This week’s ‘Five Minutes With’ series features Joseph S. Taylor, President and CEO, Matrix Development Group, whose project – Matrix Global Logistics Park Staten Island – is a 2019 Awards Finalist for Excellence in Industrial Development.
Who has had the greatest influence on your career and what was the best advice he or she gave you?
Alan Vaughan was my first mentor straight out of college and was a profound and lasting influence in my career. Back then, Alan was managing leasing for Tishman Management and Leasing; I was impressionable and unmolded just two weeks out from graduation. Alan’s example and advice had everything to do with work ethic – we’d start every morning by 7:30 – along with respect for our profession, clients and service providers with whom we worked and served. He didn’t just teach me how to work hard – he taught me how to work alongside every other hard-working stakeholder in a deal in order to arrive at win-win solutions. In short, I learned how to treat others such that they would want to reach mutually advantageous conclusions. Those were good life lessons as well.
What qualities do you think are essential to be an effective leader?
It starts with being a good listener and then being a good communicator of goals and expectations. If a leader needs followers, then it is also true that followers need a vision and goal that they understand. They need to know where we are going, and what defines “success”. An effective leader needs to be empathetic, consistent and have a clear vision.
As a ULI NY Awards nominee, what makes you most proud of your project?
I think the Global Logistics Park of Staten Island is a great example of private investors working closely with State, City and Borough branches of government to accomplish a first-of-its kind project in a relatively short time frame. This was accomplished by the leadership and perseverance of a terrific and creative Borough President, James Oddo. That being said, I am most proud of the thousands of new jobs (both temporary and full-time) that we have created from whole cloth for Borough residents.