Saturday, December 06, 2003


is an aerospace electronics contractor for defense, government, and commercial operations, employing more than 76,000 employees worldwide. Its CEO and President, Bill Swanson, is an alumni of California Polytechnic State University (Cal Poly) in San Luis Obispo, CA. That is my alma mater as well. I know, Cal Poly is not east of the Mississippi river, nor is it an Ivy League school. But if you've ever sunk your teeth into a set of Santa Maria style BBQ beef ribs, in shirtsleeves, in December, within earshot of the breaking surf of the Pacific... you will understand. Think of that, Ivy Leaguers, as you're scraping the ice off your windshield tomorrow morning. Anyway, along the lines of the Big Ka-Hugh-na's (aka Hugh Hewitt) words of wisdom, Swanson has some as well. Here are a few: It is easier to get into something than it is to get out of it. If you are not criticized much, you may not be doing much. Look for what is missing - many know how to improve what's there, but few can see what isn't there. However menial and trivial your early assignments may appear, give them your best efforts. Persistence or tenacity is the disposition to persevere in spite of difficulties, discouragement or indifference. In completing a project, don't wait for others; go after them and make sure it gets done. Confirm it in writing - don't assume it will get done! Don't be timid - speak up - express yourself and promote your ideas. Strive for brevity and clarity in oral and written reports. Be extremely careful of the accuracy of your statements. Don't overlook the fact that you are working for a boss. Keep him or her informed - avoid surprises! Promises, schedules, and estimates are important instruments in a well-ordered business. Never direct a complaint to the top - a serious offense is to "cc" a person's boss. Cultivate the habit of making quick, clean-cut decisions. Don't ever lose your sense of humor.

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