told my story, uh, very in depth. I, I planned it a little bit rehearsed a little bit, but at the end of the day, I just shared very openly. I was so vulnerable in that moment.
And I shared my whole story. And I think for the very first time at that point for two years, I was speaking, it was one of the first times I’ve ever seen really a whole entire ballroom full of tears. And afterwards I saw the transformative effect of me sharing my story and me Bo being vulnerable as a man and, and really saying, Hey, you know, our deepest and darkest secret sometime can really be the gateway of discovery and purpose and fulfillment and passion for other people in the audience. And, you know, turning point could, because from that moment, I started to really adopt that approach of sharing more of my story, sharing more of myself. And now I know that no one wants to hear my successes and my successes are relatively small to everybody else in this space. And I, I think the big thing that does separate me is my story, my DNA of how I got to where I am, because those are the characteristics that really make me who I am. And every single person that is listening to this podcast or in the audience of a speech, even if you’re not a drug addict, everyone’s gonna lose a loved one. Everyone is, you know, experiences, divorce goes through a difficulty we’ve all experienced the past three years with COVID 19. So everybody can relate to overcoming challenges and how you coped with that. So that that’s really what I took away from being vulnerable in sharing my story, AJ.
I mean, I think that’s really, really important just to touch on again for anyone who’s listening. Um, and I just, I love what you said. It’s like, and I, I love your humility too. It’s like, actually you have pretty awesome accolades, Matt. But with that said, everyone has some sort of professional accreditation or award or something that we can talk about what we’ve done. That doesn’t really differentiate us. What really differentiates us are those unique stories that no one else has, even though they might be similar. Right? So, um, actually my best friend, my high school, best friend childhood best, friend’s been my best friend for almost 30 years, just recently got out of a 90 day, uh, rehab program. And your rehab story is very different than hers, but the point is like, it doesn’t matter what we go through. It’s like, it’s our unique take the lens in which we made it through the struggle that other people latch onto that, you know, they are like, man, it’s like, I just needed to know someone else has been there.
I just needed to know I’m not alone and feeling this way or going through what I’m going through. And it’s like, that’s really what people need more than. Let me tell you about the, you know, MBA, CSP, CPA, all the things behind our names, cuz that doesn’t really tell a story. It doesn’t really create any sort of trust or engagement as much as man. Let me just tell you my story. Let me just tell you what I’ve been through. And so my question to you and to anyone who’s listening, what I really want you to hear is how do you decide what parts of your story to include, where to include them, how to include them. And I ask for the benefit of everyone listening, because these are questions that we get from our client community at brain builders group all the time where it’s like, well, how much do I share? And or, and how, and it’s like, there’s a part of it of going, there’s the story that you tell so that you can make a point versus making it just a, you know, an autobiography on stage. And so I’d love to hear your take on how do you know what stories to tell and how do you know where to use ’em and how to use ’em to actually help somebody else?
Another great question. I, I think, you know, and again, I had to learn the hard way when I first started, it was kind of me getting on stage. And even though I was telling maybe in an emotionally charged and powerful message, it still was really about, let me tell you about Matt Mayberry mm-hmm , but obviously as time evolved, I’ve really been doing this for 11 years now. And you know, now it’s really dissecting it’s understanding who, who is the audience? You know, who am I in front of, if it’s a group of 600, you know, senior executives, right? It’s gonna be very different than me talking to 400 or 500 exec, you know, educators at, in high school. Um, you know, so for me it it’s really being able to take different bits and pieces of my story, but it all starts with the audience and, and what are the overall objectives?
So before every speaking engagement, let’s say, you know, I don’t just have two or three calls with the event, organizers. I try to have five or seven, uh, to where I’m talking to different members. I’m talking to not only the organizers that are planning that, but I want to talk to some of the attendees. I want to be able to walk in their shoes and know their challenges and kind of what they’re going through. And then I take that back and really integrate bits and pieces of that into my story. But for me, even when I’m telling my story, whether it’s overcoming the drug addiction, whether it’s getting hurt in the NFL, it’s not just me sharing you about Matt Mayberry’s journey. It’s about using that learning experience in my journey to drive home, drive home a relatable point that is really hopefully gonna be an actionable takeaway to improve their leadership or their organization or their culture or their team. So for me, that revolution probably started eight years ago, very early on when I was like, I’m just speaking about myself, even though I, I think I’m relating to people a little bit more than I was, I need to shift some things around. So for me, I, I, I think the biggest piece of advice is you have to be relentless, almost obsessive with, it’s not about you. And I know everybody says that, but you would be very, very shocked at how very few speakers actually are obsessive,
Not shocked at all.
