Unlabeled Leadership

017: Matt Donovan and A Glance in His Leadership Playbook

Feb. 10, 2021

On Wednesday episodes, I share leadership beliefs and unlabel terminology. I invite guests to share their expertise about small or big acts of leadership.

In Episode 17, Matt Donovan talks about how we can rethink conflict. He envisions how we can transform leadership similarly to how we have shifted to being customer-centric or learner-centric. He cautions us to find a balance between checking-in virtually and doing the work.

00:00 Prologue: The Future Looks Bright!

Matt’s GP Strategies title is fitting: Chief Learning & Innovation Officer. Whether because of his role or just because of who he is, Matt is thinking decades ahead into the future about talent development. Since I’ve known Matt, I’ve seen him astound listeners with stories of how organizations are transforming how their workforce learns. I also know Matt as a mentor for emerging professionals. Like most guests, his stewardship is extraordinary!

01:32 Part 1: A Lesson from Martial Arts

Practicing martial arts requires physical and mental discipline. Like leadership, each martial art has underlying principles. While you can learn a martial art without understanding the principles, you won’t become proficient. Matt explains a lesson he learned from his father about applying Aikido to engaging conflicting viewpoints.

07:17 Part 2: How should Leadership Shift?

To rise from good to great in product development, you need to shift from product-centric to customer-centric. In the talent-development field, the equivalent shift is from topic-centric (or content-centric) to learner-centric. With leadership, Matt believes we need to make a similar shift.

16:35 Part 3: Virtual Collaboration Overload

Matt talks about interacting and working with people virtually. When meeting, we need to figure out the balance between checking in with people and doing the work with them. Matt introduces us to Rob Cross’ concept, Collaboration Overload.

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No transcript available (future enhancement)


Episode links

Matt’s LinkedIn Profile

Matt’s bio

GP Strategies

What is Agile?

The Agile Manifesto(this site might be easier to read the manifesto)

In HBR, Rob Cross, Reb Rebele, and Adam Grant: Collaborative Overload

Gary DePaul website 


Background Music

You can find all the musical tracks at Envato Elements.

00:00 Theme music: Inspiring Uplifting Corporate by mixer_drummer

01:12 Happy Vlogger by pinkzebra

07:02 Jazz by gilv

09:51 Climbing Higher Up by jhunger

16:17 Upbeat Retro Hipster by pinkzebra

25:36 Fun and Flirty by BrownHouseMedia


Lead on!

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