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Program Details

Thursday Lunch Keynote - "Leading to Win"

Leadership is the X-factor for any organization. In the NFL, it is the difference between winning and losing. In business, leadership determines success or failure. Although every organization has people in leadership positions, that doesn’t mean that those individuals know how to lead, or that anyone is really following them. During the multi-media presentation Leading to Win, Matt Birk will break down the abstract concept of leadership and give attendees actionable strategies to implement as they work on developing their very own leadership styles. Below is a sampling of the major concepts found in the presentation Leading to Win:

  1. Why Good Leadership is so Rare
  2. Leaders are Born and Made
  3. The Role of Character in Leadership
  4. How Leadership is all about Relationships
  5. Essential Traits for Effective Leaders
  6. What Good Leadership Looks like in Action Every team has its stars, otherwise known as the “top of the roster.” Those individuals will win games for you, but it is the “bottom of the roster” that wins championships. In most organizations, the people at or near the bottom of the roster are disengaged and not really adding to the mission. They may show up, they may perform their tasks, but their focus is not your organization’s success. If you can really connect with these people, using your skills as a leader to engage and encourage them, it can transform your culture and raise your team’s performance to the next level.

Matt Birk

Special Assistant at National Football League

Super Bowl champion Matt Birk is a 15-year veteran of the National Football League, the former Director of Football Development for the National Football League, and currently serves as Special Assistant to the NFL.  A native of St. Paul, Minnesota, Matt was drafted by the Minnesota Vikings in 1998 and was a key off-season acquisition of the Baltimore Ravens in 2009.  A six-time NFL Pro Bowl Selection and two-time All Pro, Matt proved to be an undisputed leader on the field and was named the sixth smartest athlete by Sporting News.  More importantly, he has established a legacy of community service that will last far beyond his years of football. 

A graduate of Harvard University with a degree in economics, Birk is the founder and CEO of Matt Birk and Company, LLC.  He was the recipient of the 2011 Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year award for his excellence on and off the field, including his commitment to emphasizing the importance of education through his H.I.K.E. Foundation.  Established in 2002, H.I.K.E. stands for hope, inspiration, knowledge, and education, and impacts the lives of at-risk children by providing interactive programs and resources needed to guide a child though key educational transitions. 

Matt also launched the “Ready, Set, Read!” program in Baltimore-area public schools to motivate and encourage more than 100,000 students to read at home through a system of incentives.  He partnered with Scholastic to form “Read and Rise,” an initiative to join schools, families, and communities together in supporting the development of children’s literacy.   

Matt parlays his diverse experiences culled from winning championships, creating partnerships, and educating others into a memorable message that connects with attendees and transforms audiences.  He speaks to organizations across the country about the value of true inspiration, lasting leadership principles, the dynamics of teamwork, and fulfilling potential.  Clients such as 3M, Coca Cola, Northwestern Mutual Life, and Walmart have benefited from the programs Matt has presented to their teams.  He is the author of All Pro Wisdom:  The Seven Choices that Lead to Greatness, and resides in Mendota Heights, Minnesota.  Matt and his wife, Adrianna, are the proud parents of eight children.