, but because it is hard to do, it’s hard. It’s really hard to do. It’s hard. It is. But I think that you have to start there because once you start there, when you are preparing, when you are rehearsing and you are having those discovery calls, before you go to an event, you can take your message and kind of tailor it for that particular event. Uh, and you’ll know where the parts of your story are gonna be very relevant for that audience because you’ve done all the legwork. Pre-event.
I mean, I tried not to be so obvious when my mouth fell open. When you said five to seven calls, cuz it’s like, we always do a pre-event call, but I don’t think we’ve ever done five, six or seven. Like that’s extraordinary. Talk about feeling prepared and knowing the audience that you’re stepping into.
Well, it wasn’t always like that though. AJ
. I mean, that’s, that’s like, wow, that’s
Amazing. You know, for me, I think that is the, the is the consultant inside of me. And I’m sure we’ll talk a little bit about that. But I think for me, uh, the key noting at consulting kind of simultaneously feed off one another. So, but really on the keying in just the speaking side of it, if I’m just delivering a 60 minute speech, I, I think over the years, probably the past five years, the, the consultant inside of me is really cultivated where I apply that same, you know, mindset and focus to all the keynote work. So it wasn’t always like that. But within the past five years, I’ve really gotten aggressive with that.
Yeah. Well, I would love to know just because I, we do have such a strong community of people who identify as coaches, trainers, consultants, speakers, what do you do on these five to seven calls? Like, are they all the same kind of outline with just different people or what do you do on five calls?
You know, it’s it’s so it’s it’s first, the first two to three calls will be with the event. Organizers. I want to have a very firm understanding of what the event’s for, why they’re having it, what they did last year do is this an event that they have annually? Is it quarterly? I’m really getting a basic understanding. You can do that typically in one call, but I kind of like to, you’ll be very surprised if you ask the same questions in call number two, they’re gonna give you a completely different answer almost. So I, I typically like to start there with the two calls and then from there it’s meeting with different leaders of the organization. So if I’m talking with, let’s say the CEO and CEO and CFO for one of the calls call number four, five will actually be with frontline managers who are gonna be in the audience for that particular event.
Because even though the CEO and COO maybe is telling me one thing, maybe the frontline managers have a completely different challenge that senior executives don’t even have a clue about. So for me, it’s being very and thoroughly prepared about, uh, really, really, really deeply understanding what is success to them because every pre-call is gonna entail. These are our objectives, this is why we’re having the event. But if, if you take it a step further and really push for, how do you want your audience to feel when Matt Mayberry steps off stage, what do you want them to do? And what do you want them to think about? Just those three questions is a complete game changer and really gives me a framework to kind of take back and into my preparation to really deliver a speech that is very tailored for that particular audience.
That’s so good. And I think, you know, like the big takeaway that I just hear and what you’re saying is that you have to get to know your audience and that doesn’t matter if you’re a speaker consultant executive. It’s like if you’re, you know, an employer, right, your audience is your employees. I think that’s a really great reminder for this very interesting time that we are living in and working in right now. It’s like, when you better get to know your audience, cuz if you’re not somebody else’s and they’re doing it fast.
Absolutely. And I learned that very on, you know, because people do have more inspiring stories than me. Uh, there are people who have way more business experience than me. There’s plenty of people who run more successful businesses than me. So I had to realize, you know, what is my uniqueness? What is my uniqueness? And how can I exploit that, uh, in the service of others is which I heard that first from your husband, uh, RO Vaden, the great RO Vaden , uh, and for me it was combining football and realizing that the same DNA, the same characteristics, the same focus to build the successful football team is the very same ingredients and framework that is needed to really drive business success and perform high at the business level. It’s combining those two, but then also integrating my story. Um, and then the preparation of being an athlete. So those four things combined really have been my kind of DNA factor moving forward.
