Midwest Cooling Tower Services Business Development Manager David Spotts has learned a thing or two about being an effective manager over the years. First and foremost, he believes managers should allow employees to embrace their individuality on the job, regardless of position. BIC Magazine recently sat down with Spotts to learn more about his background and management beliefs.
Q: What led to your position at Midwest Cooling Tower Services?
A: I began my career in cooling towers in 1995, right out of college, working at Tower Tech. My father-in-law was the founder of that company, so you could say I married into the business. That said, I began renting cooling towers in 2008 while working with Aggreko. In 2016, Patrick Williams and I joined Midwest to launch their rental cooling tower division.
Q: What is the most important part of your position?
A: The most important part of my role as business development manager is being acutely aware of the state of the market for our service and in tune with what the customer both expects and requires. The No. 1 thing I try to think about is market conditions: Where are we strong and where are we weak? To understand this, you must be honest with yourself and have the courage to ask customers to give you hard answers and then have the courage to deal with them truthfully. Most people have a tendency to think too optimistically about themselves and their business, so I find that actively considering what can go wrong is a great exercise that will hopefully prevent making the big mistakes.
Q: What is your best management tactic?
A: I only hire people who pass the “six hours in the car test.” This puts extreme focus on likeability. I find that if people don’t like you, they don’t want to help you win, no matter what you have to offer. Alongside likeability is uniqueness. I like to be with people who have a “thing” that makes them unique. A lot of managers don’t let you exhibit the various things they liked about you in the first place. What you have to be able to do as a manager is let people be themselves, do their thing and judge them specifically on results. Everyone contributes in his or her own way.
Q: What has been the most pivotal moment of your career?
A: The most pivotal moment of my career was making the transition to Midwest. I loved my time at my previous company and I learned a ton, but I left at a time when things weren’t so great. When you switch jobs, even if it’s in the same industry, you can be full of uncertainty and doubt. But in hindsight, it was one of the greatest decisions I’ve ever made. It’s the classic deal where you’re tempted to give in to the fear of uncertainty, but I’ve found that if you push through and take the risk, most change ends up being good. If you choose to embrace it, the change can really help you grow and probably in ways you aren’t expecting.
Q: How do you maintain a good work/home life balance?
A: Like most, I struggle with this topic. It’s something I’m continually working on. It’s super tough because I can’t say, “At 6 p.m., we’re all in family mode.” It doesn’t work that way. Technology only makes things worse. To combat this, my family is trying to talk about the problem frequently and discuss the negative effects that both too much work and tech distraction can have on your family. You have to try to be present when you can do it, even if it’s just a ride to school or getting breakfast.
For more information, visit www.mwcts. com or call (337) 566-2233.