Before we even get to introductions, take a second and watch Simon Sinek’s “Start with Why.”
Seriously. It’s 18 minutes long and worth every single last second. Go ahead and minimize your browser - I’ll wait down here in your task bar until you’ve watched it.
“People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.”
Wow. What a powerful message, right?
Mr. Sinek’s message alludes to the phenomenon of weighing the motivations of others above a stated message. At the risk of oversimplification, he is speaking to an idea which is quickly becoming the currency of the 21st century: authenticity. We’ve been let down so many times by misrepresentations that the thought of taking something or someone at face value is just flat out refreshing. Think about a friend you have known so long you lose the need to censor yourself. Or the employee who buys into your organization’s value proposition and champions the cause to others.
Authenticity is a wonderful thing when it happens, but it cannot happen without some small element of risk. To truly know and be known by others, there must be vulnerability. There must be honesty. And there must be trust that others will take your message as it was intended.
In that vein, I’d like to introduce myself, authentically.
My name is Matthew Egan McCombs. I prefer Matt, though I believe Matthew sounds a bit more professional. I have lived most of my life in Texas, though I was born in Little Rock. I went to school at the University of North Texas to get a graduate degree in history in order to teach, realized that I didn’t want to teach, and somehow ended up two years later with an MPA from a top notch program (#8! Go Mean Green!).
I’m a high-I, ENFP, Social-Conceptual Virgo-Libra cusp with a moderate case of ADHD and a situationally inconvenient need for fairness and equity. I am a visual and tactile-kinesthetic learner, and overwhelmingly prefer email to the telephone. I am technically a millennial, but my birth year is often used as the dividing line between generation X and Y, so I share qualities of both.
I love big-picture thinking, and nothing gives me greater joy than helping to enable the success of others. I appreciate details; I’m just not sure how much they appreciate me. I do not know how I would function if I couldn’t organize my life via the miracle of Microsoft Outlook.
I love computers, and feel the same way about overclocking processors and stacking RAM that most guys do about horsepower and torque. I am a known gamer, and enjoy everything from d20s to MMOs. I write for gomeangreen.com as a blogger and contributing columnist, covering mostly UNT football.
And I absolutely love my career in local government management.
I am likewise thrilled to have the opportunity to blog the 2013 ICMA conference from my perspective as an early career local government professional. While I am not a complete rookie (I have attended prior conferences in Milwaukee and Pittsburgh), I hope to convey to readers a sense of how the sessions, speakers, topics, and overall experience are felt and interpreted. My thoughts and views are, of course, my own and in no way reflect those of ICMA, the Town of Addison, Dallas County, or the State of Texas.