My great grandfather, Carlo Mattone and great grandmother, Caterina Deperino Mattone, left family and friends in Salerno, Italy in 1865 and arrived in New York to start a new life. My grandfather, Dominic Mattone Sr., grew up in a Catholic orphanage, St. Vincent’s in Brooklyn with his brothers, John and Vincent. The three Mattone brothers, despite their tough upbringing all became successful through hard work and sacrifice. One of Vincent’s sons, Joseph Mattone, now 87 years old (and still working) and my Dad who would have been 87 if alive today, were very close. Joseph Mattone is one of the most successful real estate lawyers in New York, who is on the Board of Trustees at St. John’s University. His sons and daughters are all successful lawyers, as well. The values of self-sacrifice and hard work along with a persevering personality and strong intellect are the cornerstone ingredients that reflect the essence and fiber of the Mattone name, and surely I was fortunate enough to have inherited these traits. My grandfather and my grandmother Madeline Regine Mattone raised 4 boys and 1 girl in Brooklyn, New York. My Dad, the late Dominic F. Mattone and my Mom, Jane were my heroes. My Dad was a highly decorated and respected career Air Force man who was known throughout the military from the enlisted ranks to the Generals, as the “Godfather” (out of respect) of the USAF. I was born in Trenton, NJ, but by family moved to Waltham, Mass., when I was 15 years old. I played basketball, baseball and football at Waltham High School and did well in school. I went on to Babson College in Wellesley, MA., and earned a BS in Management with high distinction and then earned an MS in Industrial/ Organizational Psychology with highest distinction from the University of Central Florida. I also pursued my Ph.D. in Industrial/Organizational Psychology for one year at Old Dominion University. In 1978, I married my high school sweetheart, Gayle O’Halloran Mattone. We currently reside in Heathrow, Florida. We are the proud parents of four incredible adult children and they have given us the gift of four grandchildren. Professionally, I have built two successful leadership consulting firms in my career but also was a senior partner and president of two other firms as well as a senior operating executive of a large outplacement firm. I am the author of ten books including four bestsellers and I am humbly recognized as the #1 authority on Intelligent Leadership, the world’s top executive coach, the “coach of coaches” and one of the world’s top leadership authorities and speakers. Gayle and I love all sports and are avid bicyclist’s riding 80-100 miles a week. We travel often to visit family in Virginia, South Florida and other family members who live in Boston, New York and North Carolina.
I had the opportunity to attend Oxford University in England in a junior-year abroad program. My roommate was on the basketball roster at Brown University and while I didn’t play basketball at Babson (I played baseball), I could still compete on the court. When we found out that the Oxford University Rhodes Scholar team which was made up of former US college basketball standouts who had earned prestigious Rhodes Scholarships, were having an open tryout for two open roster spots, we both tried out and made the team. We traveled Europe, played basketball and of course, did our studies. We won the European championship. It was an incredible experience to have at 20 years old.
What Do You Do at John Mattone-Global, Inc.?
I work with CEO’s and senior executive teams helping them create and sustain a truly “game-changing” leadership and talent culture that drives long-term operating success. As part of this work, I love to advise and coach CEO’s and senior executives as well speak all over the world at various leadership conferences and events. I am also very busy helping executive coaches all over the world improve their coaching skills, their brands and coaching businesses through my Intelligent Leadership Executive Coaching Certification Program. We are in the middle of franchising my leadership coaching philosophy, process and tools to enable entrepreneurs to start and grow their own lucrative leadership coaching businesses under my brand. I also teach in the EMBA Program at Florida Atlantic University and I provide my executive coaching and executive education services through various university executive education programs all over the world such as FAU, Hult (London), IMD and ZfU International Business School. I am privileged to work alongside my super-team including our Chief Relationship Officer, Nick Mattone; our Chief Development Officer, Trevor Maloney; our Chief Strategy Officer, Sean Ryan; and we have a team of valued advisers and consultants including Matthew Mattone (Operations), Paul Cortissoz (CEO Adviser), Sue Ryan, Kalpana Shanmugham and Lori Raggio (Trainers).
Who Has Had the Greatest Impact on Your Professional Development?
Many, many people. But, perhaps the late Lou Larsen who gave me my first professional job after grad school. He took a risk on a young 25 year old. My first job was with Stone and Webster Engineering Corporation in Boston. S & W back then was one of the premier architectural engineering firms in the world that designed many of our world’s power plants. I was hired as an internal management consultant working with a team of 5 other internal consultants all of whom were ivy league MBA’s and much older than me. My job was to teach many of the leadership courses to engineers and managers at our home office in Boston but also our other locations in Denver, Houston and New Jersey. Looking back on it now, Lou took a risk but he saw something in me. I loved what I did. I loved teaching and impacting much older people. I believe that my speaking and teaching style was born at S & W. I had to know that material and had to come across with passion as everyone knew I had no experience to back up my messages!
What Are Two of Your Favorite Quotes and Why?
Oscar Wilde: “Be yourself. Everyone else is taken.” This is the essence of what I coach to whether I am coaching a leader or coaching a senior team around a cultural transformation project: everyone (including the organization) has incredible gifts and strengths that need to be discovered, nurtured and unleashed. My greatest passion….why I do what I do…is in helping leaders, future leaders and organizations become the best they can be. The most successful transformations, whether we are talking about a leader or entity, must always be founded on leveraging the strengths and gifts that are unique to that leader or entity. Albert Einstein: “We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.” This is the essence of innovation and transformation in people and organizations. It defines the very need for the work we do at JMP.
Why Is There So Much Resistance to Change?
I love James O’Toole quote who so aptly characterizes resistance to change as, “the ideology of comfort and the tyranny of custom.” People associate “pleasure” with comfort. We all operate with what I call “pain/pleasure” ratios. We do what we do at a particular point in time because we associate that we are going to do is going to yield more pleasure than pain. We make a guess based on experience. Getting people (and organizations) to change and getting leaders to change won’t happen until they realize both cognitively and viscerally that there is in fact more pain associated with what they have chosen to do (comfort zone) than any other alternative that they see. So, it is important as a coach for me to help the executive see that whatever they are doing is not creating the positive results they might think they are creating. I use stakeholder feedback and multi-rater surveys to help me do this. But, you must also work with people to help them create compelling alternatives….other strategies that are winning strategies…that offer more pleasure and reward.
What Else About Me and My Family?
My incredible wife, Gayle and I just celebrated our 42nd anniversary. We have four grown children, Jared 36, Nick 33, Kristina, 30 and Matt, 27. We also have four grandchildren: Luke Dominic Mattone, Dylan John DiBisceglie, Easton Matthew Mattone, and Ava Lorraine DiBisceglie. Gayle is a senior registered nurse who throughout her career has taken her talents to the ICU, Hospice and now works as a gifted psychiatric nurse helping younger people and adolescents navigate the challenges of life. Gayle is also a two-time breast cancer survivor and truly the “pillar” of our family.