Diversity & Inclusion Keynote Speaker

One of the first Royal Air Force openly gay pilots

 Pilot to the Royal Family and Prime Minister

 

Inclusive leadership

Resilience

Mental Strength

 
 
 

Airline and former Royal Air Force pilot Matt Lindley talks candidly about being one of the first openly gay pilots in the Armed Forces.  Listen to his journey of having a childhood dream to fly, almost crushed by a ban on gay serving personnel in the Forces.  Matt describes how he consciously suppressed his sexuality and joined an organisation knowing that being 'out' would have resulted in a possible prison sentence.  His story is one of self-motivation, determination, and drive which led to a dream being fulfilled. Matt describes how the RAF adapted its culture from one of open hostility towards gay personnel, to acceptance and support. He also speaks frankly about mental resilience and its impact on employee performance.

  But this is not just another 'coming out story', instead Matt uses his experience, to highlight the benefits of positive culture change and how to be an inclusive leader.  This good new story ultimately affects the productivity of an organisation.  He uses his human factors and psychology knowledge to link well-being, stress and ultimately performance of the indivivdual.

 
 
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KEY TOPICS

 
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  • Culture / transformational change
  • Goal setting & focus
  • Decision making under pressure
  • Emotional Intelligence and empathy
  • Personal and business resilience
  • Bullying in the workplace
  • Stress management and its effect on performance
  • Mental strength and resilience
  • Inspirational senior leadership - different styles and their effectiveness
  • Teamwork
 
 
 

I was fortunate enough to listen to Matt speak at a recent LGBT diversity and inclusion event. Matt shared his own journey as a gay man growing up and achieving his dream to be a pilot which took him the macho world of the RAF and how throughout this time he kept his sexuality bottled. He was able to thread into this the impact that sustained stress and stressful events can have on your performance and if left unchecked the catastrophic outcomes that can result. He sincerely described how having to hide one’s sexuality is a significant source of sustained stress in one’s life providing a compelling reason why being inclusive is so essential to avoid this unnecessary situation. It also served as a reminder that each and everyone one of us faces stress and stressful situations everyday whether it be about being LGBT, a difficult family situations, illness the list goes on and reminded me how embracing diversity and being supportive of each other is beneficial to our overall well-being.
— Brad Rutledge. Royal Bank of Canada
You were incredibly genuine and honest which meant I felt I was going on your journey. It helped me think about people I know personally and question how their leaders and work culture may have impacted them. I left feeling a real responsibility to ensure I looked out for any obstacles, so people to feel secure, valued and respected for being themselves.
Throughout your story, the link was made back to the business environment. Especially the impact we can have as leaders. Having belief in our colleagues was particularly pertinent to me. It showed the importance that a little faith in someone, can impact the rest of their life and therefore what they give back in the work place. It helps you get the most out of your team.
It wasn’t just a lovely talk, I got a lot from it, which I will take away and implement in my working day/home life. I will encourage my team to do the same ...