Nearly 200 professionals ages 20-35 from the metro area attended the Twin Cities Young Professionals Summit June 13, hosted this year at Starkey Hearing Technologies’ headquarters in Eden Prairie.
Starkey Hearing Technologies President Brandon Sawalich delivered the afternoon keynote address, in addition to opening the facilities to the event.
“The topic was leadership, and management, and really working with people,” said Sawalich. “I think school prepares everybody for the business world, but like anything, doing your job gives you a lot of life lessons. I shared with them some of my life lessons in leadership and management, and a little bit of insight on what Starkey’s all about.”
With a 25-year history with the company, Sawalich certainly had insight to share. He said that the overall theme was “leading from the front,” displaying his own leadership style.
“I shared with them that I do everything — from getting a cup of coffee to airport pickups to big corporate decisions for Starkey,” said Sawalich. “The point is, leadership is about doing whatever you ask of others. If you ask somebody to do something, then you’re willing to do that as well.
“You’re only going to be as good as the people you work with, so I think my approach to leadership is more that of servant leadership,” continued Sawalich. “I don’t like the word ‘boss’ or talking in those types of terms. I’m more of a collaborator and a team-builder. You get a lot out of influencing and helping people succeed than telling people what to do and making yourself look good.”
His address was an hour long, and Sawalich said that he was pleased with the level of interest the audience showed.
“We were pleased to host it, and I was honored to be asked to speak, but what was great was you could see a lot of the young minds in there that are the future of business — there were nearly 200 people in there, eager to do better,” said Sawalich. “Everyone in there was obviously investing in themselves, and I applaud that. You have to lead yourself before you can lead others.”
Sawalich said that hosting the event was well in line with Starkey’s culture of improvement and giving back to the communities of which it counts itself a member.
“We want to continue to be a good citizen of the community — helping others and giving back,” said Sawalich. “We have a lot of pride in what we do, and we have a lot of pride in being here in Eden Prairie, and having our global headquarters here. The least we can do is donate a little bit of that time and our theater for others that want to do good and get better.”
For more information on the 2019 Twin Cities Young Professionals Summit, visit tcypsummit.com.