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At the Office

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  • Writer's pictureAndrew Olsen

“You cannot discover new oceans unless you have the courage to lose sight of the shore”.

A quick chat with Matt Taylor, Director of Heart HR...

Too often we swim along the surface in our professional careers, engagements, meetings and phone calls but rarely do we get to really understand the person we sit across the table from. Today I had a chat with Matt Taylor, of Heart HR, long-time resident of Australia and the Hunter but originally haling from England. When he is not working, he loves to cycle… a lot.

How did you come up with the idea for your business?

I have been thinking of setting up on my own for some time now that would leverage my experience in general and HR management and turn it into something I could call my own. A dear friend encouraged me to take the leap and set me on my way. Early days but I’m confident I’ve made the right decision.

Who have been your strongest influences in life?

There have been a few strong influences in my life, starting with my parents. They provided a strong and stable family life and instilled the core values that have not changed over time. I have also had several leaders who have influenced and shaped my professional life. My first manager was able to create strong leadership while being very personable and down to earth. This showed that leadership is not just about what people do but also how they make you feel.

What led you to your career?

I have held several management positions both in the UK and in Australia that covered most management accountabilities. However, it was always the people-focussed roles that drove my enthusiasm and so I have gravitated to creating a business where I can be passionate about people and encourage them to bring their best selves to their professional lives.

How would friends and acquaintances describe you?

This is difficult to answer because it’s not something I usually ask but I would say, friendly and approachable, a good listener, trustworthy and knowledgeable with a willingness to keep growing and learning.

What are you most proud of accomplishing?

There are a couple of things that spring to mind. Firstly, the decision to emigrate to Australia over 20 years ago. Looking back the challenges and risks of setting off on this adventure have been rewarding and life changing. I am also proud of completing my MBA through the University of Newcastle while working full-time. This qualification has helped me to progress my career and be recognised in having a broad understanding of management.

What would you do differently if you had a chance?

I would tell my younger self to take more chances when they are presented and be more willing to take risks in advancing my career or furthering my experiences.

Describe a life changing experience you had.

During my 3rd year at University, I had an opportunity to go into the workforce to gain experience while still a student. It was known as a “sandwich placement” where we could insert a year of experience into our degree program. I chose to volunteer for a year with the US Forest Service based in the heart of the Pacific Northwest in the US. It was a life changing experience. As a nervous and unworldly 20-year-old, I recall looking at an in-flight magazine as it left the airport heading for the US and read a line that said, “You cannot discover new oceans unless you have the courage to lose sight of the shore”. This helped me through this experience as I looked forward to discovering new experiences and forging friendships while miles away from the comfort of what was familiar. #ucaas #hr #hearthr #donnabrook #ringcentral

Learn more about Matt and Heart HR here

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