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Matt Wingerd on The Most Crucial Leadership Quality You Need to Cultivate Now

His career spans blue chip institutions like BlueCross BlueShield and Peoplesoft (now Oracle), but in 2000, Matt Wingerd set out on a new path of his own. Taking the lessons he learned in big business and applying them to his independent venture, Marketing Affiliates LLC, has been a 18 year (so far) labor of love, not without its own lessons. Matt shares some of the insights from his expansive career with us today, including the most important leadership quality you need to cultivate for business success.


As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up? In what ways does that relate to what you do now?

Growing up I always wanted to be an astronaut or astronomer. Science and math were always my interests. That soon faded as math and business became my strongest suits. This led to me becoming a CPA managing the accounting department of one of the largest health insurers in the US. My activities however, were mainly IT related and found myself getting interested in website development.

What steps do you take to ensure that your organization’s activities are in alignment with the company mission, core values, and vision?

Our company mission and hitting our goals are top priority within our business. These along with the company core values are re-emphasized at our company outings that occur twice per year. At these events, we give employees the floor and allow them to sound off with what things work, what doesn’t work, and the opportunity to discuss ways of further improvement.

Name two organizations or well-known business people you admire and explain why.

Someone I follow and have great admiration for is Marcus Lemonis, also known in the tv series on CNBC as “The Profit”. He is the CEO of Camping World, a multi-billion dollar company across the globe. I enjoy listening to his business insight and how he interacts with struggling businesses in order to keep them afloat. His leadership skills and the ability to spot problems within an organization are his top strengths.

Another individual I am fond of is Jeff Foxworthy, better known as the “Redneck Comedian.” Jeff went from working on mainframes at IBM to being a standup comedian. You wouldn’t think a stand-up comedian would be so wealthy, but as of 2019, his net worth is near $100 million. He went on from comedy to be a very successful businessman. He runs a multi-million dollar empire, including selling over 26 books, 15 million records, and hosting the popular tv series “Are You Smarter than a Fifth Grader?”

What are YOUR main performance indicators? How are they measured and echoed throughout the business?

Hitting our monthly goals is an important factor in the business success. We always strive for high ROI, higher monthly Year over Year performance, and employee satisfaction. This is echoed in our management monthly meetings where discuss results and once again revisit our top priorities.

What are your top three priorities for the business?

As leaders, we strive to ensure all employees are happy, they have opportunity for advancement, and ensure they understand without each of them, and the strengths they provide, the company would not be a success.

How do you fight complacency and mediocrity?

We often see employees fall into a rut who are unsure how to “unstuck” themselves. This often leads to lacking performance which in turn hurts our bottom line. We provide management tools and training to spot these instances and intervene to resolve the issues. Ongoing management training helps ensure we adhere to industry standards regarding employee conflict resolution. In most instances we will meet with struggling employees, listen to their concerns and take appropriate action.

What has been the most impactful lesson you’ve learned as a business leader?

Becoming a successful leader is not an easy task. Not everyone is born a natural leader. Most of the skills learned are from books, seminars, but most importantly – on the job. No one can just claim to be an outstanding leader, but one quality I have learned over the years is most have excellent communication and listening skills. Everyone speaks different, sounds different, and reacts to situations differently. A true leader can tap into the mind of most employees and learn how to communicate based on that person’s individuality.

What is the most critical piece of business management and leadership advice you would give your younger self?

One of the biggest mistakes I see younger managers make is not knowing how to handle conflict among other employees. Do not always assume you have all the facts to make a decision. Ensure you listen to both sides of an issue and then formulate your decision from there.

How do you create leadership opportunities within the organization?

As mentioned earlier we stress company goals extremely highly. Each employee has a specific role they play in the organization and set of goals to obtain. We have recently instituted an incentive based program whereby, once hitting personal goals, employees have a chance to obtain part in a percentage of company profits. This has been and extremely successful motivator whereby goals are mostly obtained and provides a stepping stone to further upward advancement.


About Matt Wingerd

Matt Wingerd is currently the managing general partner of Marketing Affiliates, LLC based in Cheyenne, Wyoming. Matt became a Certified Public Accountant in 1992 and went on to manage the Financial Accounting Department at BlueCross BlueShield of Illinois, a subsidiary of HCSC (Health Care Service Corporation). His activities in that role allowed him to be the Financial Reporting lead in their upgrade of financial systems to the PeopleSoft (Now Oracle) platform. Matt left the company in 2000, and took his backend IT experience along with computer programming skills to partner with others in creating his own company, Marketing Affiliates, LLC and later, Real Time Communications World which features Kohls coupons and Overstock coupons.

Marketing Affiliates, LLC is a Partnership which began business in 2011 creating websites and advertising products from various online retailers. The company has grossed in the millions of dollars since its inception. Its partners have various backgrounds including advertising, finance, marketing and accounting knowledge. Since its founding, the company has partnered with hundreds of advertisers across various niches including weight loss, outdoor gear, floral arrangements, diet, clothing, furniture, and much more. Today, these advertisers can be found featured among the hundreds of different web properties owned by the to company to date.

Two years ago they created an online weight loss site – DietFoodDeliveryService.com which features reviews on the most popular online Diet Food Delivery Service Weight Loss Programs. Their most recent acquisition is a website which provides information on interacting with someone via peer-to-peer connections, sending data in a direct path between source and destination.

“We felt this would be a great venture as within today is digital world, consumers expect information and communication access in real-time, and networks have to adjust to meet these demands.”

Our mission is simple: We strive to develop a long-term relationship with merchants in order help them reach their goals of maximizing profits. We are here to handle the advertising and promotion of your product in order to increase its exposure to the consumer. Our websites specialize in promoting all types of products whether it be a specific category or niche, or a single stand-alone product you wish to showcase.

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