“I’ve learned that it is nigh on impossible to have all facets of your life on track at the same time” – 60 seconds with Matthew Gleeson of Blackberry Hearing

60 Seconds With, Interviews | Tue 18 Jan | Author – Business & Finance
Pictured: Matthew Gleeson, General Manager, Blackberry Hearing

Matthew Gleeson is General Manager at Blackberry Hearing. Blackberry Hearing is an Irish-owned hearing healthcare provider with over 40 clinics across Ireland.

What was your first job? 

As a kid I worked in hospitality, bars, restaurants, and hotels and really enjoyed the hustle of it all.  My first proper job after college was a marketing internship in the Caribbean with Digicel St. Lucia. A truly defining experience for me where I met some wonderful people and learned the ropes of telecoms.

What pushed you to pursue a career in this field?

Telecoms was and is such a dynamic field. When I was in Digicel and Vodafone, I worked on launching fibre broadband, TV and streaming TV apps. I’ve always been a techie so this was probably what drew me in. Hearing healthcare is a very different space, but the connection you have with customers and their families is real and the impact you can deliver gives real life equity. I was brought into Blackberry Hearing three years ago to run the business by the co-founders John Ryan and Dave Gleeson (my dad). I took this role to broaden my overall skill set to include full P&L responsibility as well as the opportunity to come back to Ireland to my family and friends and my partner Ev (the true business mogul).

What would you regard as your greatest achievement to date?

I was part of an amazing team that rolled out FTTH (Fibre-to-the-Home) broadband and TV services across the Caribbean. We had 100,000 homes installed in less than one year. 

Career wise, would you do anything differently?

After 10 years of work, probably not. I’ve been incredibly lucky in my career to date, with opportunities to see the world, learn from some fantastic people and work on world-leading projects and brands that actually help people. 

In one sentence, how would you define success?

Success for me is being surrounded by good people who have your best interests at heart and not having to worry about the price of diesel, dessert or setting the alarm clock.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?

“You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take” – Wayne Gretzky – Michael Scott.

How do you motivate yourself and your staff?

I try to be honest and straightforward with my team. There will be days or weeks when things don’t go our way, but we need to spend our time and energies working on what we can control. Being very clear on what success looks like for us as a group and how we go about achieving it. You also need to recognise good results.

How do you handle adversity? 

I try to understand a problem from all sides, adversity is a part of life and it’s going to come at you all the time. Don’t be too hard on yourself or others. I’ve learned that it is nigh on impossible to have all facets of your life on track at the same time.

How do you relax?

Spending time outdoors, a yoga class, physio or deep tissue massage. Dinner with my better half and working on my Defender 130.

What are your aspirations for the future of the business?

Becoming the largest and most-trusted hearing aid provider in Ireland. Double or triple the size of the business while maintaining our efficiencies and most importantly, our reputation, with a team of motivated and fulfilled people.