Matt Lindley is a serving airline pilot and former RAF pilot who applies his experiences in leadership, accountability and culture to the business world. He is a born speaker – his style is effortless and engaging, and offers a unique approach to both human error in the workplace and diversity.
Before taking his commercial flying job, he was a Royal Air Force Fast Jet pilot and later became a Captain on the Queen’s Flight, flying Her Majesty The Queen, members of the Royal Family, the Prime Minister and the Cabinet worldwide for over 10 years.
Matt’s speaking career stretches from workshops to keynote speaking on lessons learnt from aviation, aimed at reducing human error in the workplace. His keynotes use case studies of aircraft accidents, apply basic psychology and offer lots of ‘take homes’ for any audience. The aviation sector has transformed safety and training by understanding why people make mistakes.
Matt also delivers talks on Diversity and Inclusive Leadership. He was one of the first gay pilots in the service. When he joined the Royal Air Force in 1995 it was against the law to be homosexual, but he had a passion for flying and desperately didn’t want his sexuality to be a barrier to fulfilling his ambition to become a Fast Jet Pilot.
Whilst not being open about his sexuality, he fulfilled his ambition and finally qualified as a Fast Jet Pilot. However, in a candid account, he describes his journey and the impact on his mental health whilst hiding his true self and operating in a macho, intolerant work environment. In his candid address, he highlights that with no one to turn to, his performance faltered, his stress levels became unmanageable, and he failed his ‘Top Gun’ course at RAF Valley. He passionately believes that there is a direct link between mental wellbeing, stress, performance and productivity.
He eventually moved to the Royal Squadron and met an inspirational leader who developed trust and inclusion. As a result, when the law changed, he eventually came out. His leader’s exemplary inclusive style changed his life, both personally and professionally. Although Matt’s diversity talk has an LGBT theme, it holds relevance to wider issues of marginalisation, be it gender, working parents, or ethnic minorities.
Matt is an unforgettable speaker, his story is unique, and his stories mean it will leave a lasting impression on any audience.