Vice President, Engineering & AI
United Talent Agency
Shahin Mohammadkhani is Vice President, Engineering & AI at United Talent Agency. He is driven by a life mission: to inspire those around him to become the best versions of themselves. His goal is to guide individuals in discovering their purpose, causes, and beliefs using technology as a powerful medium for inspiration.
With a diverse background, he is an accomplished executive, a dedicated youth mentor, and an ordained minister. His passion lies in technology, where he specializes in crafting product roadmaps, innovative solutions, and cutting-edge designs for Marketing, SaaS, and Cloud-Based Applications.
As an Executive, his focus extends beyond the latest technological trends. He is committed to leveraging technology to reduce costs, enhance customer satisfaction, and build corporate value. With a wealth of experience overseeing large-scale IT projects as an Executive Director, he consistently delivers top-quality solutions for Fortune 100 companies.
Learn more about the Southern California CDAO community here.
Give us a brief overview of the path that led to your current role.
The path to my current role as a leader in technology has been marked by a series of significant milestones and experiences. It began with my educational foundation, where I pursued relevant degrees and certifications to build a strong knowledge base in technology and leadership principles. Early in my career, I gained hands-on experience by working in various technical roles, which allowed me to develop a deep understanding of the intricacies of technology and its practical applications. I honed my technical skills and problem-solving abilities during this phase.
As I progressed, I transitioned into more senior roles that required me to not only excel in technical matters but also to demonstrate leadership qualities. These positions provided opportunities to manage teams and projects, where I learned to navigate complex challenges, communicate effectively, and drive results.
Throughout my journey, I continuously invested in my personal and professional growth, attending workshops, conferences, and training programs to stay updated with the latest industry trends and leadership practices. Networking played a crucial role in my career advancement. Building relationships with mentors, peers, and industry professionals helped me gain valuable insights, receive guidance, and open doors to new opportunities.
As I moved into executive roles, I developed a strategic mindset and a keen ability to align technology with business objectives. I focused on creating product roadmaps, innovative solutions, and effective strategies that delivered tangible value to my organization and its customers.
What is one of your guiding leadership principles?
One of my guiding leadership principles is inspired by "The Four Agreements" by Don Miguel Ruiz. In particular, the agreement that resonates with me as a leader is: "Be Impeccable with Your Word." As a leader, I believe in the power of clear and honest communication. Being impeccable with my word means that I strive to:
- Speak with Integrity: I make every effort to communicate truthfully and authentically. I ensure that my words are aligned with my actions, and I keep my promises to build trust among my team members.
- Avoid Gossip and Assumptions: I refrain from engaging in gossip or making baseless assumptions about others. Instead, I encourage open and respectful dialogue to address concerns or misunderstandings directly.
- Use Words for Positivity: I use my words to inspire, uplift, and motivate my team. I recognize the impact of my language on morale and productivity, and I choose words that foster a positive and inclusive work environment.
- Listen Actively: Being impeccable with my words also involves active listening. I understand that effective communication is a two-way process, and I make a conscious effort to listen to the perspectives and feedback of my team members.
By adhering to the principle of being impeccable with my word, I aim to create a workplace culture built on trust, transparency, and respect. This not only strengthens the bonds within the team but also sets a positive example for others to follow, ultimately contributing to our collective success.
With disruption being a key theme of recent years, where do you see the CDAO role going in the next 1-2 years?
Digital Transformation: C-level executives will continue to play a pivotal role in driving digital transformation initiatives within their organizations. The rapid advancement of technology and the need for businesses to adapt to digital ecosystems will require C-level leaders to prioritize digital strategies and investments.
Data and Analytics: Data-driven decision-making will become even more critical. Chief Data Officers (CDOs) and Chief Analytics Officers (CAOs) will have an increasingly prominent role in harnessing data for insights, innovation, and competitive advantage.
Cybersecurity and Privacy: With the rise in cyber threats and increased concerns about data privacy, Chief Information Security Officers (CISOs) and Chief Privacy Officers (CPOs) will see their roles expand. They will need to develop robust cybersecurity and privacy strategies to protect their organizations and comply with evolving regulations.
Overall, C-level roles will evolve to meet the challenges and opportunities presented by ongoing disruption. Leaders in these roles will need to be adaptable, tech-savvy, and forward-thinking to guide their organizations successfully through dynamic and uncertain times.
What advice would you give to someone just starting out as a CDAO?
Understand the Business Inside and Out: Take the time to thoroughly understand your organization's business model, industry dynamics, and competitive landscape. This foundational knowledge will be essential for making informed strategic decisions.
Build Strong Relationships: Establish and nurture relationships with key stakeholders, both within and outside the organization. This includes the board of directors, executive team, employees, customers, partners, and industry contacts. Effective communication and relationship-building are critical.
Set a Clear Vision and Strategy: Define a clear vision for the future of the organization and develop a well-thought-out strategic plan to achieve it. Ensure that your entire team understands and aligns with this vision.
Tell us 3 fun facts about yourself.
I love hiking, surfing, and music. I was also a Pan-American taekwondo champion for 5 consecutive years.
What is the value of joining an Evanta community?
Networking Opportunities: Evanta communities bring together professionals and leaders from various industries and sectors. This provides you with a valuable networking platform to connect with peers, exchange ideas, and build meaningful relationships. Networking can lead to new partnerships, collaborations, and career opportunities.
Knowledge Sharing: Evanta events often feature thought leaders, industry experts, and keynote speakers who share valuable insights, best practices, and emerging trends. By participating in these events and engaging with the community, you can stay updated on industry developments and gain access to valuable knowledge.
Peer Support: Being part of an Evanta community allows you to connect with peers who may be facing similar challenges in their roles. Sharing experiences and seeking advice from others who have been through similar situations can be highly beneficial.
Strategic Insights: Evanta events frequently focus on strategic discussions and leadership topics. Engaging with these discussions can help you develop a more strategic mindset and gain fresh perspectives on how to navigate complex business challenges.
Innovation and Inspiration: By attending Evanta events and interacting with innovative leaders, you can be inspired to think creatively and drive innovation within your own organization. Exposure to diverse ideas and approaches can fuel your own leadership journey.
Evanta Governing Body members share their insights and leadership perspectives to shape the agendas and topics that address the top priorities impacting business leaders today.
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