198: Leaders with Heart Solve Problems

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In this episode, Heather sits down with Shawn Lalehzarian, Co-Founder & Chief Executive Officer at The Red Chickz. The Red Chickz is a Nashville Hot Chicken franchise restaurant that Shawn founded in 2018. Before that, Lalehzarian spent over 20 years in the restaurant industry – starting off as a dishwasher and proving himself worthy at every position, ultimately leading him to where he is today. Take a listen.  

Key Takeaways: 

  • It doesn’t matter where you start, you can work your way up
  • Hard work pays off
  • You can build a successful brand with content marketing
  • Being a problem-solver makes you indispensable 
  • Personal growth is also reflected in your work
My drive comes from being eager to solve problems. - Shawn Lalehzarian  #leadershipwithheart Click To Tweet

Shawn Lalehzarian’s Bio

“I immigrated to United States in 1999. I was 17 years old and didn’t really know anything about the country and culture of it. I didn’t even know how to speak English. Got a job as a dishwasher and that’s where my journey in food and beverage industry started.

I’ve been in food and beverage industry for 22 years, spent 18 years of that in management and senior management positions. I have operated multi-branded operations with over $25 Million in revenue and 400 employees. I’ve been involved in over 40 restaurant openings of brands such as California Pizza Kitchen, Starbucks, Ruby’s, Pinkberry, Chili’s and Wolfgang Puck.

I opened my first restaurant in downtown Los Angeles in 2014, second restaurant in 2016 and The Red Chickz in 2018. Launched our franchise program for The Red Chickz in September 2021 and working on our expansion plans.”

Prioritizing Employees

Our employees are just as important as the brand. When I’m making decisions on how something will affect our brand, I also think about how it’s going to affect our employees. That’s because I’ve been there myself. I have done all positions, from dishwashing to being a cook and even serving for a couple of years. From experience, I know how it feels to be in that position. I know how miscommunication from top management can affect employees from experiencing it myself and don’t want to do that to our employees. 

solve problems shawn leaders

198: Leaders with Heart Solve Problems Click To Tweet
Once you become a problem solver everyone is going to come to you and you will grow rapidly. - Shawn Lalehzarian Mina  #leadershipwithheart Click To Tweet


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Leadership With Heart With Heather R Younger

“Heather’s courage and vulnerability to share her authentic self are truly inspiring. She shares the most cutting-edge leadership strategies on topics like emotional intelligence and employee experience. If you’re looking to sharpen your leadership skills, this podcast is for you.”

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