Advice From an EVP: From Her Grandmother’s Wisdom to Achieving Work-Life-Golf Integration

Sponsored by Donnelley Financial Solutions

Dawnet Beverley

Image courtesy of DFIN.

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Fairygodboss
April 23, 2024 at 8:10AM UTC

When you think about who has influenced you the most, what face comes to mind? For Dawnet Beverley, the Executive Vice President and Managing Director for Donnelley Financial Solutions' (DFIN's) Global Capital Markets business worldwide, the most influential person is her grandmother, Momsie, who she lived with as a child in Jamaica.

Momsie, who lived to the age of 103, often said: “You must be humble, and you must be focused. Whatever you get, give back doubly; if you are elevated two steps, bring others up.

“She also reiterated how important it is to focus on what needs to happen,” says Beverley, “not on what you want to happen. Since, needs, when fulfilled, invariably address the wants.” Momise’s advice was also foundational for how Beverley interacts with others with respect. “Her favorite saying was: ‘Do all the good you can, to all the people you can, in all the ways you can, for just as long as you can,’” recalls Beverley. “I do my best to embrace and live by this principle.”

This foundational advice has helped shape the leader Beverley is today. Her leadership style is often described as visionary, strategic and innovative, with Beverley focused on the development and well-being of others. Beverley notes that she is often also described as “a champion for the ‘clients-first-always’ philosophy and someone who inspires confidence.”

In this article, Beverley shares her leadership journey, how she manages her team, how she makes time for her passions (like golf!) and much more. 

My career journey to becoming an executive vice president and managing director.

For Beverley, growing her career never required changing companies. “I take pride in the fact that I have been able to develop and advance my career at the same company that gave me my start more than 30 years ago,” she shares. During this time, she’s managed to try on a variety of different roles, serving in leadership capacities in Sales, Operations, Finance, Business Development and Marketing.

The key to her being able to learn and grow in place? Well, it’s DFIN’s company culture. As Beverley explains, “the culture of my company is one that affords opportunities for all employees to grow and succeed in their careers.”

In her current role, Beverley uses her experience and tried-and-true skills at sales leadership, developing talent and transforming teams to excel. “I create go-to-market strategies across all platforms; manage clients' expectations of ease and exceptional service; ensure that top-line and bottom-line goals are achieved; drive transformation in transactional, compliance and SaaS offerings; and engage in community relations,” says Beverley.

Of course, her journey to this role hasn’t only been filled with success. But Beverley has been able to learn and grow from all the challenges she faced. For instance, she recalls a time when, due to her reputation as a reliable, fierce and no-nonsense “fixer,” she was asked by the company’s presiden to fix a challenge in DFIN’s New York operations.

“I showed up and showed off and made a lot of changes; and took credit for them,” explains Beverley. “While many will attest to the process improvements, clients’ delight and even individual performance development; many people were hurt. I was not mindful of the history, hard work and dedication of the folks who were there before me.”

After recognizing what happened, Beverley internalized this knowledge and used it to improve her skills moving forward. “After that experience, I committed to changing my approach and to honoring and safeguarding people’s dignity,” states Beverley. “I realized that you can still make changes without tearing people down. Instead, you instruct, influence and inspire. Wherever I go, I take that lesson with me.”

Beverley’s ability to influence and inspire continues to serve her well today as an empowering leader. Let’s take a look at some of her top leadership advice in the next section!

Advice for managing teams efficiently and empathetically. 

Instruct, influence and inspire. These are the key elements behind Beverley’s management style. As part of this, she makes sure to safeguard her team’s dignity and to always recognize how important they are. After all, as Beverley notes, “The people who work for you are the people who elevate you; If you give them the respect they deserve, they make you look good.” And respect is the No. 1 thing that she hopes her direct reports are getting out of working with her.

This respect goes both ways, too. “I work for my reports, and I fight and win for them,” says Beverley, “and they do the same for me in return — a win-win situation.”

Further, for managers, a passion for helping others can help you succeed. Beverley notes that helping others is not only deeply fulfilling to her, but she believes it is necessary for realizing her purpose. She’s constantly ensuring that her direct reports feel well-supported, with plenty of “opportunities to reach their full potential and greatness,” she says.

The key to balancing work and life? Finding your own personal priorities.

For Beverley, there is no such thing as work-life balance. Her passions at work and home are not siloes that do not touch one another. Instead, they are integrated within the different facets of her life. 

For example, the avid golfer notes that she believes in work-life-golf integration. “I integrate golf in my work life and vice versa — the same as I do with mentoring others, cooking, entertaining, reading, gardening and playing the piano — because they are all part of the sustenance that allows me to thrive,” explains Beverley. “If I don’t engage in these activities, I’m not at my best.”

With golf, every swing is an opportunity to learn and every mistake comes with it the ability to improve in the next shot, she explains. “Being in that environment naturally opens my mind to new ideas and creative problem solving,” states Beverley. “When there are strategies to be implemented or visions to realize, I don’t ‘sleep’ on it. I ‘golf’ on it.

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Interested in joining Beverley at DFIN? They’re hiring! Click the link below to browse opportunities.

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