Intern to CEO: Lessons Learned along the way – Above all else, be a team player
At BerganKDV, we call our CEO, Dave Hinnenkamp, the Accidental Accountant. Way back in the 8th grade, Dave procrastinated on a homework assignment about careers. So, he grabbed the first job at the top of the assignment list—accountant— and got the paper turned in. Sounds weird, but this assignment set Dave on a path that led to him earning an accounting degree and an internship at BerganKDV. In fact, he was the first intern BerganKDV ever had.
Throughout his career, Dave has learned a lot of lessons along the way. This is the last in a series of five blog posts where Dave shares tips that helped him during his journey from Intern to CEO at BerganKDV.
#5: Above all else, be a team player.
One of my passions is playing baseball. I love to watch baseball, but my real joy is when I have the opportunity to get out on the field and play. My usual position is shortstop, but I also pitch and play outfield when I get the chance to play in my summer league in the Twin Cities and at my favorite annual event, the Minnesota Twins Fantasy Camp in Florida each winter.
My love for baseball started at a very young age, playing pick-up games with friends as a kid and throughout high school. I took a break from baseball when I started my career and as I was busy raising my family. I was fortunate to be able to pick up the sport again later in life and have met some great people and even more importantly, learned some lifelong lessons.
Ask anyone who works with me, I have a lot of parallels that I draw from my experience in the corporate world and what I learned on the field. The one that stands out to me the most is above all else, be a team player. A good team player demonstrates some great qualities that when demonstrated in the work setting, make a huge impact.
Good team players:
- Know their role/position on the team and execute it with passion
- Support their teammates when they are struggling
- Show up to all practices and the game prepared to play
- Hold themselves accountable to the commitments they make to the team
- Share the spotlight with their teammates and share in ownership when things don’t go well
- Commit to improving their game for the betterment of the team
Using another sports analogy, as CEO, I am like the quarterback for the football team. I call the plays, and from time to time, the wrong play may get called or the right play may get called but the team doesn’t execute properly. But the important thing is we huddle back together as a team to figure out our next move. The more talented and committed the players on my team are, the better chance we have of winning the game, even when we may have a few setbacks along the way.
As I round out my blog series for the young professionals out there, I encourage you as you start your career to look for a place to work that truly believes in building a strong team. At BerganKDV, our human capital – our team – is our primary asset. Attracting, retaining and developing talent and then unleashing that talent to deliver a wow experience for our clients is our passion. Start here to check us out.