And I love that. It’s like, it doesn’t matter what you do, it’s figuring out what your uniqueness is and then leveraging that to differentiate yourself. Like, I mean, that’s the heart of like what people are looking for to begin with. It’s like, what makes you different from the speaker last year or from, you know, the consultant next year or whatever. It’s like, what’s that it factor that makes you you, right. I love that. And I actually, I think it’s so awesome that you do so many calls and you know, like what I heard in the back of my head is like, man, this is really good sales and marketing, right? It’s like, you’re building relationships with these people. You’re getting to know their culture, right. You’re just, you’re prepping up for, how can I stay integrated into this company, into this organization long after I perform a keynote on stage
And you, I mean, that’s really it, AJ. I, I, I think this now at this point in my career, I mean, that’s really a, a keynote for me if I’m doing a keynote, uh, the, the purpose of that keynote. I mean, obviously I get compensated very well for my time delivering a keynote. I love it. I love the energy. Uh, but at the end of the day, it really is that gateway to open a relationship for deeper, more ongoing work where now, I mean, some of my clients, we’re going on four years of, of wor working and partnering together. So for me, it’s not just to have a call to understand the audience it’s to truly set that relationship open, to continually add more value and maybe even over deliver than what they’re expecting.
Absolutely. We’ve always said, uh, internally our internal moniker, uh, is that speaking is our paid prospecting.
Absolutely. Couldn’t have said it better.
Um, it’s always been our paid prospecting. There’s very few times and the in life where you have a captive audience trapped in a room forced to listen to you for an hour. So it’s like you better over deliver. And when you do, there’s a lot of benefit that can come from it. Right.
Um, so I wanna talk, so I wanna talk a little bit about what you actually talk about just because I think this is really timely for where we are in just American work culture. Um, because you talk about leadership and culture and, you know, organizational performance. And we can, I can use all these other fancy words, but like, ultimately it’s like, I would love to hear some of the conversations that you’re having with leaders, entrepreneurs, organizations, whoever it may be around how to lead right now, or how to create culture in a virtual working environment, which a lot of companies still haven’t really figured out, or just, how do you like get optimal performance out of a whole team, not just an individual, so you can take any one of those topics and go, I like that one. Uh, but I would love for you just to speak some wisdom into, you know, what you talk about for your profession, what you love talking about. Like, give us, give us some insight what’s going on out there. Why is everything crazy?
Absolutely. You know, I think one of the things for me that I, I really talk lot about now is, is humanizing leadership. And, and what I mean by that is you would be very, very surprised and shocked if you just went, walked into an organization, let’s say you’re walking into an 18,000 person organization. And you interviewed all of the direct reports for, let’s say maybe 17 leaders on the executive team. And if you sat down with those direct reports and asked them, how many times a week, a week or month are you getting one on one frequent check-ins about not only your performance, but also how you’re feeling and development opportunities to advance your career and frequent check-ins about how you’re feeling in your wellbeing. Nine times out of 10, those direct reports are gonna relay back to you that they’re either not happening at all, or they’re happening very rarely, maybe twice a year.
So for me, it’s all about humanizing leadership. I think a lot of times our first assumption is to, I need to inspire with vision. I need to lay out this strategy. We need to focus on execution and all that stuff is very much needed. I mean, there, there’s no under minimizing that, but I think the first part is, I mean, you have to humanize leadership, you have to lead with empathy. You have to be vulnerable about what people are experiencing and going through in their personal life, as well as the professional life. And I think the more you can, you can bring that humanity in, into your one-on-one interactions with your direct reports and really, really prioritize it. Uh, even before you do your strategy or go to market route. I mean, to me, that is when you really, really start to create transformational performance, uh, in a team environment.
Uh, one of the other things I talk about as it relates to culture specifically, because that type of leadership does benefit culture. Uh, but, but really one of the big things that I do in my work is lead cultural transformation. So an organization let’s say is they went through a merger five years ago and this merger has caused some cultural friction. So they’ll bring me in to kind of not only revamp and enhance their current organizational culture, but also completely define and remodel a new culture and how that ties to the performance of what that organization does. And, and one of the very first things we do is we define their culture. And what I mean by that is, again, if you ask the employees of an organization, what is your culture here? Nine times outta 10, you’re gonna get someone to rattle off the core values.
You’re gonna say, Hey, are on the website, our mission statement set that that’s not culture, right? That that’s maybe a fabric and part of culture, but culture is really behavior at scale. It’s what everybody in their organization does when the CEO is not there it’s behavior at scale. It’s how we behave, what we believe and the experience that’s created both internally and externally. So for me, it’s, it’s really helping that organization define their culture. You know, what industry are, are they in? What is their uniqueness? Who do they serve? And, and really, what do we want our organization to consist of? Like, what do we want the core of our DNA to be all about? Because once you define that culture, then you can worry and work on the behaviors, connecting the values to behaviors, right? Because having a core value is just one piece of the puzzle.
