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1st Year Fellow Series: Matt Clarke’s Reflections on the Qualities of Good Leadership

Tags: Fellowship

1st Year Fellow Series: Matt Clarke's Reflections on the Qualities of Good Leadership

By Matt Clarke

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I imagine myself, ten years down the road, and I’ve just gotten off work where I manage investments for a great company. I am waist deep in the South Platte river, fishing for big trout. Fishing is always my time to relax and reflect, and due to the recent promotion I imagine I’ve received at work, I begin reflecting on my leadership style. In this future vision, I oversee the financial decisions of the company, but will now be managing a larger team as well. How do I want others to view me and my leadership style in this new role?

In my first professional job at El Pomar, I already know I would like my leadership style to be described by colleagues or clients as approachable, honest, open to suggestions and team-oriented. I have learned from countless good and bad leaders in my life. What I’ve discovered from the good ones is that being open and honest with the people you are leading and allowing them to come to you with questions or concerns is vital to being an effective leader. Establishing this connection with the people you are working with is critical because it allows you to build trust. There is not a single successful leader in the world who does not have the trust of the ones they lead.   

As a leader I would hope, in my effort to succeed and grow, that I would not lose sight of these characteristics and values. I would never want to be described as selfish, untrustworthy, standoffish or dishonest. These are all attributes of a questionable character and potentially an incompetent leader. If I am approachable, honest and open to suggestions, and if I continue to value being a team player, I am confident I will become a better leader and empower those around me in the years to come.

I envision myself ten years into the future as an investment manager and a community leader, and I plan to lay the groundwork now to embody the style of leadership that can help me realize this vision.


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Matt Clarke joined El Pomar Foundation as a member of the 2020 Fellowship class. As a Fellow, Matt works on Alumni Relations, Communications, Pikes Peak Heritage Series and the Sally Beck Fund. In addition, Matt supports the Northeast region. Read more about Matt here