Sutherland has a plethora of incredible people. However, we have many who are willing to go the Extra Mile. In acknowledgment of their efforts, we honor them as a Platinum Performer. Meet Sutherland’s latest awardee – Asen Conev.
- What gets you up in the morning? No, not your dog or alarm….but what really drives you to get up and give your best each day?
This is probably one of the most difficult questions that one can possibly give a short and straightforward answer to. Let me try. Over the years things that got me up in the morning have changed a number of times. In a nutshell, today I wake up to become a better version of myself as a person. I need to know that I have made a progress, not necessarily in relation to someone that I know (even though I do use selected friends for benchmarking) but rather as compared to what I was yesterday. I regularly analyze my behavior, thoughts and actions and try to isolate improvement areas. I do that by reviewing my journal (yes I do journal) and by asking people that I respect for feedback. As a result, I come up with a map of my “soft spots” and then I go ahead and try to generate action items that I believe would address these sub-optimal areas. I am also trying to remain outside of my comfort zone for as long as I can. Apart from all that self-improvement thing I have been trying to be a father for the past 5 years. In fact, this is a one of my latest reasons to wake up both literary and metaphorically. We all know the quote “With great power comes great responsibility”. I would insist that this holds true even when you flip it in reverse. “With great responsibility comes great power” If you are willing to accept greater responsibility, you must step up your power game.
2. Tell us something about Sutherland or your role specifically that others may not know.
I work in Sutherland as a Sr. Transition Manager. This is a very exciting role that most people do not really know a lot about. Most of the time the first question that I get asked when I meet a new person is what do I do for a living. When I say Transition manager in almost 100% of the cases the follow up questions is “What is that? What are you transitioning?” So… without going deep in the various aspects of the job – it basically comes down to a client-facing role that is hybrid between project manager and consultant. I transition client’s core business processes from their environment into the Sutherland infrastructure and in some instances, transform them en route. It is an extreme form of project management. If I have to describe it more metaphorically let’s say that the traditional project management is Boxing and Transition and Transformation feels like MMA.
3. So far in your career at Sutherland, what are your top three most important accomplishments?
Sutherland is a high-performance place. Every day is an accomplishment. My top 3 accomplishments in no particular order:
- Led simultaneous launch for a top tier software back up company in three locations (Sofia, Bangalore, Dalian).
- Consulted a leading Airline company in setting up a shared services center in Serbia and transitioned the first five clients in the newly built facility.
- Successfully transitioned one of the world’s largest/oldest hotel brands into our Sofia office.
4. Who at Sutherland has made the biggest impact on your career and why?
I have never worked with so many “superstars” in the project management field before. I am part of a global project management team and almost every single person on that team has that “Chuck Norris” status. People in my organization are truly top of the range in this field and they all make daily impact on me and my career. It could be something minor such as a feedback after a client call or something practical like how to take notes during a call which you are leading. By far the greatest impact has come from my former direct manager Mark Sterling who recently has decided to step out of the company. He was someone that I have constantly looked up to in many respects. I really admired his leadership style and passion for work.
5. What’s the best advice you’ve ever received at work or in life?
“Success as well as failure are rarely caused by a single/one-off action. They are result of small gradual changes that we do or fail to do daily. Most people are looking for a single big win type of move. I am looking for minor tweaks and improvements that accumulate and compound overtime.”
6. What are the three things that best describe you?
Learn, make a difference, have fun.