That value has to be a daily behavior that has lived across the organization. So, so really for me, those are the two of the big things that I, I talk about AJ. Uh, and then the other would be just on the job transformation. And what I mean by that is there’s so many books and articles written about leadership, let’s say, but when you look under the hood of an organization, particularly larger organizations, you’re gonna find that all of their leadership development training, everything that they do, as it relates to enhancing the performance of their managers and leaders is not related to on the job performance. Mm-hmm, , you know, there’s a big difference between watching a five, 10 minute instructional video on how to be a better leader. Mm-hmm, compared to actual on the job training, that’s gonna enhance your leadership performance. That’s gonna enhance the performance of your team and your direct reports, which in return is gonna benefit the organization at large. Oh
My gosh. I could go on so many tangents right now. Um, I’m gonna try to like brain myself in, cuz I, I could really go on a very long tangent, so, okay. I had three ahas, like three, like little epiphanies as you were talking. Um, and one of the things that I think is really important for anyone who’s listening in, to me, it doesn’t matter if you’re the CEO of a fortune 500 company or you’re a small business owner with five employees, or you’re a solo entrepreneur. Like there are elements of this that pertains to you, no matter what, or if you’re an employee stayat home mom or anything, it’s like, we all lead something. We just don’t treat it that way. But there’s something that you said about this on the job training and performance that I’ve noticed this trend in, uh, just haphazardly over the last 10 years is, you know, I left corporate consulting four years ago or it left me, I don’t know. Um, but separated from that four years ago and we started brain builders group. And one of the things that I had realized, and I’m just curious how much of this that you see is that it’s being outsourced to virtual learning and video trainings and tutorials and this whole concept of the metaverse and VR and all this stuff that removes every piece of a human element and pretty much every piece of on the job training from it.
I would love to hear your take on that.
You know, you’re, you’re absolutely right. And I think that the organizations that rely solely on outsourcing it are the ones that, you know, either will be distinct in 10, 20 years, or they’re gonna go through massive restructuring or their performance is gonna negatively be impacted dramatically in the market, uh, compared to the organizations that they do, classroom learning, they utilize zoom, they do, you know, AI, they, they have all of that that is coupled with on the job performance. And, and I think that that is the big indicator of, of really impacting and transforming the actual business performance, because that’s what we’re all in business for. I mean, unless you’re running a nonprofit, you have to be profitable. You gotta grow that profit every single year. And quite frankly, if you’re a publicly traded company, you have to also have the right perception on wall street.
And, and I, the way to do that is you have to really impact on the job. It goes back to football. You know, you don’t train to be a better football team by just watching film. You have to go to practice every single day. You have to take what you learned in the game, you know, in the film room. And then you have to apply that on the practice field, you have coaches that tell you don’t step left here. You need to make this right adjustment and go this way. And, and the same applies to leadership, same applies to business and you are right. I think one of the big misconceptions the past, you know, I would say five, 10 years has been, you know, we can spend our time better elsewhere. And my, all of my job is spent with leaders and, and executives convincing them that no training on the job needs to be your number one priority.
Yeah. I love that so much. And I just, I know that that’s been like a huge increase that we’ve doubled down on this year with our team. And one of the things that I had found is it’s like the more virtual you go, the more distracted you can become, because there’s just so many different things buying for your attention. And one of the things that we have done over the last six months is for our, you know, community director who trains, all of our strategists is we’ve stripped away every single task off of her plate, other than being with our team. Like, that’s your job. It’s like, if it’s not that it needs to go. It’s like, you know, what we used to say is like, whether you spend time with paper or you spend time with people and your job is to spend time with people and this.
Yeah. But you guys did a very key thing there. And I love, I love that. I love that so much. AJ is you said, you know, we, we took all the things off of her plate. You know, she had to focus on that one priority and that’s, that’s the number one thing that most organizations do, uh, that, that really inhibits their performance and really declines the, you know, the growth that they’re looking for, because they’ll tell their managers and their leaders that we want you to be in the market, coaching your people more, but we’re just gonna continually dump all of these priorities and all these things on your lap and say, they have to be done by next month.
