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Book Endorsements

  • “Matt Tenney has a clarity about the world that is remarkable. His experience and the lessons he learned need to be heard by as many people as possible.”

    Simon Sinek – Optimist and author of Start With Why and Leaders Eat Last
  • Serve to Be Great draws you in with one of the most powerful stories you’ll ever hear and offers an inspiring path to true greatness as a leader. I encourage anyone who wants to be great to read this book.”

    Jon Gordon – Bestselling author of The Energy Bus, The Carpenter, and The Seed
  • “With a gripping narrative about his journey from prisoner to monk to social entrepreneur, Matt Tenney shows how leaders can elevate those around them and make everyone better off in the process.”

    Adam Grant – Wharton professor and bestselling author of Give and Take
  • “Learn how you can be of greater service and make a bigger difference as a leader whether you have a title or not – read this book.”

    Mark Sanborn – Bestselling author of The Fred Factor and You Don’t Need a Title to Be a Leader
  • Serve to Be Great provides you with powerful tools for becoming an extraordinary leader who gets results and makes our world a better place. This inspiring book is a must-read for leaders at all levels.”

    Chade-Meng Tan – Jolly Good Fellow of Google, and New York Times bestselling author of Search Inside Yourself
  • “The insights from [Matt’s] journey and the examples he shares of truly great leaders will improve your performance, widen your perspective, and raise your leadership game.”

    Skip Prichard – CEO of OCLC and blogger at
  • Serve to Be Great is one of those rare books that is an enjoyable and inspiring read, and also quite useful for helping you and your team succeed.”

    Chip Conley – Founder and former CEO of Joie de Vivre Hotels and New York Times bestselling author of Peak and Emotional Equations
  • “This is an outstanding book full of truly powerful ideas, tools, stories, and advice. I strongly recommend you read and apply the lessons of Serve to Be Great.”

    John Spence – named one of the Top 100 Business Thought Leaders in America by Trust Across America and author of Awesomely Simple

Corporate and Association

  • “I attend many, many conferences. Your keynote was the BEST I have ever heard.”

    Kim De Leon – CEO, Cherokee County Federal Credit Union
  • “Matt Tenney is the BEST speaker I’ve ever heard at any event I have ever been to!”

    Polly Kondrat – Sales Manager, Marriott Hotels
  • “Matt is one of the best speakers I have heard. He shared ideas and tools that will certainly help our partners to more effectively lead their teams and achieve better business outcomes. He also presented in a way that was very inspiring, and helped make our retreat a truly transformational experience.”

    Bob Hottman – CEO, EKS&H
  • “Inspirational! A perfect example to the organization of how effectively serving others is the key to true greatness.”

    Chris Thoen – Sr. V.P. / Global Head Science + Technology, Givaudan Flavors Corp.
  • “You are one of the best I have seen. The mannerism, style, approach, charisma, substance, delivery, examples you provided… First-class!!!”

    Richard Vincent – Executive Vice President, Associated General Contractors of Kentucky
  • “Matt’s keynote, like his book, commands your full attention from the beginning to the end. His story drew the audience in and the inspiring examples he gave of servant leadership kept people engaged. The feedback from our leadership team was excellent. Matt inspired our team and provided tools to help them become even better leaders.”

    Bill Rogers – Regional President with Wells Fargo Advisors
  • “Matt is one of the best speakers I have ever heard.”

    Alesha Stevenson – Manager at Bloomington-Normal Area Convention and Visitors Bureau
  • “Matt is among the best speakers I have ever heard. He captures his audience’s attention with his fascinating, inspirational story, and the examples of extraordinary organizations and leaders. He offers valuable content for improving sales and building effective teams, and inspires people to serve at a higher level.”

    Kristen Butcher – Director of Professional Development, Illinois Association of Realtors
  • “Probably the best speaker I’ve heard at any convention.”

    Tim Miller – Director of Sales, Conrad Hotels
  • “Overall, 99 percent of participant evaluations gave you a rating of excellent. Your presentation was a perfect fit for our organization as the information was relevant and needed while you managed to connect with the audience in an inspiring and entertaining manner.”

    Shane N. Yates, CAE, CMP – Executive Director Ohio Society of Association Executives
  • “One of the best speakers I’ve ever heard. Made me re-examine the purpose for my work.”

