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Testimonials

Praise for Matthew’s books and public speaking.

“It highlights the need for a growth mindset in life…It advocates for changing attitudes towards failure, and understanding that the only way we learn is by trying things and altering our behaviour based on the results.” Richard Branson, Virgin Group

“Matthew has focused our minds on the importance of re-evaluating our approach to development and progress, which has given us an insight and understanding as to how we can better succeed as a business. His time with us was a genuinely enlightening, entertaining and informative experience – Matthew is thought-provoking, challenging, insightful, fun and relevant to the most and the least experienced team member. The fact that “Black Box Thinking” and Matthew Syed anecdotes have become part of the everyday vocabulary of our team is a testament to the impact he has made.” Andrew Masraf, Pinsent Masons LLP

“Matthew is equally an entertainer and inspirer. Quite simply, he is one of the most thought-provoking and motivating speakers I’ve had the pleasure to hear.” Andrew Rieley, Stephenson Harwood LLP

“… exactly what we asked for…. very good… very well received.” Molly Vaughan, Smith and Willamson

“Utterly inspiring. We are looking forward already to booking you again.” Colin Passmore, Senior Partner, Simmons and Simmons

“It forced me to reflect on how I approach development within my team. I have continued to think on this after the event which I think shows how impactful it was.” Hana Searson, Director, Barclays

“A great learning opportunity which brings successful performance enhancing techniques from the top athletes and teams in the sporting world, into practical application methods for business leaders and business teams. The insights, learning and science really drives home the scale of the opportunity we have as leaders, through change of mindset and the introduction of these tools with our people” Ingrid Astbury, Royal Bank of Scotland

“This programme would benefit organisations by providing an excellent framework to understand and appreciate their organisational mindset, and start to think about how they can accelerate their leadership skills to drive business forward. This is a hugely insightful programme.” Frank De Souza, GlaxoSmithKline

“Fantastic, new approaches and techniques to transform our mindset” Matt Byrom, Siemens

“I just wanted to drop you a quick note to say thank you for attending the MWH conference last week. Both your sessions were excellent and went down very well with the attendees. The feedback has been great and our teams seem really happy we are challenging their thinking (which was the point). Matthew’s discussion provoked a lot of conversation on the day and the follow up leadership workshop with Kathy on the second day really build on some of the concepts. Our commercial Director has already widened his risk review process to incorporate the pre-mortem concepts, and the marginal gains session has certainly sparked a good few discussions on business improvements!” Cath Schefer, Managing Director, MWH UK

“The work we have undertaken gives you the toolkit to invoke cultural change in a business to enable performance improvement. This is achieved through a variety of innovative and proven techniques taken from a variety of spheres. The programme brings the theory of ‘Black Box Thinking’ to life. It provides real life examples to back up theories and allow the delegates to learn, reflect and consider how it can be applied in the work environment” Steve Scott, Arriva UK Trains

“Strategically, we have gained a richer, deeper understanding of the pervasiveness of the benefits available from adopting a growth mindset perspective. Tactically, you gain experience in a new technique that you can take straight back into the working environment.
Personally, I have changed the way I engage- both at home and at work” Rennie Chadwick, Osborne

“Creative breakthroughs always begin with multiple failures. This brilliant book shows how true invention lies in the understanding and overcoming of these failures, which we must learn to embrace.” James Dyson, Designer, Inventor & Entrepreneur

“Matthew Syed has issued a stirring call to revolutionise how we think about success — by changing our attitude to failure. Failure shouldn’t be shameful and stigmatising, but exciting and enlightening. Full of well-crafted stories and keenly deployed scientific insights, BLACK BOX THINKING will forever change the way you think about screwing up.” Daniel Pink, Author of Drive & To Sell Is Human

“A gripping examination of the hidden forces that come together in the making of a champion.” Michael Atherton, Former England Cricket Captain

“A fascinating subject and Syed is a dazzling writer.” Owen Slot

“I love this book. A must-read if you have ever wondered what sets the super-achievers and the rest of us apart – in any field, not just in sport. I only wish I had read it when I was fifteen.” Gabby Logan, BBC Presenter and Former International Gymnast

“Intellectually stimulating and hugely enjoyable at a stroke…challenged some of my most cherished beliefs about life and success.” Jonathan Edwards, Triple Jump World Record Holder

“A cutting edge dissection – and ultimate destruction – of the myth of innate talent in the pursuit of excellence. Syed synthesises his evidence with the precision of an academic, writes with the fluidity of a journalist and persuades with the drive of a sportsman. Read this book now – before it’s too late. There are no excuses!” Mark Thomas, Professor of Evolutionary Genetics, University College London

“Compelling and, at times, exhilarating – Bounce explains high achievement in sport, business and beyond.” Michael Sherwood, Chief Executive, Goldman Sachs International

“Insightful and entertaining, Syed takes us a step deeper into the world of sports, showing us how much we can learn about our own behaviour.” Dan Ariely, New York Times Best-selling Author of Predictably Irrational

