Published on LinkedIn on April 29, 2019
By Giovanna Aguilar, Multimedia Content Producer; Director, Writer
On August 1, 2018, Emma Arakelyan realized one of her lifelong dreams in Yerevan, Armenia, when she celebrated the publication of her book, The Business Caring Formula: Building Your New Leadership Lifestyle, in her homeland with her family, friends and distinguished colleagues. It was her call to action for other Armenians around the world always to remember their roots and give back.
She followed the event with the official launch of her international book tour in New York City this past January. Since then she has been to Boston, Paris, Berlin, Amsterdam, London, Gyumri, Vanadzor and more events in Yerevan, sharing the seven ingredients of her Business Caring Formula with a diverse audience of seasoned and young professionals, students and academics across industries and disciplines, including finance, accounting, technology, government, non-profit sector, consulting, film production, real estate and marketing.
An audience member in Germany, Kate Lewis, Director at The Accelerator Network Ltd, shared her experience on LinkedIn, “I’ve seen Emma’s leadership style in practice, felt her encouragement, inspiring nature alongside her expert business acumen. A great read for all leaders.”
This article is the second part of my interview with Emma about her book, from the upcoming podcast in which she explains her book’s mission and her formula for being a caring leader, in greater detail.
G: In your book, you share your formula to becoming a caring leader in business and all that you do in life. What is it?
Emma: The Business Caring Formula must include the seven ingredients I discuss in the book. It cannot be complete if one or two are missing. The formula is of a sum of the following: Business Family Builder + Change Engine (making exceptions to the rules) + Responsible Leader + Inclusive Leader + Passionate Leader + Humorous Leader + Positive Leader.
The first one, naturally, is the Business Family Builder. What it means is that caring leaders should take their family values to work or any other environment. When you look at your coworkers as a family, your decision-making and prioritization process change. For instance, if someone in your group is not performing or being difficult, you don’t immediately label them or get rid of them. Instead, you treat them like you would a family member. You call them in and ask, ‘ Can we talk? What’s going on? ‘ You need to look at what has changed in their life and what Is impacting their work. Then, deciding what to do is easy when you just treat your work as a family because everybody is trying to help each other to get to their full potential. This is how you create the highest performing teams.
G: How can people who haven’t experienced a nurturing family environment apply your first ingredient to their lives?
Emma: The concept here is that you can set that as a goal for yourself to create that type of family, and then take that with you through your career. I’ve coached hundreds of executives and professionals, helping them create a lifestyle based on caring, inclusivity and positivity.
The business caring leader is the one who builds that environment no matter where they go – a small company, big company, educational institutions, nonprofit or for profit. It doesn’t matter. It is the environment that you target and then you go with that caring mindset of ‘I’m going to build another family around me.’
Giovanna: How can employees affect change for social good at their companies?
Emma: Corporations are very powerful. They are almost like small countries themselves and have a global impact. Those corporations create very consistent cultures across their local and global locations. My call to action is for us to use that impact for a positive direction. I want people to go into those organizations with this mindset.
Giovanna: In organizations where the status quo does not nurture inclusivity, passion or humor, how can a person apply your formula?
Emma: We are so fortunate to live in this century, which is the innovation and creativity century. For all the young people, be really happy you live in this century because the opportunities are there. And, you can create them by embracing that you are part of the change engine that I discuss in my book. Now, you may say, ‘well, I’m just an entry-level young employee’ or ‘I’m in middle management, I’m not the CEO of the company, how would you change?’
Well, I experienced that thought in my life too and I solved most of those situations by making the exceptions to the rules. I wasn’t an executive from day one. What I did when something wasn’t working was to look deep into the role or the policy or the procedure that was there, trying to understand how it worked. It became part of my mission of making exceptions to the rules, processes or procedures that weren’t working for years.
Your thought process should be: ‘I’m going to change the rules that don’t make sense anymore. I’m going to challenge the status quo because it may be holding us back with our progress.’
The responsible leader takes on the status quo with that mindset, applying the change engine ingredient that is part of my caring formula. There is a really great quote from Pablo Picasso, ‘Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist.’
Check here to learn more about Emma’s book launch and signing events