    Laura Kraynak – Sales Manager at Eastland Suites
  • “Matt’s story is one-of-a-kind and beyond inspirational! His message is motivating, moving, truly meaningful! We can’t wait to have him back!”

    Bryan Gardner – Director of Human Resources at Four Seasons Hotel, Austin
  • “Matt has a compelling story to captivate an audience and encourage them to explore the benefits of mindful, servant leadership. All of the attendees from the convention, whether they were CEOs, managers or front-line employees, gleaned something from his message.”

    Mark Bennett – Executive Director, International Window Cleaning Association
  • “Almost speechless. Best presentation I’ve seen in the last year!”

    Victoria Seel – Sales Manager, Hyatt Hotels and Resorts
  • “Terrific! Well-delivered message that should cause each of us to refocus our priorities, lives, and mindsets.”

    Lisa Perius – Executive Director Indiana Veterinary Medicine Association
  • “Matt’s [keynote] is life-changing.”

    Jodi Tarter – Regional Sales Manager, PAR-A-DICE Hotel and Casino
  • “Matt’s keynote was a great way to open our convention. The topic and content were right on.”

    Sara Decatoire – Executive Vice President, NAIFA Illinois
  • “‘Fascinating’, ‘engaging’, and ‘inspiring’ were just a few of the reactions from our members. Matt’s closing keynote for our annual conference was this and so much more. His story and message made people think and inspired positive change. What a fascinating, engaging, and inspiring way to end a professional meeting.”

    Mary Ann B. Passi, CAE – CEO, Corporate Housing Providers Association
  • “Matt Tenney is a must see speaker. Attendees enjoyed his keynote so much, that his breakout session that followed was bursting at the seams.”

    Anne Roberts – Vice President of Education for Meeting Professionals International, New England Chapter
  • “Great speaker! Awesome message.”

    Dawn Van Buskirk – Regional Operations Manager, Howe Hospitality
  • “Matt’s program was powerful and inspiring. Several of our leaders were so moved that they suggested making the ideas Matt shared the core focus of our organization for the coming year.”

    Eva Leos – President, Meeting Professionals International, Texas Hill Country Chapter
  • “Very insightful and inspiring.”

    Sara Howe – CEO, IADDA
  • “Very moving. I found myself re-examining my priorities. Thank you!”

    Ted Mason – Executive Director, Kentucky Grocers Association
  • “Matt Tenney was a great choice for presenting the opening keynote at the 2014 MPI Toronto Education Conference. We received great feedback from our members. In addition to providing valuable content, Matt was engaging, motivating, and even brought some tears of inspiration to a good number of people in the audience.”

    Kris Knox – Director, Toronto Education Conference, Meeting Professionals International, Toronto Chapter
  • “I thought your message was powerful and life-changing. I’m going to make some changes and I’m excited about the possibilities.”

    Sandy Johnson – Sales Executive, Lexington Convention and Visitors Bureau
  • “Very inspiring. He makes you believe.”

    Brenda Dant – Executive Director, Indiana Association of Plumbing, Heating, and Cooling Contractors
  • “Very insightful! A great motivator for increasing emotional intelligence and encouraging compassionate servant leadership.”

    Brian Clark – Executive Director, Kentucky Petroleum Marketers Association
  • “Wow! Matt convinced me that I can make a difference in the world and I’m ready to give it my best shot!”

    Betty Whitaker – Executive Director, Kentucky Manufactured Housing Institute
  • “Your message to the FPPTA membership hit home! Your presentation was awesome! You pushed all the right buttons that we discussed in our many pre-conference telephone conversations. You are truly an inspiration!”

    Peter Hapgood – Education Consultant, Florida Public Pension Trustee’s Association
  • “Inspiring and captivating from start to finish.”

    Diana Winstead – Associate Director of Arts, Cultured Events, Center for Rural Development
  • “Amazing and incredibly inspirational. I am leaving thinking ‘Who can I help when I leave this room?”

    Emily Cordes – Events Manager, Indianapolis Public Library
  • “Matt, your program is inspiring and makes me want to be a better leader. You were engaging and truly made me feel what you were feeling and saying. I’m leaving wishing I could hear more from you!”

