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Brittany Jordt | December 6, 2018

ZOLL SUMMIT Keynote Speaker Series: Behind the Scenes with Matt Havens

Stop Acting Your Age! a Unique Keynote on Generational Leadership

If you’ve listened to discussions about generational issues at work, then you’ve undoubtedly been told there are four distinct generations operating side-by-side in today’s working world. You’ve then been told the differences between those four generations, and then you’ve been told (although probably not in these exact words) that you need to just deal with all these different people, because they’re not going away and they’re not going to change how they operate. If that advice suits you, fantastic.

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However, if you’ve ever been frustrated by how impossible it seems to employ four different strategies to manage four distinct generations, and if you’ve ever felt like you’re the only one who’s being asked to make any changes, then Stop Acting Your Age! is exactly what you need.

For the past decade, Matt has worked in various leadership roles at a Fortune 50 company. As a result of this experience, he has crafted a keynote presentation that addresses some of the most pressing issues today’s businesses face. Matt also comes from a line of entertainers – his father and brother both worked for years as professional stand-up comedians – and humor runs in his blood. Which is why he has also managed to craft one of the most entertaining keynote addresses you’re ever going to hear.

Q: What are you most excited about for ZOLL SUMMIT 2019?

A: Can I say everything or is that too cliché? Seriously though, what’s not to love? Between all the opportunities to connect personally and professionally, ZOLL SUMMIT 2019 is going to be amazing.

Q: You’ve presented to a variety of different organizations on leadership. What issues have you found are the same across all industries?

A: First and foremost, we don’t communicate enough. We talk “at” each other and we don’t talk “with” each other enough. We’re all struggling with this idea of generational differences and how we work together to move things forward. Every industry, every person has a story to tell and we’re all just trying to figure out how to work with each other better.

Q: What are the major differences?

A: I wouldn’t say there are tons of differences based on the industry. This issue is – at its core – about people. And people make up every industry so it’s really a universal issue we’re all dealing with. The only difference you might see based on an industry or organization is the make-up of the workforce. Some industries might have a tad younger workforce (i.e. technology) versus others which might skew older or more tenured (i.e. financial services).

Q: Why would you say that a SUMMIT attendee should definitely attend your keynote?

A: This is not your typical keynote. We’re going to make fun of Millennials, and who doesn’t like to do that?! Jokes aside, we’re going to playfully and respectfully poke fun at the different stereotypes we have about each other, but also find a solution for those differences and have some straight-forward conversation about how we can work together going forward.

Q: Is your keynote strictly beneficial to those in a leadership position or are there takeaways for non-managerial staff members as well?

A: Absolutely, this is a conversation for everyone. Whether you’re a Millennial or a Baby-Boomer, in management or not, you’ll leave the conversation having a better appreciation for why people are they way they are and what we can do to better communicate with each other.

Q: Can you share a little more of your history in business and what led you to speaking?

A: I spent over a decade in a corporate environment working for a Fortune 50 company in areas as diverse as financial services, marketing, and management. Before I was tapped for the leadership opportunities, one of my roles was helping Senior Executives tackle the issue of generational differences in the marketplace and as an employer. It was my time in this role which showcased some of the disconnect we have on the issue and I quickly discovered corporate America had a lot to learn. After taking those lessons and incorporating them into my management roles, I began to get opportunities to speak on the topic. Eventually, I leveraged some family connections in the speaking world to launch my own career and now I get the privilege to speak with audiences across the world.

Q: Why is humor such a powerful tool for delivering this message?

A: I’m a firm believer we – all of us – need to laugh a little more in life. Let’s be honest here for a moment – I’m not curing cancer with my talks. The messages I’m helping deliver are important, but it’s not necessary to bore everyone with the same statistics they’ve heard for the last 20 years. Instead I believe if I can get an audience laughing, smiling, and having a good time, then it’s more likely they’ll open up their ears and actually take the message to heart.

Q: Have you experienced “generational warfare” firsthand? What made you passionate about being part of the solution?

A: Of course – I think we all have in some fashion. I’ve got countless examples of getting placed into a box because I’m a Millennial. In most cases, people don’t mean to do it intentionally or in a malicious way. After recognizing those moments a few times early in my career, it sparked a passion to help break down those barriers and get us talking more intentionally about a solution.

In this hysterical keynote, you’ll learn a simpler way of looking at your own generational picture, and you’ll also learn how to understand, recognize, and resolve every generational issue facing today’s workforce. That’s no exaggeration; by the end of Stop Acting Your Age!, you and your colleagues will walk away with all of the knowledge you’ll need to address 100% of the generational issues you’ll face for the rest of your career. Other generational presentations focus on what people want, but Stop Acting Your Age! will tell you why everyone wants the different things they do. It’s an important distinction, and it will make implementing new solutions easier than you ever thought possible.

You can find Matt at ZOLL SUMMIT 2019. Find out more here:

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Brittany Jordt

Brittany Jordt is the Content Marketing Manager at ZOLL Data Management Products. With a background in English and a decade spent in marketing, she is passionate about creating high-quality content that educates, inspires and motivates people. She works tirelessly behind the scenes to keep the ZOLL blog and website full of exactly that, by liaising with industry experts in EMS and Fire and helping them share their knowledge and experience with ZOLL's audience.