Slava Gorovoy has an engineering background and has worked in field service operations and management. In this article he discusses his background, education, and work experience as well as how field service can transition to sales and marketing. Slava currently works for The Toro Company as Aftermarket & Service Operations Manager – APAC, based out of Australia.
“Helping companies transcend customer service expectations by connecting people and technology.”
A versatile, energetic, and visionary leader who is passionate about making a positive impact on the environment, team members, and customers I serve. I partner with organisations to develop and implement customer-centric business strategies. These strategies promote sustainable growth, boost team morale, and customer satisfaction.
Since my childhood, I have been fascinated with people leadership and technology. These two factors have inspired me throughout my 20 years career to look for new opportunities to expand my professional and personal skillset.
With the collapse of the Soviet Union and the deteriorating economic situation, my parents made a life-changing decision to immigrate to Israel. I was 11 years old and my adaptation to life in a new country was quite challenging. This was because I didn’t have any language skills and struggled to adapt to a new culture. I’ve been inspired by Friedrich Nietzsche’s quote:
“What doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger.”
to help me overcome such challenging circumstances.
Path to Engineering
On a sunny summer afternoon, I noticed my neighbour (whom I hadn’t seen for a long time) playing football outside. I was curious as to where he had been all this time. My neighbour told me that he was studying at a college for marine officers with a specialization in mechanical engineering.
That brief conversation changed my life’s course and set me on a path to a career in engineering. I graduated with an Advanced Diploma in Marine Mechanical Engineering. Then remained closely engaged with the industry working for global companies, such as Atlas Copco, Bosch, Techtronic Industries, and Toro.
Management versus Leadership
The 12 years of service in the military helped me develop self-discipline, attention to detail, and to strive toward the achievement of set objectives. This was also the beginning of my transition from self to people leadership. Given the specific communication and execution nature of the military, I was only exposed to a single style of management and was under the impression that it was the only way to ensure optimal team performance. With the transition into civilian life, I realised that a rigid leadership style wasn’t effective, and didn’t work. As a result, I found myself in a lot of arguments with my service team members. This resulted in a loss of productivity and strained relationships. I realized that it was time to shift from task management to people leadership. This realisation encouraged me to further invest in my education and the development of my leadership style and skill set.
I see my graduation as the first career milestone. The challenges around learning a new language, adapting to a completely different education system, and transitioning into an independent life in boarding school strengthened my spirit and made me well-prepared for the career road ahead.
A second milestone was acquiring my first professional job in Australia as a field service engineer, by securing sponsorship with one of the leading companies in the power tools industry.
Then running my own coaching business really opened my eyes and expanded my horizons into how I actually saw my optimal career pathway and so was a third milestone. This was the stage when I broke the boundaries of my limiting beliefs as to what I could achieve in my career. I never considered myself a sales and marketing person coming from the service industry. However, due to the recent technological advances and the launch of SAAS (Software As A Service) platforms, it created the perfect environment for the next phase of my career.
And of course, COVID-19 proved to be a massive challenge that impacted a lot of people around the globe. For me it was my fourth milestone. I had just started my new role, which was completely focused on international travel. Obviously, it was a concern, but my previous life and professional experience helped me creatively find another way and reinvent my role which in turn delivered significant value to the business.
Reflection and Summary
There’s always another way. Never give up!
Be authentic and focus on delivering value.
The pathway to success is always outside your comfort zone.
I hope that my Day in the Life story was helpful. Feel free to share your thoughts and connect with me on LinkedIn and/or The Field Engineer community.
Other field engineers share their experience and stories