Having and Giving.

Meet Matt Perfect. In 2016, he completed the Talk on Purpose course. Over 200 people have completed this course. I often don’t get to see just what long-term benefits the course has had on the personal and professional lives of participants. So, I reached out to Matt to uncover just what’s happened for him in the last five years.

Matt is a purpose-driven businessman working on a range of projects that make a positive impact in the world. Prior to starting his business in 2014, he was working in the corporate world as a procurement professional negotiating the most cost-effective deals with suppliers for big banks and government.

Finding purpose.

Matt has always considered himself fairly purpose-driven but the course helped him to think more deeply about what it was specifically. “It was a chance to consider my own stories and experiences and how they might inform my purpose. It gave me the time and space to focus intently on it and it was a unique way to improve my public speaking skills. I’d seen many of the previous talks and was impressed with the caliber of them.”

Matt’s talk is entitled ‘Having and Giving’. It’s a message about ‘shared value’ and the importance of spending wisely. It is a recognition that the way we spend money, as individuals and corporations, can either positively or negatively impact society. So the essence of the talk is that we can ‘have and give’ with the same dollar.

Matt’s Purpose: Doing deals that matter.

Matt found a common thread to weave through the range of diverse projects he’s taken on over the years. His purpose is ‘doing deals that matter’. He’s been able to work on that, not just in a procurement sense, but in working with social entrepreneurs and others doing business with purpose. He helps negotiate with stakeholders and customers and do deals that make a difference in the world.

I’m intrigued as to what ‘doing deals that matter’ means. “Negotiation was a business skill in my corporate role. It was core for procurement people. A lot of the impact we have in the world is through our negotiations, whether that’s with our partner and children over dinner, or the negotiations we have with work colleagues or people we do business with. And of course, a lot of our negotiations are with ourselves.”

“So, ‘doing deals that matter’ is about linking those transactions we do every day, through our purpose. We manifest the impact we want to have in the world through the way we negotiate with others.”

How did the course help?

“Clarity. I had the time and tools to dig into who I was, the experiences that shaped my life, and the lessons I learnt from my parents. Also I could identify the moments where my conscience was pricked, like the one with my daughter that I share in the beginning of my talk. I had an increasing awareness of my changing values and how they were being compromised at work.”

For Matt, the course was all about sense-making and being able to bring everything he was thinking together in a structured, disciplined yet supported way. “Everything I wrote and said in my Talk on Purpose came from my own self-exploration. No one gave me the script. I came up with it myself, but the scripting process and the coaching was invaluable. I found an anchor and from there could determine what would be included in the talk, and what wouldn’t.”

A public graduation night.

Talk on Purpose culminates in a graduation night where the talks are shared with a live audience and professionally filmed. In my experience, this kind of deep work can take a lifetime, so the course compresses it all into a time frame with a deadline. Knowing you’ll be on stage delivering a talk really focuses people. It makes you do the hard work that perhaps you’ve been avoiding for years.

“Going through the course with other people, brought us really close together. The graduation event was really celebratory and a lot of fun. Even though we’d seen each other’s talks throughout the course, being on stage with a live audience takes it to another level.”

It works for any team needing connection and cohesion.

Talk on Purpose truly works for any team with a will to articulate their purpose and discover the stories that make the purpose real. “This course would be great for any team. It opens up a whole different dynamic that you don’t usually get to explore with your co-workers. It brings you closer together. It gives you insights into each other that you just wouldn’t get through the course of day-to-day work.”

There are many leadership courses on offer today so how is this one different? “There is something extremely unique in the course process. It’s a very supportive environment and it encourages you to be the best version of yourself. The skills of writing, storytelling and public speaking are invaluable. You learn how to give feedback in a supportive and encouraging way. You can’t help but take those skills back into your everyday work,” ends Matt.

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