ceoMike Yantis Jr. ’02, CEO of Yantis Company, has quickly moved up the corporate ladder. Starting out as a project manager at Yantis in late 2002 after finishing his bachelors in management, Yantis was promoted to president by 2007, and then CEO inlate 2012.

His hard work and dedication helped make his family’s company more successful than ever between 2002 and 2007, helping the company to grow by almost 200 percent and 400 employees,making Yantis one of the largest private companies in the greater San Antonio area. Yantis said that for a long time he said yes to whatever work came his way, part of how he helped get so much done,but learned that sometimes no is the better answer.

“You overcommit yourself and you endup just running in circles,” Yantis says about saying yes all of the time. At the end of one week Yantis realizedhe had only spent about five hours at his desk doing actual wor1<,and knew he had to learn to delegate better. “Iwould just caution you to focus on what’s actually going to help you along. Don’t do things at the expense of your goals.”

Yantis warned students against other mistakes like over­ diversifying a company, rushing into deals that seem too good to be true without doing research, and letting things get personalbetween you and other employees and with competitors.

“Not everybody’s going to like you,” Yantis says about getting out into the work force. “At the end of the day you don’t need to let it drive you crazy or make it something that you worry about all the time. If there’s business to be done, business is business.”

The only thing that Yantis recommends making personalis communication. “The thing you have to remember about e-mails is that they live forever,” says Yantis about today’s preferred method of wor1< communication. “Tone is really hard in e-rnails,so people take e-mails the wrong way sometimes. If you’ve got something bad to say tO> somebody, or something negative, do it face to face.”

His advice stems partly from his experience of having old e-mails he had sent used during
litigation in a lawsuit Yantis Company brought against a competitor severalyears back. Yantis says sometimes when you receive a negative e-ma,il it is easy to get caught up in an onilne battle,but youhave to hold yourself back.

Most importantly, Yantis says, he wanted students to realize part of being successfulmeans making mistakes along the way. He wanted to share some of his mistakes and how he deak with them so the students could learn how to dealwith certain situations.

Dominic Odom ’15, a Business Honors major, says the visit with Yantis taught him about how construction in and around the San Antonio area works, and how complicated the bidding process is. “The main takeaway that Mr. Yantis imparted onto me is that business need not be a personal thing,” Odom says. “Feeling slighted is a good way to lose perspective on a job.”

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