Synthesizing his background as an NFL athlete and a successful entrepreneur combined with his education and research training in positive developmental psychology, Damian Vaughn serves as a trusted advisor to senior leaders focused upon organizational change, leadership development, and organizational performance.
After joining the American football team as a walk-on at Miami University of Ohio in 1993, Vaughn was drafted into the National Football League (NFL) in 1998 by the Cincinnati Bengals with the 33rd pick in the seventh round of the draft. He played tight end for the Bengals from 1998 to 2000 and for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers from 2001 to 2002. As a retired American Football tight end and the first Brazilian NFL player, Vaughn has made efforts to promote awareness and interest in American football among Brazilians.
Following his career in professional football, Vaughn founded The Vaughn Center, which has served to develop the leadership and positive social impact of the world’s elite athletes and business leaders. As a performance and leadership coach, Vaughn has worked with Super Bowl champions, Olympians, and elite athletes with the Green Bay Packers, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Philadelphia Eagles, Kansas City Chiefs, Arizona Cardinals, Boston Red Sox, New York Yankees, Phoenix Suns, UCLA Bruins, Oklahoma Sooners, Indiana Hoosiers, among others.
As a management consultant and executive coach, Vaughn advises senior business leaders focused on executive learning and development, senior management team assessment and performance feedback, and management assessment for pre-hire decisions.
Vaughn has also established himself as a successful entrepreneur. He began by co-founding a countertop manufacturing venture that quickly grew into a multi-million dollar business. He subsequently founded another company which served as an importer and wholesaler of rare and exotic stone for commercial application in the states of Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico, and California. Vaughn raised millions of dollars in private equity financing for the company, which went on to achieve seven-figure numbers in gross revenues. He also founded a manufacturing company in Brazil, where he holds dual citizenship.
Vaughn believes in the simple philosophy that proper fit leads to high performance with a focus on fostering multiple dimensions of fit in an organization: fit among the executive team, fit between executives and the requirements of their roles, fit between strategy and executive strengths, and fit between the developmental stage of the organization and its executives. By developing and aligning the right talent with the right positions, managers enhance the performance of their teams, functions, and enterprise.
Under the tutelage of Dr. Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, author of FLOW: The Psychology of Optimal Experience, Vaughn conducts research in motivation orientation and the flow state at work and in sport.