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Matt Tenney Tennessee
Matt Tenney

In January of 2001, Matt Tenney was arrested for attempting a fraud against the US government. He spent over 5 years confined to military prison as a result.

But his greatest failure became the best thing that ever happened to him. He learned how to be happy with nothing, trained as a monk for over 3 years, and devoted his life to the service of others.

After transforming his greatest failure into the most important experience of his life, Matt has had a successful career as a sales team leader, co-founded and led two non-profits, and become a trainer with the prestigious Perth Leadership Institute, whose clients include numerous Fortune 500 companies.

As an author, speaker and trainer, Matt is working to build a worldwide community of highly effective leaders who are devoted to serving and inspiring greatness in others. In 2014, he released the book Serve to Be Great: Leadership Lessons from a Prison, a Monastery, and a Boardroom. In it, he offers his life experiences and unique insights to help leaders apply the powerful principles of servant leadership. Servant leaders are not weak or timid. Motivated by the aspiration to serve, they achieve true power by empowering others to achieve excellence.


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  • Serve to Be Great: Leadership Lessons from a Prison, a Monastery and a Board Room - In this inspiring yet content-rich program, Matt Tenney introduces the power of servant leadership through his story of spending 5.5 years confined to military prison for arranging an unauthorized delivery of government funds, learning to be happy with nothing, living like a monk for over 3 years, and discovering the power of a life devoted to serving others.

    Matt will show you how to improve your capacity for servant leadership, and how that shift results in greater success as a leader as well as greater happiness. Drawing on insights from his experiences as a prisoner, monk, and social entrepreneur, as well as from some of the best workplace cultures in the world, you'll walk away with powerful ideas and tools for developing the leadership skills that result in highly engaged, highly innovative, highly successful teams.

    After attending this program, participants will have proven tools to help them:
    • Attract and retain highly talented people
    • Increase the engagement levels of team members
    • Create a team culture that delivers world-class customer service
    • Create a team culture that is highly conducive to innovation

  • Ethical Enlightenment: Insights on Ethics from a Prison, a Monastery and a Boardroom - In the age of social media, one instance of unethical behavior can tarnish a brand overnight and have devastating effects on an organization. Is there a practical, realistic approach to prevent that from happening? In this inspiring yet content-rich program, Matt Tenney introduces powerful, evidence-based tools for achieving higher levels of ethics through his story of spending 5.5 years confined to military prison for arranging an unauthorized delivery of government funds, learning to be happy with nothing, living like a monk for over 3 years, and discovering the power of a life devoted to serving others. Participants will walk away inspired to do the right thing even when it's very difficult to do so. They'll also be empowered with evidenced-based tools for consistently making the most ethical decisions and building a highly ethical culture.

    Participants will learn how to:
    • Create a highly ethical team culture
    • Apply evidence-based tools for doing the right thing in challenging situations
    • Apply evidence-based tools for removing the root cause of unethical behavior

  • Serve to Be Great: How Being Selfless Will Help You Sell the Roof Off - In this inspiring yet content-rich program, Matt Tenney introduces the power of being selfless through his story of spending 5.5 years confined to military prison for arranging an unauthorized delivery of government funds, learning to be happy with nothing, living like a monk for over 3 years, and discovering the power of a life devoted to serving others. Drawing on insights from his experiences as a prisoner, monk, sales team leader, and social entrepreneur you'll walk away with powerful ideas and tools for developing the sales skills that result in closing more sales, generating more referrals, and enjoying coming to work every day.

    After attending this program, participants will have proven tools to help them:
    • Close more sales
    • Stop selling on price
    • Generate more referrals
Serve to Be Great
Serve to Be Great: Leadership Lessons from a Prison, a Monastery and a Boardroom

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