, that’s what we were doing. That was us . That was us to be clear. That
Was us. It’s a lot. It’s it’s everybody. But you also learned from that and, and course corrected, which I think is very, very important.
Yeah. Well, you know, to, I think, uh, the lessons in life, it was the hard way but lessons just have to be learned the hard way as long as you learn it. Right. Um, but I love that. And I just, I think that’s just back to anyone who’s listening, it’s like, it doesn’t matter what it is that you’re doing. It’s like, you actually have to do it to be good at it. Right. I remember when we were early on in our, you know, careers speaking, um, one of our mentors, uh, Eric Chester told us constantly the only difference between a good speaker and a great speaker is a thousand speeches. Yeah. So do a thousand speeches and don’t look up until, and it was just that repetition. Right. And I think that is a lot of, you know, professional athletes in sports, right. We were, you know, just listening to, um, they, we just had this gentleman on our podcast who was one of the personal coaches for Kobe Bryant.
And he was talking about, you know, Kobe’s, uh, work ethic and discipline. And although Kobe was clearly very naturally talented, he just outworked everyone else with his workout routines. And he would start, he would do three workouts a day when others were doing one or two and he would go in at 4:00 AM. And as he was leaving, you know, the other teammates were coming in at 6:00 AM and he was already done with his first workout. And it was just that discipline of repetition creates excellence. Um, but it’s that consistency part. And it, and to me, that is just no matter what. And it’s like, you are a fairly new parent
Noah, fairly new and married. I was no, not, not, not yet.
Okay. I was like to say for some reason, I thought you guys had a new baby, but, um, I’ll just I’ll relate this to parenting. I don’t know why I thought you had a baby. Um, but it’s like, I just remember, uh, when we were in parents for the first time, so we have a five year old and a just turned three year old. So we’re still very new parents don’t get me wrong. We do not know what we’re doing. Um, the survival mode every single day, but I just remember somebody saying, just, just be there. I just be there. It’s like, you’ll figure it out. And it’s like, well, do I need to, like, what books do I need to read? And like, what classes do I need to take? But it was like that concept of like, no, a lot of this, you just have to learn it on the job. No book is going to prepare you. No class is going to prepare you for the insanity that you’ve just signed up for. It’s on the job training. You’ve got to learn it by doing it. And I think most of us today, we wanna learn it without having to actually do it.
Right. You know, I, I couldn’t agree more with you. I think that it goes back to the, kind of the, the old adage of, you know, everyone wants to achieve the dream without doing the work. And I think that at the, you know, for me, like every single year from my, my friend mutual friend that we have John Gordon, uh, you know, he wrote the book, the one, you know, one word and, and this year, my one word is process. And I think at the end of the day, I, I think one of the things that I’ve been so benefited by being an athlete for most of my life is, you know, going to the practice, just doing the daily work, going through the grind and, and understanding that it’s not even about the wins and losses. It’s about every day showing up and improving at your craft, whatever it is, you do getting a little bit better for that particular day.
And there’s two types of people. The, those that will think that that is cliche and yeah, you know, there’s, there’s a way around it. There’s a way around it. While the others, as you mentioned, Kobe Bryant, they’re doing the work and every single day, it’s about the process. It’s not even about wins or losses or increase in profit. That’s a goal. And that’s something we want to do. But at the end of the day, it’s all reverse engineering that to the present moment. And how can we maximize the process, the journey, which quite frankly, at the end of our lives is really what’s gonna matter most.
Yeah. I love that. And I just think that’s so universal and you just really can’t hear that message enough. It may be said a million times. And for most of us humans, we need to hear it a million times more. You just can’t hear it enough. It’s like consistency matters doing the work matters, taking shortcuts do not help you in the long run. They really suck. Um, okay. So I’m watching the clock. I’ve got two more quick things for you. And I love this conversation so much, um, culture, you said it’s like culture is just behavior at scale. And I think that’s so good. And that’s so fascinating. And so, um, two things on this. So one for anyone who’s listening without doing like a formal assessment or, you know, hiring someone like yourself, it’s like, are there any quick tips that you could give to somebody that could just take a look around? And I’m gonna say the culture of your company, the culture of your household, but it’s like, how can you see, how can you recognize the culture that is all around you that often has been created accidentally or UN unintentionally. So how do you observe culture in the way that you described it as behavior at scale?
