|(l-r) Laura Garcia, me, Marquell Smith, Gov. Pat Quinn|
When Laura Garcia called me and asked if I would speak to the group, I was humbled. I was also immediately thankful for starting this blog years ago. I feel like I have a message for leaders of all kinds, and this venue would be a great place to test it out.
However, when I realized that the other speaker during the event was the GOVERNOR OF THE STATE, well that raised the pressure a level or two.
I did not read my speech from a script, but this is what I wrote out ahead of time, and pretty much what I said:
Hi - I'm Matt Kuzma. I'm Director of Operations at GrubHub, a little tech company you may be familiar with - anyone here order from GH? - Great - keep doing it! I've been at GH 3 years, and I love my job.I serve our employees by overseeing our facilities and operations, and I get to lead special projects, like when we merge with other companies, expand into new markets, things like that.I'm excited to be here tonight, certainly honored to share a stage with the Governor, but mostly to meet you all. I'm a leader. Always have been. And I love meeting other leaders! Because leaders-- especially young progressive leaders--understand better than anyone else, that Each Person Matters.Let me tell you a little more about where I'm from, and my career so far. I grew up in Kansas. My dad and a business partner opened a few restaurants. So for all of high school, I waited tables, baked desserts, ran deliveries, counted the money, you name it.Anyone here ever work for tips?When you work for tips, you learn quickly that Each Customer Matters - you never know who the big tip will come from.After college, I ran an ACT/SAT tutoring business for Kaplan, making sales calls to parents, hiring and training tutors, and meeting with students. I learned quickly there to make all my sales calls because Each Prospect Matters.Anyone here ever work sales?You never know who the big sale will come from.After I got bitten by the politics bug, I went to grad school for urban planning at UIC and started working with some of you here on campaigns. Campaigns are very definition of this concept - Each Voter Matters, Each Donor Matters, Each Volunteer Matters.Anyone here ever work field?When you work field, 100% of your time is spent making connections with people, because you never know for sure who will turn out, who will max out in donations, and who will open a polling place on Election Day.After my candidate's loss in 2008, I decided to work non-profit for a while to take a break from the campaign grind. I was Director of Communications for the United Methodist Church for 2 years, helping local churches get the word out to their communities.Each Person Matters. That's a message they were familiar with.Finally, we get to GrubHub, a company that succeeds by adding more people and more restaurants to its networks every day. Each Customer Matters. Each Restaurant Matters.I'm a leader. Always have been. And I love meeting other leaders! Because leaders-- especially young progressive leaders--realize better than anyone else, that Each Person Matters.Each Person Matters. You matter. Thank you.