Thursday, June 16, 2011

5 Questions for Dave Kovacovich

I am starting a new series on DFTR called 5 questions. Once a week, I will showcase some of my favorite people by asking them differentiating questions. The goal is to give my readers an alternative view of the professional world through the eyes of those who have fought the good fight and won!

If you or someone you know would like to be part of this series just let me know.

Our first guest on the 5 Questions series is is the transcription of an interview I did with myself on the car ride to work this morning. I hope you enjoy this guest, he is one of my favorite people!

1. You have made some professional adjustments that have really benefited you as a person. How did this work?
I was caught up in the corporate rat race. My goal was to climb the ladder of a large corporation. I wanted to align myself with the right people, accept additional responsibility, and bring attention to my all back fired. I was young so I let the bravado of my motivation overwhelm my body of work. I was far too transparent in my ulterior motives and people got sick of me. When the light at the top of the ladder went dim, I had to switch careers.

I did a total career make over. I went from a large company to a smaller one, transferred from Technology to Human Resources, and started working from home. I made a commitment to let my work speak for itself. I stopped speaking up on conference calls and in meetings (unless called upon). I realized I had created a lot of extra, unnecessary stress in navigating my career path. When I let my work speak for itself the success wasn't forced. I saved a lot of time and a lot of hair follicles.

2. What do you enjoy most about working with HR Professionals?
I enjoy helping the more administrative team members develop confidence. There are folks who have been kept in generalists roles because of their lack of confidence. It's awesome to empower introverted people by helping them design a program (while giving them the metrics to defend their decision). I love it when a Senior Manager gives me a the 'go ahead' on a new program and the aforementioned catalyst is promoted.

3. Most Salesmen are fast talking jerks, how have you tried to avoid that stereotype?
I try to listen more than I talk, think with the customers mind, answer questions directly, make the solution applicable to a conveyed need, and to infuse some common sense.

As sales people, we tend to get hung up pretending to be product experts. Prospects don't care about our product knowledge, they care about how the product will fix a need, bring value to their company, and make their job easier. We get too hung up on touting our product without taking time to understand why (or if) our prospect needs what we're pushing. I hate to see a prospect ask a simple yes/no question and get a 10 minute product capability dump (that doesn't address their question). You wanna be a successful sales professional: listen and apply your solution to a conveyed need....and don't be afraid to say your product is incapable of doing certain things. Prospects appreciate salespeople who are not submissive to every request.

4. What are the latest trends in the world of Employee Recognition?
Who cares! Our industry tends to lack creativity. We latch on to themes like Employee Engagement and Motivating Millennials and we pretend we have a one size fits all solution. I don't believe there is such thing as an industry expert and I don't believe in best practices. Every industry, company, and employee have unique identities...trying to throw a blanket over it, makes consulting a commodity.

5. You are a big fan of sports and music. How do your personal preferences relate to your profession?
It's all about inspiration. I love the thrill of victory. Seeing the underdog overcome pre-conceived adversity makes me believe I can do anything. It's the same with music. I listen to Bon Iver and the sound scape opens my soul...I instantly forget the mundane pressures of life and I am filled with purpose for the moment. The challenge is always remembering the great stuff. Music and sports help me remember how amazingly awesome I can be.

Life is good for Dave! He lives to work because he loves his work. He loves his work because he takes no detail too seriously, has great relationships, and celebrates the strengths in everyone around him.

Next week we will talk to another amazing professional with genuine intent. Until then...

Don't Forget to Remember!