Hospitality Leadership Coach Matt Rolfe on Being Vulnerable and Sharing Your Truth

Interview with Hospitality Leadership Coach Matt Rolfe about setting boundaries in life and work, creating positive leverage, and being honest with your team.

learn more about Shawn P. Walchef

By Shawn P. Walchef • Dec 6, 2022

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Leadership Requires Boundaries - A part of a leader's job is to pour into others on a consistent basis. Matt Rolfe realized that leaders can't be effective, or pour knowledge and inspiration into anyone else, if they don't take care of themselves first.

Positive Leverage - As the industry changes, leaders must adjust to change with it. As a leadership coach, Matt Rolfe encourages companies to invoke positive leverage to keep the company pushing forward.

Perfection Creates Disconnection - Matt Rolfe is unafraid to share his story and healing journey. According to him, some of the best leaders are vulnerable enough to show their imperfections, and personal work, so that they can build trust.


Hospitality Leadership Coach Matt Rolfe uses his personal story of triumph, and a healing journey through therapy, to help others become better leaders.

No one is perfect. It takes constant effort to be a better person.

"What I want to show leaders is that they don't need to be perfect. Perfect creates disconnection, not connection," says Matt Rolfe to podcast host Shawn P. Walchef of CaliBBQ Media at the 2022 Hospitality Leadership Summit in Toronto, Canada.

"The reason I share my story is because it's my therapy."

Therapy is a recurring theme in Matt Rolfe's speeches and lessons. As a leader, he has learned the importance of internal work in relation to effective leadership.

"One thing I realized, if we're at the service of others in leadership and we leave our own gas tanks empty sometimes," Rolfe says. "I burnt out at one point. And what I realized was I allowed everybody to plug in to me. But I didn't have boundaries for myself."

"But I think for leadership, once we can take care of ourselves, we can control our state and our energy."

Energy is finite, and Matt Rolfe believes that leaders should reserve their energy to create positive leverage both in their business and within themselves.

"I think for any leader out there, there's more opportunity for positive change than ever before," he says. "We need to make sure that we can slow down, connect, have a relationship."

The most impactful relationship Matt Rolfe has developed is with himself and coming to terms with past trauma, mindsets, and ideologies that may have hampered his leadership. Now being able to speak freely and openly, despite the presence of vulnerability, is freeing for Rolfe.

"I'm focused on helping my clients get the result that they want, not just consume more information."


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Shawn P. Walchef

Shawn P. Walchef is the founder of Cali BBQ Media, podcast host, business coach, and proud dad. Since opening Cali BBQ in 2008, he has grown his San Diego restaurant and media company into a global brand using digital tools and smartphone storytelling. 

As a restaurateur who opened during the Great Recession, Shawn learned to use the power of the Internet to stay in business. During the Pandemic, Cali BBQ developed a scalable growth plan that is three times more profitable than the traditional full-service restaurant model.
Email to get in touch.

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