Matthew Griffiths | The “Escape Room” for Entrepreneurs and Surviving and Thriving After a Brain Tumor

Matthew Griffiths is a Vistage Group Chairman at Vistage International (UK) Ltd. Vistage is a leading global executive peer-group organization with 24,000 members worldwide. Matthew works with many business networks in his capacity as a Non-Executive Chair, Executive Coach, and Strategic Advisor. He has held senior leadership roles in the entertainment technology sector including being the Company Director/MD at TSL & White Light Group. He then became the Chief Executive Officer at PLASA Ltd, the world’s largest entertainment technology trade association, for 18 years. 

Matthew is the host of the Turning Point Podcast series from Vistage (UK). He is also involved in a company called Games Without Frontiers, a kind of escape room for entrepreneurs. 

In this episode, John Corcoran talks to Matthew Griffiths, of Vistage International (UK) Ltd about leadership and business coaching, about his role as a Vistage chair, and his experience with battling brain tumor.

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Here’s a Glimpse of What You’ll Hear:

  • Matthew Griffith’s thoughts and experience on doing a podcast
  • How Matthew’s parents and background influenced his career in theater and entertainment
  • Matthew talks about his rise to leadership and his entry into business coaching
  • What led to the acquisition and merger of three trade associations into PLASA and why the merger was dissolved six years later
  • Matthew’s advice to leaders on how to best cope with the impacts of COVID-19
  • The characters and roles of Vistage group chairs
  • How Games Without Frontiers works and how it has pivoted in light of COVID-19
  • Matthew recalls being diagnosed with a brain tumor, how it impacted his life, and the powerful lessons he learned from it
  • How Matthew learned to let go of his anger while at the rehab center and what he did with his life after that
  • The people Matthew acknowledges for his success and achievements

Resources Mentioned:

Sponsor: Rise25

Today’s episode is sponsored by Rise25 Media, where our mission is to connect you with your best referral partners, clients, and strategic partners. We do this through our done for you business podcast solution and content marketing. 

Along with my business partner Dr. Jeremy Weisz, we have over 18 years of experience with B2B podcasting, which is one of the best things you can do for your business and you personally. 

If you do it right, a podcast is like a “Swiss Army Knife” – it is a tool that accomplishes many things at once. It can and will lead to great ROI, great clients, referrals, strategic partnerships, and more. It is networking and business development; and it is personal and professional development which doubles as content marketing

A podcast is the highest and best use of your time and will save you time by connecting you to higher caliber people to uplevel your network. 

To learn more, go to or email us at [email protected]

To learn more, book a call with us here

Check out Rise25 to learn more about our done-for-you lead generation and done-for-you podcast services. 

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Episode Transcript

Intro 0:14

Welcome to the Revolution, the Smart Business Revolution podcast where we ask today’s most successful entrepreneurs to share the tools and strategies they use to build relationships and connections to grow their revenue. Now, your host for the revolution. John Corcoran.

John Corcoran 0:40

All right. Welcome, everyone. John Corcoran here, the host of the Smart Business Revolution podcast where I get the great privilege of talking with smart CEOs, founders, entrepreneurs of companies and organizations really worldwide, including today talking to a friend over across the pond over in England, but I’ve talked to you know, CEOs and founders YPO and eo and Activision Blizzard, Lending Tree and Open Table and so many different ones. I’m also co-founder of Rise25, where we help connect b2b business owners to their ideal prospects. 

And today, I’ve got with me, Matthew Griffiths. Matthew is a Vistage chair. He’s got a couple of really interesting things about him. So one, he’s involved in a company called Games Without Frontiers. It’s kind of like an escape room for entrepreneurs. It’s he who can wrap your head around that we’re going to talk about what that is. He also was the head of the world’s largest entertainment technology trade association. And we’re going to talk about that after having been born into a theater family. He kind of was born into it, but eventually rose to head that association. He also survived a brain tumor and had to relearn near nearly everything and also overcome the anger that he experienced from going through that. So we’ll talk about that experience as well. 

But first before we get into that, This episode is brought to you by Rise25 Media which helps b2b businesses to get clients referrals and strategic partnerships through done for you podcasts and content marketing. You’re listening to a podcast right now. And if you’ve ever thought about the idea of starting a podcast, I say yes, do it and it’s the best thing you’ll ever do. One of the best things I’ve ever done in my life, and I get to meet and talk to smart people like Matthew here today, Matthew, you’ve been involved in podcasting. So I’ll just bring you into the conversation. What has podcasting been like for you? What is your take on doing a podcast?

Matthew Griffiths 2:35

Well, hi, John. Thanks very much for having me as well. And welcome to London. Podcasting from my point of view is great exactly as you just said, you get a chance to meet really clever, really interesting people. And if you can get it if you can get it to a point where it just seems like it’s a conversation between the two of you. And your guest is not worrying about who’s listening or you know, the family. And supreme law, your case the millions of people listening to this. It’s great because you can really get into those in depth conversations and just one on one. So you can start to draw stuff out to people. And the great thing about a podcast, where you can see someone is you’re reading the body language. So as long as you remember to be quiet, you let the guest talk. And I’m sorry, that’s not meant to be a note here for this, but you can get the best out you know what I mean about that, you know, people have got so much to say they’ve got what they wanted to say. And then what you’re trying to draw out is what, what they probably didn’t intend to say. Well, that’s the interesting stuff.

John Corcoran 3:38

Absolutely. Right. Exactly. It’s that the fun stuff is teasing out of people. And I should mention Turning Point series is the name of the podcast from Vistage that Yeah, you are involved in so if you want to learn more about doing that, about doing your own podcasts, go to rise 25 Media calm or email us at support at rise. 25 Media calm so Matthew, firstly, Let’s start with your background how you got into entertainment technology. You’re basically born into the industry, both your parents were involved in the theater.

Matthew Griffiths 4:09

That’s right. You’re almost as near to being born in the traveling circus. My father came out to the war, Second World War, having loads of skill in electronics, and got a job in the theater. He started working in London’s West End in the Phoenix theater, and he met my mother who had come out of art school where she’d studied costume design. And they met when she was a stage manager. He was an electrician, they got together. And very quickly, my mother realized that they probably needed to work separately. So she gravitated over to television, which at the time started to do live production of Performing Arts on television or certainly on British television. And she had a very long career. rare in TV and she did his current affairs and she ended up doing a children’s TV, which she said was the most fun part of the whole life. He, on the other hand, worked as started off as an electrician, let’s say then became group engineer and worked for the Stoll, mus theater. And publish was one of the big faces or groups, or the biggest hits group in London’s West End, certainly in the 80s 70s 80s 90s 2000s. So they had about 13 of the Western thirds. Are there any of your listeners that have been to London would have been in one of them like the London Palladium, the Drury Lane theatre, magisters, or the shells, gravity theaters. And so, growing up as a child, the only way I got to see my father was by going up and being with him on stage and I kind of you know, that’s how I ended up in the business because that was my initially right playground and that’s where I felt more comfortable.

John Corcoran 6:02

Got it. Got it. And so what point did you kind of rise into leadership? Because that’s a big leap from running around behind the stage helping with lights and sound and stuff like that to, you know, being really deeply involved in eventually leading the world’s largest entertainment Technology Association.

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