ILA Podcast

Two Turntables and the Right Tone

Phronesis: Practical Wisdom for Leaders

with Dr.  Matt Dearmon


Scott and guest Matt Dearmon discuss practice and theory in corporate leadership development. Matt has a Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction from UT-Austin and guides leadership and professional development at the global enterprise level.

Quotes From This Episode

“I’ve always kind of understood theory and practice as two records on a turntable. How do you blend those? How do you sync the tempo? How do you get the tonality to match?  How do you get the right key?”

“One of the things I love about leadership is that I like to think of it as an asymptotal craft. An asymptote is a geometric figure where a line is infinitely close to both the x and the y axis, but it never quite touches – for infinity, it’s always closer and closer to the X-axis on this side and closer and closer to the Y-axis on this side. But it never quite touches its asymptotal – you’re never going to get there.”

“My secret weapon is that research capability that I draw directly from my experience in academia.”

“Like a lot of practitioners, I rely a little bit on some of your aggregators of research – MIT Sloan or HBR. I think that’s a good place to start, especially for a practitioner in the field to understand having a framework or an approach or a school of thought that might go a little bit deeper. Then I’ll find some strains that I can dig into, and I’ll start going back to the research and dig a little bit deeper on it.”

About Dr. Matt Dearmon

Matt Dearmon is the Director of Leadership and Professional Development at Informatica, an organization that empowers next-generation cloud data innovation. Matt has a Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Texas at Austin and began his career as an educator before moving to coaching and e-learning. Eventually, he moved from leading small, learning-focused companies, including his own, to guiding leadership and professional development at the global enterprise level. Matt is a dedicated leader focusing on innovative excellence, an expert curriculum developer, and an experienced facilitator with a passion for applied learning.

Host Scott J. Allen

Scott Allen

Scott J. Allen, Ph.D., is the Standard Products—Dr. James S. Reid Chair in Management at John Carroll University. He is an associate professor and teaches courses in leadership, management skills, and executive communication. He is also a communications coach, consultant, author, podcast host, and entrepreneur. For almost two decades, he’s worked with clients to improve their leadership and communication skills. Learn more about Scott here.

About Phronesis

Phronesis: Practical Wisdom for Leaders offers a smart, fast-paced discussion on all things leadership. Scott and his expert guests cover timely, relevant topics and incorporate practical tips designed to help you make a difference in how you lead and live.