Don't Call Your Boss An Idiot

Alan Rosenthal
Chair of the CCS Board of Visitors


Throughout my professional career, I have seen the importance of social skills and communication. I will be using personal examples as well as the experiences of others to illustrate how significant these skills can be in advancing or destroying a career. Specific areas include relationships with management (as in not calling the boss an idiot even if he is one.) I will discuss situations in which communication and social skills affect one’s career. These include the process of getting a job, the challenges of presenting a project plan that needs to be funded, the difficulties encountered in managing vendors, the complexities of working with clients and colleagues, and the critical importance of networking. While honesty and technical excellence are always important, I will give positive and negative examples of how an engineer’s behavior may enhance chances for success. Indeed, if the boss is an idiot, one should have a plan for dealing with that situation.