Intern to CEO: Lessons Learned along the way – don’t hoard success

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 fourth in a series of five blog posts where Dave shares tips that helped him during his journey from Intern to CEO at BerganKDV.

#4: Don’t hoard success.

It’s no secret now that my entry into the accounting field came by “accident.” After joining the work force, my path became clear – to become a partner. Honestly, I wasn’t sure what was involved in being a partner, but it was something everyone aspired to be when they started their careers with a CPA firm. Fast forward 30+ years, and now I have people who ask, “Did you ever think you would be the CEO of the company?”

It’s fun to reflect on that question. And, no, if you had asked me throughout the course of my career where I see the future Dave Hinnenkamp, I wouldn’t have said as CEO of BerganKDV. And that’s okay. There was no vision board or goal charting. I just knew I wanted to do good work and help people.

My journey was full of pivotal experiences that were both scary and exhilarating. Giving up a client base that I had built and nurtured for years, for example, wasn’t easy, but it was worth it. I trusted my gut to take a risk to start over and try something new!

Here’s the thing, in order to do good work and help people, I couldn’t hoard my success, I had to be willing to let go of what I had built and that can be difficult because of the competitive world we live in. But what I’ve learned, helping people, relying on your teammates and making an impact through the work you do will produce a greater return for you both personally and professionally then hoarding your success ever will. Will it lead to the top spot? Perhaps not. Remember, it’s about the journey, not the destination.

Keep challenging yourself to be and do your best and the rest will take care of itself.

Want to learn more about us? Start here and watch for my last blog post in this series about being a team player.

CATEGORIES: Featured | Life at BerganKDV
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