“The further you are away from the problem, the harder it is to understand the challenges,” says Matt Cranney, Executive Vice President with M3 Insurance Solutions and LGM20 graduate. Matt says when trying to understand an issue, “proximity determines your perspective.” Matt explained his personal approach to leadership to LGM Program Director Lynn Wood and Diara Parker (LGM28) with EQT By Design as part of the LGMAA Lead from Where You Are podcast. He says his LGM experience and its emphasis on getting close to issues were pivotal in helping him gain perspective through proximity.
When you understand the issue and how it impacts the community, that’s when you’re best equipped to find where you can lead and serve. For Matt, leadership is all about influence and service. He says when you define leadership based on your influence and what you bring to the issue, that’s when you can figure out where you can have the greatest impact. Matt says people should serve out of what breaks their heart. In other words, what they are passionate about. Once they’ve determined their passion, leaders decide how to best use their time, talent and treasure to make a difference.
In some cases, impact lies in helping people when they most need it or in assisting them reach their full leadership potential.
“Leaders are people who make people in situations better. Can the Madison experience be a good experience for everyone who calls it home?” Matt asks. He says some of his most memorable leadership journeys were when he had the opportunity to walk with others during some of their darkest days. That’s when you really understand the concept of service.
“Are you a thermostat or a thermometer?” Matt asks. After all, a thermometer might measure temperature; but a thermostat can adapt the environment. Leaders must be willing to set the culture and tone and be ready to listen and engage. Then they’ll be a thermostat rather than a thermometer.
ABOUT MATT CRANNEY
Matt Cranney is the Executive Vice President of M3 Insurance Solutions. He’s a past president of the Professional Insurance Agents of Wisconsin (PIA of WI). Matt has been an active leader and supporter of United Way of Dane County. He is a Past President of the United Way Key Club Council. A native of Scotland, Matt moved to the U.S. approximately 17 years ago. Matt uses his passion and soccer-playing experience to coach the next generation of players.