Meet Sean Slaughter – Professional Development Director

Area Manager, Enterprise Holdings, Inc.

Entrepreneur

This is my niece, Sadie. She is only the second child that I have ever held (I am 32 years old…). The awesome reality of my life is that I will be a father to a little girl at the end of July. This picture represents me at this point in my life because it clearly shows that I have no idea how to handle, hold, or care for a child.  On the other hand, it (somehow) captures joy, love, and fearlessness of an unknown and utterly terrifying reality that is my future.  

 

Q: Is there a person that you look up to that inspires the career moves you’ve made so far? This can be a person you know, or a public figure (dead or alive).  

A: I am inspired by Anthony Keidis, lead singer of the Red Hot Chili Peppers.  If he, being a derelict from a broken family, getting hooked on heroin as a young teenager, having zero professional background in music but deciding to become a punk-rock singer,  going through the ebbs and flows of drug abuse/sobriety numerous times, and being the leader of the greatest rock band of all time (fact) can achieve all of this, what’s stopping me?

 

Q: Is there something you learned as a child that taught you something profound that you carry with you as a young professional?

A: When I was younger, my dad used to always tell me to smile.  I was never angry or upset at anything; I guess I could have had a slight Resting B**** Face or something.  Anyways, it used to make me so mad when he would say this to me. It made me uncomfortable to be called out in public about something silly like “Sean, smile :)”.  However, it taught me a few things:

  1. First impressions are critical to all levels of communication and connection so I better put on a good one!  
  2. Perception is reality.  If I look angry or upset, is that the image I truly want to portray to friends/family/strangers?  
  3. Being pushed out of my comfort zone typically leads to personal growth and development.  

Now, instead of being told to smile, I consciously evaluate my perceptive appearance when in public places.  Every now and then, I catch myself in a daze, and I have to wake myself up before my dad says “Sean, smile :)”.

 

Q: What is the hardest lesson you’ve learned in your career so far?

A: I have been fortunate to move up very rapidly in my company. Currently, I am at the “top of the food chain” for Enterprise in Chattanooga (I became Area Manager of the Chattanooga market in less than 4 years with the company at the age of 27).  However, taking on multiple leadership roles and management responsibilities at a young and inexperienced age was challenging. With the rapid promotion came a lot of professional praise and kudos that led me to think I could do no wrong.  I became slightly arrogant and overly confident in my professional abilities. However, after my promotion to the Area Manager role, I quickly learned that I truly knew very little about how to run a business, manage multiple locations and employees, or balance an appropriate work/life routine.  After many, many humbling and quite frankly embarrassing professional moments, I evolved into a more grounded and compassionate leader. In retrospect, moving quickly early on in my career hindered my maturation and growth. I have learned to respect the ride and help others avoid the pitfalls that I encountered.

 

Q: If you were to write an autobiography, what would it be titled?

A: What the F*%$ Did He Just Say: How to become greater than yourself by being yourself (subtitled)

 

Q: If you knew you would be forced to leave Chattanooga in 1 year from today, what would you like to accomplish here before you go?

A: One year would not allow me to achieve my long-term goals.  In that case, I would want to make the most out of my opportunity as Professional Development Director.  My goal is to grow the YPC brand, expand the diversity reach, and recruit new members who can truly make an impact on our community.  I would want to be remembered as a mover who got shit done and helped plant seeds for future growth.