Raz Chorev | Socially Acceptable..
good people, Personal Branding

Thought Leader???

A couple of weeks ago I attended TEDx Sydney. I wasn’t impressed, as were other attendees. I found out that the organizer of this event, was Matt Church, the founder of Thought Leaders. I have heard a lot about Matt, and his great work, so I had great expectations when I contacted him after the event via email, with “constructive Critism”.

Here is the original email I sent on the 29th of May, a day after TEDx Sydney:


(… some introductory words…)…to be honest, I was bitterly disappointed last night’s display…

I’ve heard last night about 3 C’s : Communication, Collaboration, and Commitment.

I’d like to add another C – CONGRUENCE!  When people walk the walk, not just talk the talk.

I had enough of fat “well being” experts, poor “financial advisers” , real estate agents living in a rented apartments, etc..

If you talk about collaboration, how can you give a speech? Have an interactive workshop, or Skype conversation, or something – don’t give speeches, with no Q&A session, with no opportunity to have a say, and collaborate thoughts. This is not congruent with what you talk about.

If you’re interested in some constructive criticism, check out my blog www.razchorev.com.  I’d love to start a conversation there, and to share it with my readers (I’ll tweet about it and everything ;))

I talk about being responsive, and walk the walk. Try me (as others have) – send me an email, give me a call, contact me however you want – see how long it takes for a response.  (make sure there is a question though – I don’t respond to statements).

A day later came this well thought through and well articulated response:

Thanks Raz

Read your Blog.

All great thoughts.

To explain my role with TED.  I am the custodian for TEDx Sydney No one owns it.

Mate I live most of my  life live infront of rooms and the like. So I dont do email a lot. I say this just FYI in case you feel an online chat coming on.

Dont need any response from you but I appreciate your thinking.

All the best.

I blog a lot.


WIll reply to yours when next infront of my MAC


I’m not going to help you form an opinion on this reply. I DO want you to tell me what you think of it. (comment below).

This isn’t where it ended, though. I sent Matt a tweet a week later, encouraging him to to reply to my email, as per his last sentence. Today, he replied this:

matt church's @tweet

Is it me? Can someone please explain what I’m missing here!  I thought my message was clear:

“I’m disappointed, I expected (THIS), and I’ve received (THAT). What are you gonna do about it?”

And what’s with the “mate”? I choose my “mates” carefully (as they reflect on me). I’m not sure I want to be associated with people like that. Thought Leader? L-O-L!!

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  • http://www.newperspectives.com.au Roland Hanekroot

    right on brother…. Matt is a bit of a self-important grandstander as far as I can attest…. He needs a few less people fawning over him…
    ciao ciao

  • Zara Choy

    Was at TedxSydney and actually enjoyed Matt’s presentation for what he had to say. His grand-standing doesn’t irk me so far — I’ve only seen him speak once and have read one of his books.

    What I think of this?

    1.) Congruence ~ I absolutely agree this is a GREAT value. Great leadership definitely involves walking the walk as well as talking the talk.

    My question — do we actually know if Congruence is something Matt Church values? I did not hear that in his talk, or in the book, so I don’t know. He spoke about Communication, Collaboration and Commitment. Congruence was something you brought up — so to me that’s something important to you, which makes it YOUR value, not his. You have my absolute respect for selecting and wishing to uphold congruence as your value — you’ll make a great leader with that one! But I feel there is no need to hold him to yours. My point of view is ‘integrity’, another value I feel is important, is about being true to one’s OWN values and I don’t hold Matt to Congruence unless it’s actually one of his personal values.

    That said, it would be nice if he did facilitate or demonstrate collaboration as part of his work, since he speaks about it.

    2) Thought Leading
    He says he’s a thought leader, so perhaps by definition itself is about leading through thought, not necessarily by action??

    Anyway, his response was matter-of-fact and absolutely honest with regard to where he stands. I personally appreciate that in anyone, and definitely much prefer it over some politically correct, sweet-spew in an attempt to cover up, avoid, way-lay, sound appealing or appear ‘good’. That to me is authenticity.

    I would however really have liked to see a more direct response from him with regard to you bringing up ‘congruence’. For whatever reason (convenience? irrelevence?) he’s glossed over it despite it being your main point. He sounds busy (thinking, I would hope! And maybe speaking, as he has indicated is a lot of what he does) or just disinterested in that aspect in leadership. My question — what is the point in trying to crucify him over that? How is it constructive?

    The language choice is in my opinion just very Ozzie. Don’t quote me on this as I’m not Australian, but “Mate”, as I understand it in this context would be in the spirit of non-offense and well-intended brotherhood, not something patronising. Like ‘bro’ in Black American culture and ‘brader’ in mine.

    3) Criticism ~ no matter how constructive or well-intended, is unfortunately not always quite welcome or solicited by everyone. Timing and delivery is also key for it to be well-received. He sounds like he doesn’t have time or the inclination for this kind of feedback at this point. And it’s really a waste of time and energy to pick bones with people aren’t interested in bone-picking.

    My general sentiments — better to invest concern in what we are doing with ourselves and less over what others are doing with themselves. There’ll be a lot less drama in the world today!




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