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Meet Matt Cummings: Coach Interview Series [Video]

The quality and caliber of the coaches at Building Champions continues to set us apart. Our coaches are valuable and integral to our team—each one bringing decades of experience and a unique coaching style.

Get to know one of the newest additions to our coaching team, Matt Cummings! Matt not only has leadership experience, but as a Building Champions alum, he knows firsthand what it’s like to coach with us.

We’re excited for you to get to know Matt and learn about his background and coaching style. Watch his full interview below!

Video Transcript
Todd Mosetter:
Hi, and welcome to the latest installment of our Coach Interview Series. My name is Todd Mosetter. I’m an Executive Coach and Vice President here at Building Champions. And one of the things we’ve heard over the past 25 years is both the quality and caliber of our coaches set us apart.

Todd Mosetter:
We have the privilege of working with some of the best coaches in the country, and the goal of this video series is to help introduce them to you in a new way. Today, I’m excited to sit down so you can meet Matt Cummings. Matt brings a ton of experience to us and makes our entire coaching team better and I’m excited that you get a chance to meet him today. Matt, welcome.

Matt Cummings:
Thank you. Thank you. It’s good to be here. Thank you.

Todd Mosetter:
One of the things we love about our coaches is they don’t just bring the head knowledge of how to coach, they bring hands-on experience, real-world experience. They’ve sat in the seats, they’ve hired, they fired, they’ve promoted, they’ve led teams, and you have quite an impressive track record. Help us understand a little more about your experience that brought you to Building Champions.

Matt Cummings:
Sure, sure. Well, you know, I didn’t start off leading people. Of course, you know, like most people, I started off as a kind of a heads-down contributor. I was a software engineer and it wasn’t until 2012 when I actually had an opportunity to work with Building Champions and do a year of coaching where I learned a lot about myself and understood what was important to me and kind of redirected my career.

Matt Cummings:
I took a 90-degree turn and took a leap of faith to start leading people. And that’s when I really felt like I was living out a purpose. I was more fulfilled by celebrating the victories of my teammates than I ever was by celebrating my own. And I think that my career just really kind of took off after that.

Matt Cummings:
I was like on a fast track to promotion every few years and fast forward to most recently, prior to Building Champions, I was leading a global team of software engineers. I was a director of software engineering for a large consulting firm. And I realized then that I wasn’t really coaching individuals anymore. I was really focusing more on organizational leadership and strategies and budgets and a bunch of administrative overhead, but I really, really missed that one-on-one coaching.

Matt Cummings:
So that’s why, what I was really excited at the opportunity to join the coaches at Building Champions. For two reasons. One, I just got to, I got to provide others with, or hopefully provide others with the same direction—or redirection as it were—that I had back in 2012. But then also I get to do what I love the most and that’s coaching individuals and help them become better versions of themselves.

Todd Mosetter:
I love that you have a passion for doing it. Many of our coaches do, which is why you’re such a great fit. At the risk of sounding a bit stereotypical—a thought that may be in some people’s mind is you were an I.T. guy, yet you love leading people. Sometimes those concepts don’t always go hand in hand. How did you balance, you know, many of the people you lead, were going to be very technical in what they do with their approach. How did you really organize and inspire them to get great results from a leadership perspective?

Matt Cummings:
Sure. Yeah. You know, people were really sort of confused when I told them that was what I wanted to do with my life, but before I started leading and they were like, wait a minute, no, you’re an extrovert, Matt. Why would you want to be by yourself behind a computer? And it was really just because I just enjoyed solving problems and it felt like programming was a lot like using Legos and stuff.

Matt Cummings:
So, I think just having that passion for problem-solving and just understanding the vernacular and having some experience under my belt as a successful software developer, I think that that really carries a lot of weight for leading those teams that are still doing that or that they’ve made that their careers. And so I can empathize with them too and their, and their problems because I had them myself. And so I think that that was, that was probably the, one of the biggest contributors just having come from a similar background and just getting to know my team members and what they wanted to do and be better versions of themselves.

Todd Mosetter:
And not everybody would know this, but Matt loves computers and technology. Every time you talk to him, he will share a new keyboard shortcut with you to make your life even better. Matt, what is one right now? Go-To keyboard shortcut that everyone needs to know?