“Matthew Syed was an exceptionally fine table tennis player and he is an exceptionally fine sports writer…. In the end this book is about the human brain. It is funny and tragic, learned and urgent – the story of the extraordinary capacities we all possess, the irrationalities that drive us to succeed or fail, the opportunities we are given or miss out on.” Howard Jacobsen, Award-winning Author of Kalooki Nights

“When a book includes subject classifications as diverse as sport and outdoor recreation, Europe, mathematics and popular science, you know you’re not in for a run-of-the mill sports book. Indeed, it’s so wide-ranging that a chapter discussing motivation assesses strategies for understanding educational achievement, morphs onto an examination of Nick Bollettieri’s tennis academy and ends with an analysis of Enron’s hiring and promotion strategies (yes, really)… It’s impressively researched, forcefully argued and… extraordinarily interesting and thought-provoking.” The Bookseller

“Everything Matthew Syed writes is worth reading.” Lynne Truss, Best-selling Author of Eats, Shoots and Leaves

“Cogent discussions of the neuroscience of competition, including the placebo effect of irrational optimism, self-doubt, and superstitions, all lend credence to a compelling narrative; readers who gobbled up Freakonomics and Predictably Irrational will flock to this one.” Publishers Weekly

“An outstanding speech that transformed the perspective of coaches and players alike. Our young players have been talking about it ever since.” Steve Bould, Arsenal FC

“A wonderful speech delivered to 1000 senior executives. Matthew’s messages are powerful and thought-provoking – and they have become central to the strategy of our business.” Norman Pickavance, HR Director, Morrisons

“Matthew Syed is a fabulous speaker with superb ideas. He challenges and inspires in equal measure.” Michael Sherwood, Chief Executive, Goldman Sachs International

“Matthew’s messages were fantastic. He not only described clearly how champions are made, but could also give evidence based arguments that supported his bold assertions. His influence on our squad and management was an extremely positive one for which we are very grateful.” Mark McCall, Director of Rugby, Saracens

“The feedback to your talk was amazing, with department heads using their development time in the afternoon to discuss your ideas and many people stopping me in the corridor to thank me for asking you to come in.” Ross Allen, Surrey Schools

“Very good speaker – provocative and articulate. It forced me to reflect on how I approach development within my team. I have continued to think on this after the event which I think shows how impactful it was.” Hana Searson, Director, Barclays

“Matthew Syed is an extremely inspirational speaker. He succinctly and persuasively encapsulated the winning ethos during his presention to Vodafone’s Global Heads of Marketing. We departed feeling highly motivated.”   Maria Bellanca, Head of Group Sponsorship PR, Vodafone

“The best speech of its kind I have ever heard. It inspired, entertained and informed in equal measure.” David Richardson, The Atlantic Group

“The superlatives I have heard from attendees is a reflection of the importance of your thesis. My clients were fascinated by all angles of your overview, it could not have gone any better.” Jason Doyle, Alliance Bernstein

“Provocative and eye-opening, it changed the way I think about life and success. It has so many implications for the business.” Cathy Brown, The Third Space

“Matthew was everything I had hoped for and more. He captivated the audience with material that he made directly relevant to our business. He was asked some thought provoking questions and came back with equally thought provoking answers. As a company we are on a journey of change and Matthew’s presentation supported our strategy for the year ahead and beyond.” Alison Traversoni, Executive Director, E.Surv Chartered Surveyors

“A fantastic speaker with ideas that are both powerful and relevant. Eye-opening and wonderfully entertaining.” Ben Preson, Orbis Fund Management

“Utterly inspiring. We are looking forward already to booking you again.” Colin Passmore, Senior Partner, Simmons and Simmons

“Your talk was masterful and the audience was rapt throughout. They will cherish it for many a moon.” Geoff Simpson, Westminster School

“Superb and engaging, Matthew captivated an audience of global professionals who went away with a refreshed sense of what it means to identify and motivate talented people.” David Leigh, Chief Executive, SHL Group

“You’ve had a huge impact on our students and I can’t thank you enough for both the valuable message and the eloquence of its delivery. The number and quality of questions showed the level of engagement you elicited. A truly memorable afternoon.” Giles Bennett, Deputy Director, Kings College School, Wimbledon

“Captivating and inspirational, we have had excellent feedback from our clients for an outstanding after dinner speech.” Ron Pearson, Bowmark Capital

“Extremely interesting and hugely thought provoking. Matthew is an outstanding speaker.” Mike Hart, Royal Yachting Association

“I have found Matthew Syed’s presentations clear, compelling and entertaining. In both his presentations and his books he combines hard evidence, strong argument and telling anecdote. He draws on a wide range of fields, including sport and business, and uses language free of jargon. I have never heard the case for a growth mindset or learning from mistakes more effectively made. ” Sir Michael Barber, Chief Education Advisor, Pearson