You know, that, that’s a very interesting question. And I think culture in and of itself is very fascinating. And I think one of the reasons why is because, you know, culture, you, you can’t see it, but you can certainly feel it when you walk into an organization. yeah, it has a, that’s true. It has a dominant culture, uh, very positive, uh, team members know what the vision is. They are, they know the strategy, they know where they’re going. They know what they have to do and team members, they have great wellbeing and they’re, they’re their expectations. They know what’s required of them every single day. You feel that when you walk into that organization, when you sit in on a team meeting, you, you just feel that energy mm-hmm and vice versa. Uh, so I think one of the things, you know, that you can start, whether it’s a small business, if you only have three team members or five team members, or even, you know what, I deal with a lot of the larger to medium organizations where 19,000 to a hundred thousand people, um, you know, are the leaders and managers of that organization, are they living those values?
And then it’s also putting a behavior next to that value. That’s what a lot of organizations don’t do the very first piece to actually building a great culture and identifying, are you living up to this? Well, you can’t just have the, the word trust on your website or say that trust is the core tentative of who you are and what you do. There has to be an actual daily behavior next to that. What does trust look like in your organization or your company? What does it look like? Like very simply clarify that make a concise statement, a daily behavior that is actionable, that is related to that value. And every single month, simply it could be done survey based. It could be done, uh, an accountability, which I use scorecards where a lot of the organizations I work with the senior level executives, there’s a scorecard that’s distributed to their direct reports on asking them, is this value, is this behavior currently being lived on a monthly basis?
And then we get those results back. And it’s very fun from there because there’s some leaders that don’t like, what, what we received back from the direct reports. But I think one of the things that you can do regardless of where you are, is, are, is that being lived mm. Is that being lived and it could be even be your personal life. You know, if you have a, a value or you have a core characteristic of, of who you make, what makes you, you is that constantly being cultivated and lived. And every Sunday evening, before you start a new work week, you know, is, is this being lived in everything that I do?
Hmm. That’s so good. You know, I’m, part of this is super, um, selfish because we have our own, uh, quarterly leadership retreat coming up in a month and I’m like, write down all these exercises. This is what we’re gonna be doing this quarterly leadership retreat. Um, because I think it’s, it’s so true. It’s like core values and culture are really different and a culture is, and I love this definition. I’ve never heard that of, you know, behavior at scale. And often it’s like core values are statements that live on a website, but there aren’t really lived every day. Um, and that’s just because without intention. Right, right. Um, that’s the whole idea, like what’s the culture that you want to have versus the one that you do have and how do you start curating and creating that. And I think that’s really important, not just in a, a company perspective, but in a client company perspective too.
Right. And it’s like, you can feel it. Like I was actually, um, we have this family Bible study that we’ve committed to this year. Um, and we meet every Sunday for four hours and it’s a family Bible study. Yeah. It’s a commitment. Um, but it’s awesome. And we’re reading through the Bible together. And one of the conversations that we had just two days ago is how there are parts of the country just talking about the United States that you can feel the culture, right. It’s like, they’re, you know, it’s like, you know, Southern California has a feel to it. Absolutely. New York has a feel to it. The south has a feel to it. Um, and it’s like, I liken company culture to personal reputation. It’s like, how do people feel in your presence versus how do you want them to feel in your presence?
Absolutely. And another thing I think, as relates to, you know, culture real quick, AJ, cuz it also kind of revolves around personal reputation and, and also the work that you guys do at brand builders group is, uh, being very clear on expectations. I, I think from both a as an influencer author speaker perspective consultant, you know, stating the services and the value that you provide is very different than constantly going to your clients and your customers and your partners and asking, are you consistently, are, are these expectations being delivered? Mm-hmm and just being very upfront. I mean, it’s one of the most powerful things that I think I do is just constantly getting that feedback. And now I’m at a point where that statement is yes, but it wasn’t always that way. But the information I would give from that is just has, it was astronomical at the time.
