When we say Purple Story is a team of operators, we mean it. And that means we have EXTREMELY high standards for our own operations!  
 
Finding someone to take charge of making sure the Purple magic happens and is better than it needs to be was a tough ask,,, But when you find the one, you just know! 
 
Now two months in, we thought we’d check in with Head of Operations Matt Howcroft, see how he’s getting on, and get to know him better too! 
 
 
Hello Matt, welcome to the team! We’d like to introduce you to everyone and show them what a great #PurplePerson you are. First, can you tell us about your background? 
 
Thank you! I am incredibly excited to be part of Purple Story, it definitely feels like I’ve found my calling in life! 
 
My 30-year hospitality career started way back as a 16-year-old waiter at The Royal York Hotel (back then it was called silver service!). After finding that university wasn’t for me one term into a PE degree, at 22 years old I landed my first pub GM job. A successful stint as a pub manager followed, along with some specialist roles in Mitchells & Butlers. From being an Area Manager I spread my wings into casual dining, branded pub restaurants, and, latterly, leased & tenanted pubs. 
 
Why Purple Story then? 
 
I have always had a natural desire to help others. I get my energy from seeing people succeed and being a part of that, no matter how big or small my input. I captained sports teams at school and even then my leadership style was naturally person centric – I always prioritised team success and achieving a shared goal over personal glory! 
 
That hasn’t always served me well in the ‘everyone for themselves’ world of work I grew up in, so I want to play my part to blowing up those past perfect behaviours. I passionately believe in the Purple Story mission and it just makes sense, right?! It does to me! 
 
What does the Head of Operations at Purple Story actually do? 
 
Ha, this I am learning fast! I’m here to make sure the magic happens and that we are better than we need to be! I oversee the delivery of all programmes, workshops and courses whilst fostering great relationships with our wonderful clients. I also support and help develop the fabulous Storytellers and the central team so that we deliver outstanding experiences to our clients and their teams, helping them drive performance through their people. On top of this, I sit on the Board and share responsibility for delivering on special projects and growing the business! 
 
Proudest moment? 
 
Professionally, it’s becoming qualified in Executive Coaching and Mentoring last year. A huge undertaking alongside full-time work, but absolutely worth it for the skills I gained. 
 
In my personal life, it is without doubt playing my part in bringing up two amazing and talented young ladies who are both wonderful human beings and definitely #PurplePeople! 
 
What makes you a Purple Person? 
 
Those that know me well know that I am a huge lover of sport. Football lost its shine for me when big money took over (don’t tell Lynda!) but I grew up playing Rugby League and Cricket. A lot of who I am comes from being around those environments as a child and into my 30’s, and now as a super geeky fan! 
 
Sport taught me the values of trust, respect, honesty, vulnerability, accountability, and understanding your competitive edge. I learned how to really build personal connections and influence others, whilst recognising what I can bring to a team and what I need others to bring that I’m not so good at. And that that’s ok too! 
 
What makes me most Purple is that I genuinely care about people, enabling me to be both honest and kind. 
 
Worst past-perfect leadership trait you'd banish from the world? 
 
Forcing people to fit the mould rather than letting them shine as individuals! We all have unique gifts and squashing people into a box is not the way to help them flourish. Let people show up as themselves, and they will absolutely smash it.  
 
What's the most surprising thing about you? 
 
I am a massive musical theatre fan! I am a very proud Yorkshire man with a badly broken nose and a love of good beer and great food, so you might not make the connection immediately, but my favourite thing to do would be to go and see a show! 
 
Both my girls have danced from the age of 3 - they are now 16 and 20 - so I have been a devoted and proud ‘Dance Dad’ for years. Lauren, my eldest is doing a Musical Theatre performing degree at the prestigious Bird College in London, and I can’t wait to see her on the West End Stage one day! Sophie is currently doing her GCSEs and has no intention of following in her sister’s footsteps, but she is a teacher at her dance school. They both make me incredibly grateful and proud to be a father to two awesome girls. 
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