In Chapter 10 of 18 in his 2012 Capture Your Flag interview, public affairs and communications strategist Matt Curtis notes how he goes to a variety of people for advice, including a network of advisors and mentors from his Whole Foods, Austin breakfast crowd. He notes the importance of learning from older community leaders successes and failures. Matt Curtis is the director of government relations at HomeAway Inc. Previously he was communications director for Austin mayors Lee Leffingwell.
Erik: At this point in your life, where are you seeking advice and coaching? Matt: I have my great spans of consiliaries. I go to a variety of people for advice. I still go to my old Whole Foods crowd, these are my friends who have this incredible wide variety of backgrounds, you know, former CEO, guy who spent a lot of time in jail under Francisco Franco, a guy who was the fire fighter union president, you know, all kinds of really interesting people. A man who is a famous character actor, especially in a lot great old Westerns, and they’ve been spectacular at giving me advice. But I’m always looking for more and better advice, I often look to people who have failed because I think people who have failed at something often chew on it so hard they realize exactly what they did wrong and what they needed to do to have succeeded. And again, I’m looking at people who are the kinds of older community leaders that I wanna be, that are maybe 15, 20, 25 years older than I am. And I’m asking myself and asking them in a way, “How do I—What do I need to do to be more like you?” So that as I get older, I can fill the role that they had filled.