Matt Cummings:
Everyone. So, of course well, I’m gonna, I’m going to skip past the very familiar ones with copy and paste and stuff, but you know what, I was just reminded earlier in our conversation that, you know, the command, the command Q button will quit the Apple apps or programs just like the red X’s in the Windows machine. So, that’s one that I use probably as much as copy, cut, and paste.

Todd Mosetter:
As a newly reformed Mac guy, I’ll be using that one a lot myself. And you know, every coach comes with the same kind of set of skills, right? We’re all great listeners, ask powerful questions, but the way that we engage with our clients changes. One of the things that we love at Building Champions is we have a team of coaches. So, as we’re looking to bring on whether it’s an enterprise-wide client or an individual manager, we can fit them with the best coach for their style, both on experience and communication style. How do you think is a good way to kind of describe your overall approach and style when it comes to coaching?

Matt Cummings:
I’m very relational and I think that the connection and that understanding who you are as an individual is really kind of the foundation of a relationship for me. And I think that builds a lot of trust. And so, because I care and I want to make sure that I’m doing exactly my job as a coach that you need. And the only way I can do that is by asking a lot of questions and hearing the heart of your problems or the heart of your goals or mission and purpose. And I think that that together is really it’s just really conducive to building that relationship. And I think, I guess one word that people use to describe me personally is, is “warm” and “approachable.” So, I feel very comfortable in the conversation and it’s something I really enjoy, it gives me energy. I’m driven by that connection and relationship.

Todd Mosetter:
I love it. So, Matt, one of the things we believe in at Building Champions is that we’re lifelong learners, right? We can only give away what we possess. So, as coaches, I know we’re always on the hunt for new ideas and thoughts that make us both better coaches, as well as just better people. I think, as we were talking before, you’ve got about seven books on your nightstand, you’re working through. Well, share one or two that you’re reading right now that you are especially excited about.

Matt Cummings:
Sure. Like with a lot of the coaches and staff of Building Champions, we’re all reading Think Again, right now, which has been sort of a revolutionary way to just really approach thinking and unlearning what you thought you knew. Or at least being flexible to those ideas. Then, most recently, I started reading Zconomy by Jason Dorsey and his wife, Denise. And that’s really just about understanding Gen Z and how they’re going to change the future of business and understanding how they resonate with business and how they’re making connections. It’s also going to be really helpful for recruiting new team members or even working with them. And I have a vested interest of course, cause I’ve got two teenagers living with me right now. They’re probably shrugging off to the side over there, like, “oh no, Dad’s talking about us again.”

Todd Mosetter:
Well, as a dad, who’s got five kids, myself, four daughters, anytime I talk about them on camera makes them nervous. So, I understand where you’re coming from. We also at Building Champions, believe that better humans make better leaders. None of us like going to work with people that we don’t like, which is why one of our criteria when we bring on new coaches is we have to like you and Matt is a great guy but I want you to know him, as well. So Matt, what are one or two things that if we wanted to know who you are as a person, what excites you? What drives you? What interests you? What would you share?

Matt Cummings:
Yeah, well, love the outdoors. I love exercise and physical fitness. I think almost everybody would say that baseball is paramount in my recreation. My son plays, we follow him all over the place for his tournaments. I played in high school. I was born into, I guess, a Dodger family. My dad played for the Dodgers for nine years, in the minors. And so, my family and I spent a lot of time watching baseball. And if the Dodgers are playing, we’re watching them.

Todd Mosetter:
And not everybody knows this about you. You are a relatively, for your life, recent Chicago transplant. So, if you had to pick, are you a Cubs or a Sox?

Matt Cummings:
I’m going to have to go for the socks. It changes though. You know, it’s funny. I love the old Wrigley field vibe but there’s so many better seats. I think the new—shoot, what’s the name of the stadium now? It used to be Guaranteed Rate Field. But there’s way better seats on the Southside, I think I resonate a little bit more with the South side of Chicago. So, that blue-collar mentality. And I think they’re going to win the American League Central this year. So, go Sox.

Todd Mosetter:
A bold prediction. The good news with video is we can look back at this down the road and see if you were a wise prognosticator or not.

Todd Mosetter:
Matt, it was great to take time to know you. Matt is one of our many experienced coaches here at Building Champions. If you’d love to learn more about working with him or anyone on our team, buildingchampions.com is the place to go. You can see a listing of all of our coaches with their experience. We’re always looking for ways to serve you. So, if we can, please reach out and let us know. Until next time, thank you so much for taking time out.

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