As the President of Shiekh Shoes, Matthew Fine is responsible for overseeing all of Shiekh’s footwear and apparel retail stores throughout the country. Prior to his role at Shiekh, Matt began his career working at Nike. With close to 12 years of experience at the iconic brand, Matt has held a handful of roles including EKIN Technical Representative, Senior National Account Executive and Cross Categorical Sales Director.
Matt is a USC Marshall School of Business alumni with a degree in business administration. Although he never envisioned having a job working at Nike, it wasn’t until the funding for a real estate venture fell through that the opportunity presented itself. Matt’s first role at Nike was that of an EKIN (Nike spelled backwards). As an EKIN, Matt was responsible for educating both consumers and retail associates on how to sell Nike products.
In this edition of 3 Lessons Learned, Matt speaks on the importance of being willing to share, the notion of having two ears and one mouth, and why understanding the motivation of others leads to success. It’s time to take notes and pay close attention. Class is in session!
Lesson 1 – Be Willing to Share
It’s easy to be intimidated upon first entering a new work environment. This is especially true in the corporate world. In most scenarios, many people shy away from expressing their personal opinions when the opportunity presents itself. However, for Matt…things were a little different. “I was never really afraid to share ideas” says Matt. “Whether they were contrary to popular belief or not, if you share it in the right way…people are receptive to it. When you have an idea, opinion, or point of view that is relevant, people will take note of it. If you want to separate yourself from the masses, you should not be afraid to voice your opinion.”
Lesson 2 – Have Two Ears and One Mouth
Having two ears and one mouth is a philosophy that Matt learned while at Nike. Embracing this philosophy enables you to really listen. “You lead better when you hear people first and speak second” says Matt. Regardless of what your own vision or personal agenda may be, it’s important from a relationship building standpoint to listen and hear people out prior to finalizing any decisions that have to be made. When Matt was appointed as the President of Shiekh, he was well received in a positive manner. This is because his approach to business and leadership is that of listening and encouraging a culture of success.
Lesson 3 – Understand the Motivation of Others
“If you understand the motivations of others, you can always figure out how to interact with them in a more positive manner” says Matt. “When you understand what success means to someone else and you help them to achieve their success, they are most likely going to help you achieve yours.”
In 2009, Matt was working as an account executive at Nike Sportswear. At the time, he was willing and able to take the initiative in helping his boss to lead the business. This eventually led to Matt being promoted as the Marketplace Director of Nike in the San Francisco and Pacific Northwest region. For Matt, this was a prime example of understanding how to help someone to achieve their success and motivation. Through his effort, he was also rewarded in return. This was a delightful surprise for Matt due to the fact that he was not seeking any kind of reward in return for his work. However, as the saying goes…hard work does pay off!
Last Words From Matt
“Trust your intuition. Your gut is usually right. Put some heavy stock in trusting yourself. When I left Nike to become the President of Shiekh, people looked at me as if I wasn’t qualified for the role. They may have been right. What I did do is put trust in myself that I was going to figure it out.” – Matthew Fine
Photo by Don Kang | | Follow him at @donjkang