    Debbie Smith – Assistant Director of Sales, Hyatt Hotels and Resorts
  • “Fantastic program. Heartfelt and encouraging.”

    Amy Preher – Director of Education, Kentucky Justice Association
  • “Very uplifting and inspiring listening to him: and everyone did, as you could hear a pin drop on the carpet in the room.”

    Jaime Smith – National Business Development, Bartha
  • “Wonderful and inspiring! The world needs more individuals like Matt.”

    Cheryl Livers – Sales Manager, Crown Plaza Hotels and Resorts
  • “Dear Matthew, thank you for the invaluable role you played at the 2012 PAX National Meeting. You presented with clarity and energy, with a message of compassion and kindness we want all our field staff to call their own. Survey feedback was completely positive – “five stars”. You provided exactly what we hoped for and more.”

    Libby Cryer – Founder, PAX
  • “Very inspiring, and such a simple, actionable concept.”

    Amanda Cook – Director of Membership and Marketing, Raybourn Group International
  • “Matthew, thank you so much… very inspiring and motivating…. I am still hearing members talk about it, three weeks later! We need more people like you in the world!”

    Kristen Hadeed – CEO, Student Maid


  • “Your story is inspiring, and this has been one of the best presentations I’ve [ever] been at.”

    Jeff Hughes – Director of Alumni Development, Alpha Kappa Psi Fraternity (Headquarters Office)
  • “Matt’s [program] was inspiring, engaging, and reflective.  He allowed the idea of servant leadership to come to life. Matt would be a great addition to any new student orientation program, leadership program, or speaking event on your campus.”

    Garrett Kachellek – Associate Director, Orientation & Leadership Development, University of Utah
  • “Matt … left a deep impact on the audience. I suspect his voice will ring in our thoughts for many years to come, and [those around us] will be better for it.”

    Stephen Lee – Chapter Development Coordinator, Phi Kappa Theta Fraternity (Headquarters Office)
  • “I have had the privilege to hear Matt speak three times. Each time I leave feeling more inspired and empowered. Through him I have realized how both my board and I can truly impact our campus in a positive way. I whole-heartedly believe that every college student needs to hear Matt’s programs.”

    Tristan Chaput – President, Campus Activities Board, College of Mount St. Joseph
  • “Matt shared an inspiring message that the world needs to hear. His words not only kept me engaged, but lit a fire in me that was dimming. He gave stories that will last with me a lifetime and resources to reignite my own servant leadership journey.”

    Jennifer Adamany – Director of Chapter Services and Expansion, Alpha Kappa Psi Fraternity (Headquarters Office)
  • “Matt is an incredible speaker. His message left our students feeling inspired and uplifted, and he provided them with ideas and tools that will help them to become effective leaders whether they have a title or not.”

    Lisa Steele – Leadership Development Coordinator, Conestoga College, ON, Canada
  • “Matt Tenney’s story had an impact on me. His beliefs shifted my actions. His kindness melted my cynical shell. His talk changed me for the better. His presence alone is inspirational.”

    Montana Gray, Dalton State College Campus Activities Board
  • “Matt, you are an engaging and remarkable person, and you presented your keynote with eloquence. Your program was an uplifting and invaluable experience.”

    Jarrod Cruz-Stipsits – Director, Multicultural and Diversity Affairs, University of Florida
  • “Matt Tenney is an inspiration and motivation for our students.  He has the remarkable ability to connect with students.  Our students have blossomed into servant leaders on our campus and continue to inspire others because of Matt.”

    Yonna Pasch – Director of Student Activities, Nortwestern State University, LA
  • “Excellent, excellent program! Great presenter with a very real story that allows the audience to connect!”

    Robert Riggs – Executive Vice President, Phi Kappa Theta Fraternity (Headquarters Office)
  • “Matt, your leadership program was exactly what I was looking for, and actually exceeded my expectations. Your powerful story got the students engaged and inspired. The feedback from the students was fantastic.”

    Omoy Watson – Programming Coordinator, Broward College
  • “Matt’s message resonated with students on my campus. Weeks later, they continue to reference his ideas.”

    Deanne Abrams, Coordinator – Student Development, Valencia College