Matt Hernandez

Territory manager, Fabick CAT

Age: 33

Education: Bachelor of science in business management, Mid-Continent University.

Some of DeJarnett's professional accomplishments include:

n Manage multi-state territory, Fabick CAT Power Systems.

n Milestone Revenue Award 2015, 2016.

n Served as internet sales manager, and sales manager, Mike Smith Toyota.

A few of the organizations he has been involved in:

n Paducah Day Nursery, former board president.

n Kiwanis Club of Paducah, president-elect and Key Club advisor.

n Heartland Church, deacon.

What is the biggest challenge for a young leader in today's workplace?

The biggest challenge in my mind for any young professional is finding a trusted advisor that has been where they are, willing to help develop them and mold them into a leader. They need an advisor that is open minded to learn from the young leader as well, and not be intimidated by them. The Paducah area has a wealth of young leaders, and has supported them greatly, more so in the most recent years. Now that I'm more experienced, it is obvious that my success did not come without help. When starting my career, I remember being intimidated by the success of many of the business leaders in the community, feeling disconnected from them for a number of reasons, including the fact I didn't see many my age or slightly older. Young leaders need someone in their corner, mentoring and coaching them. I am fortunate enough to have that relationship with several of the leaders that had once intimidated me. St. Louis Cardinals Manager Mike Matheny spoke a while back on Jon Jay, and how he trained relentlessly with what was going to obviously be his replacement, but he did it with pride and without hesitation. Or to put in biblical terms, every Paul needs a Timothy, and every Timothy needs a Paul, at all times in their lives. I encourage anyone that has been or is a leader, to look around and see who you can help come up through the ranks. What are you doing to ensure you continue to grow and develop as a leader, to look around and see who you can help come up through the ranks.

What is one characteristic that you believe every leader should possess?

There are a host of characteristics that aid success. One that I believe to be the most important is one I did not learn until recently. Through the joy of parenting, there is one thing I have learned that my 4-year-old wants me to do: listen. Every leader should possess the ability to listen, and not just to things they want to hear. Leaders should have the capability to listen to opposing sides without being argumentative, or responding toosoon.

What are you doing to ensure you continue to grow and develop as a leader?

Last year, State Treasurer Allison Ball spoke at a Paducah Chamber Power in Partnership Breakfast. She spoke on how it is important to know your focus, and to know what you believe. While she covered other points such as always being teachable and to always persevere, what struck me most was the point to focus on the core presence of who you are. I am working hard to make sure that I invest my time wisely in things that are within that focus. While many young leaders are encouraged to say "yes" to everything to get their name out there, I am learning the power of the word "no" in an effort to make sure my time is being invested wisely and within my core values. I believe if I stick with that plan, always listen, and continue to surround myself with people wiser than me, I will continue to grow and develop as a leader.

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