In February Enova welcomed Stacey Kraft, our new Chief People Officer. We sat down with her to learn more about her background, leadership style, and experience at Enova so far.
Q: Welcome, Stacey! Let’s dive right in. Why did you choose Enova?
A: I wasn’t actively looking for something new, but the more I learned about Enova, the more excited I became. The strength and trajectory of the business, coupled with the incredible talent (all levels, all teams), was something I couldn’t pass up. I’ve had the opportunity to work in so many different types of businesses (e.g., startups, huge corporations, 90-year-old nonprofits, big Tech), but Enova is the perfect size and level of maturity for someone to make an impact. I am a “builder” at heart and am inspired by our People mission of making Enova an awesome place to work.
Q: What is your favorite part of Enova so far?
A: The people. And the peanut butter Ritz crackers.
Q: What do you see as the most important part of your role as Chief People Officer?
A: Being the champion of a People strategy that inspires and motivates people to come into work every day excited to support our mission.
Q: What qualities, habits, and practices enable you to be successful as a leader?
A: Having a clear vision around where we’re headed and why, and ensuring that everyone on the team is aligned and marching in the same direction together. I believe a great leader cultivates genuine relationships with people within and outside of their team which results in an environment that is anchored in trust and respect. I was a competitive gymnast growing up, and I oftentimes reflect back and try to analyze what differentiated a great coach. For me, it was respect and inspiration.
Q: As a People Team leader, how do you help your own team grow?
A: There are two things that I attribute to my own growth and success: never settle, and always speak your mind. I try to encourage and empower my team to do the same.
- Never settle: we must constantly evaluate the work we’re doing and why it matters. Pushing the team to think about better or new ways of solving problems forces people to think differently and out of their comfort zone.
- Speak your mind: I always strive to create an environment where my team can feel comfortable sharing their feedback, ideas and insights with me and with each other. I believe the only way to achieve that level of comfort is by building personal relationships and trust. I’ve learned that effective coaching and guidance around someone’s professional development is tied to how well you understand their background, learning styles and personal motivations.
There is so much opportunity to make an impact at Enova, specifically within the People team. In fact, we have a number of open roles that I’m excited to fill with awesome people.
Q: Last question: What’s something surprising people would be interested to know about you?
A: I graduated with a degree in Geography and thought I wanted to be a weatherperson on the news for a hot minute. I ended up in an outside sales job selling telecommunication services and spending the bulk of my day cold calling small businesses. It was the best and worst job of my career – worst job because of the hundreds of doors that were slammed in my face for soliciting, and best job because I learned how to persevere and build resilience early on in my career.