Between being the Area Sales Manager for Coca-Cola, and hitting the gym every evening, Kevin Baldwin took the time out of his day to talk with me over his work when it comes to proper business communication and team work. During the time we talked on the phone, Mr. Baldwin stressed the importance of being professional in your communication. And when asked about teamwork, the biggest point to take away from his answers was challenge yourself. Kevin spoke to me a lot over the importance of surrounding yourself with people who will challenge you, people that are driven and will push to get the win.
What is your professional history (include your timeline and roles)?
Mr. Baldwin: “When I first started out at Coke, I was an account manager; ya know, nothing too major. Then after about a year I was moved to release sales department, where I was soon promoted to manager. After a couple years I was moved to district sales manager and soon after I became the area sales manager, which is where I am today.”
What writing advice you have for professional communicators?
Mr. Baldwin: “I guess, the only advice I could give is to surround yourself with other professional writers that you believe will challenge you to do better. Because when you have that challenge, it will push you to work harder to improve your work so that you can write in the same league as someone who you know is superior to you.”
What is your one pet peeve when it comes to professional writing?
Mr. Baldwin: “Oh without question, slang. I like for things to be professional in the work place, and for people to use proper punctuation and grammar. Basically, if you are ever writing in a business professional sort of environment, just make sure you use proper English, it’s that simple.”
What kind of business reports do you read and/or compose regularly?
Mr. Baldwin: “I mostly work with PNL’s, um profit/loss statements. And I do quite a bit with Tablo reports, I have to deal with Margin Minder, ya know metrics and things like that. And, ya know I also go through power point a lot, I do quite a few Power Point presentations. But yeah that’s pretty much it, PNL’s, Tablo reports, Margin Minder and Power Point.”
What are your writing suggestions to make those types of reports successful?
Mr. Baldwin: “Look for errors, even when you think you are finished and it’s all good, go back and thoroughly read it inside and out before sending it off. Also make sure you fully understand everything it is you are dealing with, so you can readily answer questions.”
What speaking advice do you have for professional communicators?
Mr. Baldwin: “When you’re in school, get into some kind of public speaking course or a class of some kind. So that you can get comfortable talking in front of a crowd. Um, know what it is you will be presenting; know what you are talking about inside and out. And of course practice, always practice a couple times before hand. Yeah, that’s pretty much all I got.”
Name one thing you wish you had known about business communication prior to your professional career?
Mr. Baldwin: “For me, I didn’t know I was going to have to deal so much with supply chain, ya know it was totally different from the type of jobs I had been working before hand. And also vending, that was totally new to me. I actually had to get on board and learn that pretty quick.”
What team skills do you feel young professionals need the most?
Mr. Baldwin: “Teamwork. Ya know, so many people get so used to doing things their way and only their way that they introvert and don’t like sharing work with other people. Get you a team of winners, people who are hard headed and driven. If you get people not like that, you are going to have a lazy team with no motivation. Get you a team of people that will push each other to drive on, and succeed. If you put together a team, get you some people with a winning mentality.”
After my interview with Mr. Baldwin, the biggest thing I took away from his words were to be driven. That when you have a task at hand, you can’t just roll over and let someone else do the work for you. As a professional you need to have that drive to be a winner and you need that drive to succeed. At the same time if you need a team in some situations, look for a team of people with that same spark. If I took away anything from his answers, its that you need a set of people with a winning mindset to get the job done at full potential.
Kevin Baldwin was born and raised in Columbus Mississippi where he resided until his days of college, when he moved to Kentucky (Mr. Baldwin preferred to keep the school name anonymous, and I respect his privacy). Right out of college, Kevin got his starter job at Coke here in the state of Indiana. Believe it or not, he started here in Evansville, he then took on a promotion and moved to Bloomington. Ranked up once a again, and took things to Indianapolis, and now presently he is an Area Sales Manager in Tennessee. Mr. Baldwin is currently 31 years old, in a committed relationship, and loves to travel. Kevin Baldwin is also a huge sports fan, the man loves to keep up with his sports, especially football.
Daniel Yeager is a sophomore at the University of Southern Indiana(USI). He is in the process of getting his degree in business management. Daniel works full time at a convenience store in his hometown, and spends a majority of his time either at home or on school campus. He plans to use his degree and run his own tattoo parlor after graduating.