Athlete and Entrepreneur Micah Hayes To Speak on Rebounding Business at SOTC

Business Q & A


The State of Talent Conference (SOTC) is a premier one-day conference experience completely focused on the future of workforce and talent development. Powered by CareerSource Suncoast, with partnered host Game On Nation, this leadership-focused conference provides a unique insight into the current state of talent in the workforce. Each year, SOTC brings together some of the best speakers from across the nation focused on talent development to help businesses engage their most valuable assets. With 500+ attendees, participants leave with insightful management strategies, networking and inspiration from the lineup of speakers brought onWhile the original live event was canceled this year in light of COVID-19, SOTC will now be providing a free and immersive digital experience on Thursday, July 16, 2020. Of the 10 speakers on board to present an engaging virtual presentation, SRQ connected with a few of the bright lights to hear what they're excited to bring to the table for our region's entrepreneurs and change-makers.

Prior to Micah Hayes founding Nino's Italian Restaurant in Atlanta, which he owns and operates today, he started his own company that focused on cultivating successful athlete performance at his strength training facility in Decatur, GA. There, he trained prep athletes and helped them achieve peak performance. Hayes has helped direct and develop over 7,000 athletes, coaches, and leaders using his knowledge of group dynamics, team building, culture development and communication. He has been a speaker and teacher of athlete performance for over seven years. 

What are you most excited to bring to the table for the SOTC conference this year? 

A message of servant leadership and conveying that even during a pandemic and these uncertain times that taking care of each other will always lead to greater productivity and greater profits. 

Can you share what your seminar topic covers and how you chose this theme for the event? What influenced you?

The topic is just how to rebound and readjust your business in uncertain times. Was influenced by my own situation. We had to find a way to maintain our business while safely reopening and supporting our staff and taking care of our guests.

What do you hope for Sarastoans to take away? 

That this is a great time to evaluate, communicate, and demonstrate the values that matter most vs what is just going to matter now. We have a great opportunity to readjust and realign and position ourselves to lean into what truly matters in business which is service and allowing people-centered and people-focused service and policies to drive our companies forward. 

Do you have any practical advice or “a-ha” moments you had in your professional life that you can share with our readers?

Business can be a really empty proposition when we put profit first, especially when the teams we build the places that we work occupy the vast majority of the time. Given that perspective, it is important that we build teams that we are enthusiastic about and create workspaces that make us proud. The question we should be asking is not “Can I win with you?’ but “Can I lose with you?”. When the chips are down are you still proud of your team and the work you are doing? That was a big moment for me. I wanted to know that I was doing right by the people around me and that while we may not always agree that we are all aligned and that our value systems are driving us towards our ultimate goal which in my industry is not to create a memorable and enjoyable dining experience through good food and good community. It is easier for me to go to bed at night knowing that everyone around me is serving to create those experiences and win, lose, or draw knowing that we are aligned on that gives me faith that we are going to make it through these times and that we will all be better for it. 

Photo of Micah Hayes, Courtesy of SOTC.

Register for the State of Talent live virtual conference here.

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