Dublin-Worthington News Stories

Member Spotlight: Matt Greeson

Friday, June 11, 2021 By: Paul J. Cynkar

Advancing the Leadership Mindset 
Finding Success in the Success of Others 

This is another in a series of member profiles based on discovery interview questions that were designed to get an up close view of the traits and strengths of some of the members who provide leadership to this organization. 

Membership Spotlight: Matt Greeson 
Ethical and Composed/Team and Consensus Builder 

Tell us about yourself.  Give us three facts that include information about your family, your career and your pastimes. 

My journey has taken me from Charleston, West Virginia to Little Rock, Arkansas to Ormond Beach, Florida Deland, Florida (between Orlando and Daytona) and thirteen years ago (2007) to Worthington, Ohio. My dad was a city planner in Charleston then in Little Rock.  He ran a regional Council of Governments in Florida.  (That should explain part of my journey.) My mother was an educator.  My wife is from Marietta, Ohio.  She is a third grade teacher at Worthington Estates. We have two kids in high school, one at Linworth and the other at TWHS.  I am Worthington’s city manager, and with my team, serve and try to shape our community to make a lasting impact.  My kids participate in field hockey, track, swimming and water polo so they take up most of my free time.  I also like to bike and I have participated in Pelatonia. 

How long have you belonged to Rotary?  What’s the best thing about membership? 

I was first active in Rotary when I was in Deland, Florida and now for over fifteen years.  Rotary engages a diverse group of people in a variety of professions.  I love the camaraderie and enjoy participating in service projects when I can.  It connects me to different people and avenues of service than I may otherwise might be exposed to. The Four Way Test provides a positive structure for membership as well as personal and professional relationships.  This aligns with my personal values and commitment to ethics and professionalism in government. Today I am looking forward to getting back to in-person meetings.  

As you look back on your life and your career, where and when did you have the biggest impact on others?  Who was impacted and how?  

Participation in local government is a great fit for me.  I started my local government career as an ocean rescue lifeguard.  Local government gives me the opportunity to do something that improves the quality of life in the community.  Leadership is not about me.  I most enjoy putting together effective teams who collectively make an impact. 

As you look back, which of the opportunities you’ve had has been the most fulfilling to you personally?  Why? 

It has to be participation in local government.  Beyond the good fit, I like the people, the mission and the culture.  Every day is different, every day provides some challenge.  In twenty-five years I have never been bored!  Cities are the keepers of the whole and provide a wide array of services people rely on every single day from police, fire and EMTs, recreation, land use, zoning to picking up trash on Friday.  But, the relationships I have been able to develop have been the most fulfilling. 

Describe the most challenging project you’ve ever worked on.  What was your role?  What was the result?  What did you learn? 

It’s hard to pinpoint just one challenge.  I have had the opportunity to work during critical events like hurricanes, wildfires, tornadoes and the 2000 election recount.  I have always enjoyed seeing communities rise to the challenge those events present. Land and labor disputes, where there is significant disagreement and emotion and which require the ability to navigate to consensus, are the toughest.  Did I mention these are often highly political too? 

What are some things you are passionate about?  What really excites you? What gets your adrenalin flowing?  What makes your heart sing?  

My family would top the list of things I’m passionate about.  Beyond that I love working with people.  I enjoy creating or being part of cohesive teams that get along and get things done.  I love seeing people learn, grow and succeed.   

What are you especially skilled at?  What is something that others often tell you that they think makes you stand out? 

An erstwhile critic once said that equanimity is one of my strengths.  They observed that I don’t get easily rattled and I stay calm under pressure.  I’ll accept that.  In addition, I don’t take things personally.  I strive to contribute to consensus. I feel like I am good at identifying the best people and the best in people. 

When you have a moment to sit back and think (dream) about your future, what do you think about?  What things would you like to do in your life that you haven’t gotten around to yet?  Is there something else you would like to accomplish? 

I envision always being involved in some type of service capacity.  I enjoy local government and the way it shapes a community and improves people’s lives.  I still feel a strong need to help people in need.  It’s an itch I still want to scratch. 

If you could choose anyone (alive or deceased) to have lunch with, who would it be? Why? 

I’d invite two people to lunch.  First would be Nelson Mandela, the former president of South Africa. I believe he was the greatest leaders and political figure of our time.  Despite the incredible injustices he faced, he was all about healing, forgiveness and pulling people together. I’d also invite my father, who passed away when I was nineteen.  There was so much more I could have learned from him.  Plus he would get a kick out of going to lunch with Nelson Mandela too. 

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