And I think on the reverse for leaders and managers, one of the, one of the most awesome exercises that I have them do, and this is, this is a complete game changer because in healthy cultures and very positive and thriving organizational cultures managers with their direct reports, there’s very clear expectations, but most organizations you walk into, even if an employee’s been on the job for 20 years, 20 years, I see it all the time. And you ask them, Hey, in your role, your particular role where you are right now, where you’ve been for the last eight years, can you tell me that top eight biggest priorities day to day mm-hmm and they’ll write down a list and then you go to their manager and their manager, you have them write down a list of their top eight priorities. The very neat thing about that is you bring both of those lists together without E either one, knowing what was written down on each list and in very healthy cultures, those two lists will be very, very, very similar yeah. In disconnected cultures where there’s silos and there is negativity, there is no cohesion. There is not much belonging. There is no clarity about the vision and strategy there. You’re gonna have two totally different lists. Mm
That’s so good. Um, and I think if you’re not taking this as your own takeaway, you should take it. It’s like, you should do these own exercises for yourself if you’re listening. Right. And it’s like, I like literally have like a page to do items of like, you’re this little direct reports, right. I’m going, are we on the same page? Right. Because that starts to emanate in every single thing that you do within the company and then in your client relationships. Right. So, um, okay. I know we only have like three minutes. So before we wrap up, I just wanna make sure everyone, um, knows where to go if they wanna connect with you. And so if you wanna connect with Matt, the central place to connect with Matt Mayberry is to simply go to his website, which is Matt Mayberry, online.com. So Matt Mayberry, online.com. You can learn about consulting speaking. Um, he’s got an upcoming book. You definitely wanna learn about that. You can follow him on different, uh, social media platforms that Matt Mayberry online.com. So with the last couple of minutes, um, I just wanna do two quick things. Um, and then we’ll wrap this up. So one, give everyone just a 62nd preview of your second book that you’re finalizing the menu script on. So when’s it coming out? What’s it about?
Yeah. So it’ll be out February 1st, 2023. And it is called culture is the way how leaders at every level can build an organization for speed impact and excellence. I’m, I’m very excited for that book. Uh, it really dives into some huge misconceptions, a little, some of the stuff that we talked about here today, but it goes even a little bit deeper. Uh there’s case studies in that book of some of the clients that I partnered with over the years of, of taking them through actual real life, cultural transformations, the results, and also laying out a, a strategy and, and really framework that leaders and managers, regardless of your industry and your organization, how you can implement that into build a world class culture that truly as AJ talked about, feels amazing, which will help you attract top talent, but also drive significant results in the marketplace.
Mm. I love it. So culture is the way, love that title. So coming out, um, to an online store near you, what, what, February, 2023, uh, we’ll put that in the show notes, but just make sure you connect just the hub again, go to Matt Mayberry, online.com to connect with Matt and stay tuned with that. And then the very last thing I wanna do, I just thought this was so fascinating. Cause you had all these like little things in your bio and I always think it’s cool for people just to get to know you a little bit. So, um, you said that your personal interests are sports. What’s your favorite sport?
My favorite sport is football.
Okay. What’s your favorite team?
My favorite team is unfortunately the Chicago bears
Fortunate or unfortunate depending on where you live. you said reading, what’s your favorite book?
Ooh, that’s a tough one. Uh, my favorite book, uh, I will have to go off of one that I just recently read, uh, that I really, really enjoyed becoming super natural by Joe Spencer.
Oh, very good. Becoming supernatural. Okay. Love that. Um, then you put the arts. What do you mean by the arts
Just different, you know, I’m a very creative person, believe it or not, because most people don’t take former athletes. Uh, macho men is very creative, but for me, it’s just, I, I love paintings. I, I love going to art galleries. I love, uh, you know, everything about the creation process, uh, you know, going to watch comedians going to, uh, you know, just watch the mechanics of musicians for me. It’s just, I’m, I’m a huge fan of creative in the arts and, and really bringing all that creativity and innovation. And really, for me, it’s all about the energy into my own life.
I love that. All right. Last one. I know that you’re relatively newly married in the last couple of years, so I’m gonna still say that you’re a newlywed, what’s one lesson that you have learned about yourself from being married.
She is always right. , um, you know, it’s, uh, you know, that for me, it’s, uh, that is really one of them, but, uh, it, it’s also that patience, you know, and working together as a team. And I think even a lot of the stuff we talked about here today, it’s that transfers over to marriage as well. And, um, you know, I think you and RO are a shining example of that. You know, it’s, it’s built building a life together and the process, you know, let’s build a business and also do great things with our lives together.
Ah, I love that, Matt. I love talking to you. I love learning from you. Thank you so much for being on the show and thank all of you guys for listening. Stay tuned. Uh, next time for another episode on the influential personal brand. We’ll see you later.
Thank you, AJ.