In our recent survey, we asked alumni to share their best advice for success. Craig Frommelt ’76 (Rho Chapter) shared these lessons gained from years of experience:

If you have visions of becoming a manager someday, then I pass on advice I got from one of our VPs:

  1. “Play the game.” This translates into figuring out what the corporate culture rewards and start doing those things, such as being very budget-focused or being a “rah rah” supporter of environmentalism, or safety, or whatever other fad of the day is being pushed by the leadership.
  2. “Be social.” This means getting into golf leagues or other activities where the big shots participate. Remember the old saying “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.” This is I guess a corollary to playing “the game.”
  3. “Dress for success.” Observe how the leaders cut their hair, select clothing, talk, etc. Then, try to fit into that paradigm. This is especially important during meetings and other group activities.
  4. “Beware of special assignments and teams.” They can be a great way to stand out from the crowd, but can also move you out of the routine promotional sequence. Don’t always believe promises that your old job will be waiting for you after a long time (years) away on a special assignment. The organization may backfill that job before you get back or the person that made the promise may no longer be in a position to keep it.

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