Meet the Owner
Elvin Ahmovic, Co-founder & Commercial Director of Alfa Energy
Co-founder and Commercial Director of London based, international energy consultancy Alfa Energy, Elvin Ahmovic talks to us about how using Dale Carnegie at different stages in his career transformed his performance and productivity.
Tell us about your business?
We are an international energy consultancy that employees over 100 employees across our 4 offices, three of which are in Europe and the other being in the US.
My brother and I set up the business in 1995 and today we service 1000s of clients in many different countries. The business has been growing, pretty much every single year. We are especially proud of the fact that we have achieved this without any raised capital, the entire growth has been organic and to this day we have no debt.
How did you come across Dale Carnegie?
I’d never done sales before so it was very daunting experience to begin with. I thought it was about showing the customer how much the industry knowledge you have. I was having mixed success and then I came across the Dale Carnegie book,’’ How to Win Friends and Influence People’’.
I realised that actually customers want to know how much you care about them and their business. I also learnt the importance of just listening and asking questions to get a better understanding of their requirements. Being a good listener sounds obvious but how many of us are really good at that?
What made you attend one of our courses?
As I became better at sales, following the Dale Carnegie principles, our business began to grow and soon I became what I would call a manager by default – managing 20 people just because I was the most experienced. So I attended Leadership Training for Managers which gave me a whole new way of looking at my role within the business.
What did you get from the course?
I learnt the importance of engagement and proper delegation. My colleagues and I started having round table meetings, where we would discuss various issues, challenges and new ideas on how to grow the business. Most importantly I learnt how to utilise the talent in my team to solve problems that I would often try to find solutions for on my own. It’s the people who are talking to our customers every day that have the real understanding of their needs and frequently the best solutions.
Have you continued to use Dale Carnegie?
Yes, as our team began to rapidly grow we put all our managers on Leadership Training to Managers.
How about your own development?
As the business grew and we employed more people, I realised that I needed to learn a new set of skills to work more effectively with the senior members of my team. So I embarked on the Executive Leadership Programme that showed me how to develop myself, work on my personal vision for the future and gave me the skills to coach and start developing our people.
Any advice for anyone embarking on their career or setting up their own business?
As your business grows or as you move up the career ladder you need to continue learning, and adapting to the new environment. We live and work in very fast paced market place so we cannot be complacent.
Favourite Dale Carnegie Principle?
It is difficult to pick just one since there are so many that helped me at different stages of my journey but if I have to pick one then it would be to become genuinely interested in other people. The key word is genuinely. This is not easy since all of us are so busy. It requires patience and discipline to do it on a consistent basis, both at work and outside of work.
Click here to learn more about Leadership Training for Managers - the course Elvin and his team all attended.