Spend ‘5 Minutes With…’ with Eric Clever and learn more about this Senior Business Intelligence Consultant and busy dad of two. Did you know he used to be a strength and conditioning coach?
That’s right, Eric has had many adventures with plans for many more. Keep reading to learn how his military experience led him to a career at Greencastle—a long way from being a professional bowler like his younger self thought he would be!
How did you get into your career field?
I got into consulting and business intelligence from my time as a training officer in the Army. In this position, I was writing orders and developing processes from which our engineer unit would operate. Since I spent all day planning training and codifying processes, I started enjoying finding the most efficient ways that others may be able to process information and accomplish tasks. Business intelligence came into play here as well as I was accomplishing these efficiencies partly by simplifying and automating data flows that helped us make decisions more quickly. The transition into consulting and business intelligence felt like a natural fit from what I was doing in the Army.
Why did you join the military?
When I was a teenager, I started feeling like I needed to take on something more purposeful. I remember seeing 9/11 happen on the news in real time and felt the urge to do something about what I was witnessing. I was a few years too young right then to enlist but did so shortly after turning 18 and graduating high school. 19 years later, I’m still serving.
How have those experiences helped you in your civilian career?
In the military we find ourselves adapting to situations that are ever changing. We still need to find ways to succeed in these types of situations. During a military trip to Lithuania, I was told that I would be going over to sit in on a military engineering conference. Upon meeting up with my Lithuanian counterpart, he informed me that I would be teaching the combat engineering course over the following week. Knowing the outcome of this would be a direct representation of the US military, I decided I had to just put my head down, create a combat engineering course, and give a successful class. In my career now with Greencastle, people are counting on us to deliver an important service. As our environments change, we find ways to adapt and drive successful outcomes for those that are counting on them.
What are some of your hobbies?
With two very young kids in the house, I like spending a lot of time playing with them. I love golf. Wish I had the opportunity to play more. While I’m still working on correcting my slice, I can say I’ve spent significantly less money on replacing lost balls lately. I was a strength and conditioning coach years ago, so I enjoy keeping up with a regular fitness regimen.
How would your 10-year-old self react to what you do now?
I definitely would have said that I did not see that coming. I don’t mean that in a bad way at all. I think at that age, I expected I was going to be a professional bowler. I like to think that I would have been excited to see where I am. A lot of what I have accomplished or have in my life now would have seemed so foreign and maybe even out of the realm of possibility at the time. Things turn out well, 10-year-old self, so keep it up.
What are some places on your bucket list you want to visit?
I’m into places I don’t hear much about. Feels like uncovering uncharted territory at times. I really want to travel to Greenland. It just feels like I would have no idea what to expect, which could make every experience there feel new and exciting. Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania is a must at some point.
There are even a couple of places I’ve already been but must get back to at least one more time. Those being Lauterbrunnen, Switzerland for its absolutely serene setting. It really feels like you’re in a Bob Ross painting. The other is Stavanger, Norway. Another stunning place, great people, and some unforgettable hiking.
What is your favorite leadership advice?
“People say you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink. Well, it’s my job to make the horse thirsty.” The head strength and conditioning coach at Temple University told me this when I was shadowing him one day training students. What he meant by this is that instead of trying to force people to take action, you need to find ways to motivate them to want to do it on their own. He had developed a point system for the athletes to earn points as their performance increased. More points meant moving up tiers in the standings and showing up on the leaderboard. I always try to remember what he said when communicating from a leadership position.