At a critical point in the game, you pass the ball to an emerging leader because you know he or she has the confidence to make things happen. This is as important for Jimmy Chitwood in the movie Hoosiers (above) as it is for one of our own resident Hoosiers here at Protiviti, Mr. Matthew Beachnau (below).
“At its core, leadership is setting a good example for others and then following through with encouragement,” says Matt, a Manager in our Indianapolis office, when asked about his view of leadership. He should know — Matt was recently selected by Internal Auditor magazine as an Emerging Leader in the field of internal audit. Each year the magazine selects 15 professionals that represent the future of internal audit and its evolving role in organizations. In addition to their subject matter expertise, recipients make a lasting impact on the development of those around them and maintain a culture of growth and innovation. See the full article here.
Matt started at Protiviti as an intern in the summer of 2009, while still a student at Indiana University. Since graduating and returning to Protiviti full-time in 2010, Matt has continued to achieve new levels of success. As of September, he’s also a brand new dad to an adorable baby boy. In between providing for his clients and family, we had a chance to catch up with Matt to ask him some questions:
Q: How does it feel being named one of Internal Auditor’s Emerging Leaders? Has it changed anything in your life?
A: More than anything, it was an honor to be nominated by the local Indianapolis leadership. I was very proud to represent Protiviti during the nomination process and then make the final list as an emerging leader in the internal audit profession. It really means a lot to be recognized to such a degree by my colleagues, and it is humbling to receive any sort of title like this one. Now, I just hope to live up to it. Rather than 15 minutes, I think my 2 minutes of fame are up at this point… I still take the garbage out at home.
Q: What are some of your core beliefs or principles that you attribute to driving your success?
A: I try to approach every day as a new challenge or opportunity even if things aren’t going as planned. Whether it is a fire drill that morning changing my outlook for the day or something larger impacting my year, I can take value from the successes or improvement opportunities made available to me. I set short and long-term goals, and then treat everything with a positive outlook and maintain a good attitude throughout the execution. I hope that my teams pick up on those values, and we continue to succeed together.
Q: In regards to those changes and providing consistent delivery, what do you look towards during the hardest times in your career?
A: I look to my growing family and keep them in the back of my mind. In addition to the joy of being a new father, we also bring new consultants and interns into the Protiviti family. It’s knowing that I am making an impact on them professionally and personally. It’s about taking pride in the great work we’ve done over the past 6 years to serve our families and clients.
Q: What does leadership mean to you?
A: At its core, leadership is setting a good example for others and then following through with encouragement. Being a leader is not as much about the individual as some may weigh; you’re only as good as the team you surround yourself with, and the amount of support you provide to your teams and projects is a reflection of your success. I spend time mentoring consultants and others on my teams. Even when it’s not formal, it’s important to go to lunch or happy hour to build on those relationships.
Q: How has that sense of leadership evolved from when you were an intern?
A: When I was an intern meeting managers and other leadership, I respected them all so much and may have put them on a pedestal. Looking back on it now, I try to live up to that image and remember that interns and consultants may have that same feeling after we work together. Therefore, it’s important to me to respect the role I have to fill and continue to work for their sake as much as mine. I want everyone on my teams to know that anyone can reach my position with the same level of work and care for the job and our clients.
Q: In regards to mentorship, what’s some of your best advice to new interns or consultants?
A: Once you graduate college you may think that the learning or classroom phase of your life is over. To some extent that may be true, because you won’t be in a physical classroom from 8:00am to 5:00pm, but that shouldn’t stop you from learning and building skills throughout your entire career. In reality, gaining and utilizing knowledge has only just begun. It’s something I always focused on through training courses and professional organizations. Try to build upon skills continuously. There was certainly an adjustment period early in my career, and there were times I had to do outside research to accomplish a project. For example, we developed an audit training course for a client to train senior members in their audit, risk, and compliance departments. There was an immense amount of material coming together, including areas where I wasn’t as familiar, which required me to learn outside the organization, but it was one of the most rewarding experiences I had at Protiviti.
Congratulations, Matt! We are all fortunate to work with you, and we look forward to your continued success!
And P.S. Go Hoosiers.