Leadership/Management

LKQ’s Genevieve Dombrowski Wants To Help You ‘Steal’ A Victory 

Genevieve Dombrowski, a human resources executive at LKQ Corporation, has an impressive athletic background. She earned 10 varsity letters during high school before playing basketball at Ashland University. Today, she applies the lessons learned from her sports career to her role at LKQ, the leading provider of recycled auto parts for vehicle repair, which employs 45,000 people across 1,600 locations worldwide. One of Dombrowski’s most impactful lessons came from achieving a coveted triple-double in basketball.

A typical triple-double involves points, assists and rebounds, but Dombrowski’s triple-double included steals. “It was the statistic of which I was most proud,” she recalled in the podcast. “The steals, not the points.”

She wasn’t proud because the steals showed her defensive efforts, but because it showed her the value of her preparation, which for Dombrowski meant watching game film of future opponents and studying their offensive plays and passing patterns. 

“I would study the point guard as she was running down looking over to the coach and calling the play, so I knew exactly where they were going to pass it,” she shared. “I knew that if I needed to come on the court and make a big impact, a steal would do that.”

That’s when a key connection hit her. “I noticed that most of my points came after steals.” For her team, steals led to points, and points led to wins. The way that she gained those steals was through her anticipation, and her anticipation came from her preparation and hours studying the tape. The insight has informed her approach to business leadership as well.

Now she’s studying what happens at LKQ, where she never misses an earnings calI and the chance to meet with investors or to walk the floors of departments outside of HR to better understand the business and how she can help it move forward.

Leaders and podcast listeners who want to optimize their departmental strategy in the service of a larger business strategy will enjoy Dombrowski’s approach to leadership, which includes:

  • Moving from a specialized to a versatile mindset.
  • How to know when you have that spark that can lead a team.
  • Formal versus informal mentoring.

“I’ve had a lot of mentor relationships,” offered Dombrowski in the podcast, “and sometimes I think the formalized mentorship programs are too formal.” She says that mentorship is not a box that you can check off on a checklist but a deeper relationship. Argued Dombrowski, “I think it’s more about asking provocative questions—and then about coaching and advocacy.” 

Check out more episodes of Corporate Competitor Podcast with guests including Deion “Coach Prime” Sanders, MasterClass CEO David Rogier, and Delta Air Lines CEO Ed Bastian.


Don Yaeger

Over the last 30 years, longtime Associate Editor for Sports Illustrated and 11-time New York Times Best-Selling Author Don Yaeger has been blessed to interview the greatest winners of our generation. He has made a second career as a keynote speaker and executive coach, discerning habits of high performance to teach teams how to reach their full potential.

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