Name: David Yeghiaian
Business Title: Chief Strategy Officer
Favorite Musician: Volbeat (it changes often and may be something different next week)
Favorite Vacation: The Holy Land, Egypt, Italy, Peru, Kenya
Favorite Restaurant: Margarita’s, Green Bay, WI
EMPLOY HUMANITY: What is in the DNA of a servant leader?
David Yeghiaian: There are many strands of servant leader DNA. Humility and vulnerability are high on the list, and I would place faith very high as well – having a belief in something greater than oneself. Jesus is the model of servant leadership, and He and his leadership style are described very well in the Gospels as a model for us all to follow. Love others and always put others before yourself. I use a term “Heart & Soul Inspired Leader” who is any individual, regardless of age, role or title; who embraces his/her personal gifts, strengths and passions to positively impact others and change the world. A servant leader or Heart & Soul Inspired leader continual seeks to improve the people and environment (community, work, anything the person interacts with) around them via coaching, mentoring, learning, development, etc. – ideally to leave the people and environment better today than it was yesterday.
EMPLOY HUMANITY: What has been the most important factor(s) in your leadership development journey?
David Yeghiaian: There are several factors in my leadership development journey. My faith is No. 1. If I am fully grounded in my faith, leadership becomes easier because I am able to use the gifts and strengths I’ve been given to positively impact others. Early in my career, an important factor was learning what not to do as I unfortunately had some poor leaders, so I viewed this as an opportunity of what I would do different. I also proactively sought out coaches/mentors to learn from and have been fortunate to have many who are now friends. Another factor was a willingness to always raise my hand and volunteer for work projects or community assistance. This allowed me to get involved with many projects to gain leadership skills and knowledge, as well as another venue to learn from others. Finally, is having a supportive wife. Without my wife’s support, I would be a fraction of the leader I am today. Taken together, I view this as Holistic Leadership whereby a leader should be aligned in five areas of leadership – faith, family, personal/self, work, and community/humanitarian.
EMPLOY HUMANITY: How does Emotional Intelligence, the awareness and management of your own emotions and the emotions of others, play a role in your leadership?
David Yeghiaian: I used to be weak at Emotional Intelligence and was blessed to have a prior employer who invested in me by hiring a coach to help me with Emotional Intelligence. Owning your emotions requires deep self-reflection to know yourself well. What makes you tick, what triggers you, etc. The more knowledge of this, the better I have been able to manage my own emotions and adapt to others’ emotions. This relates to humility and vulnerability because demonstrating strong Emotional Intelligence allows stronger relationships, trust and confidence to be developed with others, which only enhances and strengthens overall leadership. An element of being a great leader is understanding you are only as good as your team. Having high Emotional Intelligence creates stronger teamwork, collaboration, and mutual success.
EMPLOY HUMANITY: Who has made the most positive impact on your life and what is this individual’s attributes?
David Yeghiaian: There are so many, although I will choose my wife Kim. I have known her for nearly 35 years, and we have been married almost 27 years; so, she has seen me as a young, arrogant go-getter to a much humbler and more vulnerable husband, leader and humanitarian. She is completely selfless, as she has allowed me to invest time in my faith, which is my core foundation. She has allowed me to invest time in local and international humanitarian work, which have improved my leadership skills and ability to positively impact the world. She has allowed me to invest time coaching/mentoring others. In each instance, she is being selfless because she understands these items fill my soul, which only help me be a better husband. Kim’s attributes are empathy, listening, kindness and support – each which compliments me. I have learned so much from her in our years together and look forward to sharing much more as we continue our life journey.