Alan Boeckmann – Fluor Corporation

Okay, so this one’s not really an interview, but I had the opportunity to listen to a presentation and question and answer session given by the CEO, Alan Boeckmann, of one of the Engineering and Construction Industry’s most successful companies, Fluor Corporation. It is very valuable and interesting to learn about how a business functions in general and how we can apply this to startup businesses. Additionally, I’m sure there are many of you who, like we will be once we’re out of school, are still working your proverbial nine to five job. You might as well know how to do it right.

Alan Boeckmann is chairman and chief executive officer of Fluor Corporation and has been with the company for nearly 33 years. As a young electrical engineer he never dreamed of becoming CEO, but his aspirations were high. He desired to become the head of the electrical department and joked that he never actually achieved that goal. His practical experience in construction from earlier in his life helped him to better understand the designs he made as an electrical engineer. Throughout his career, he accepted assignments overseas, promotions and transfers to other departments, and finally got into one of the company’s executive training programs.

He advised young engineers that wanted to progress in their career to be responsible for their own careers, and develop a network of mentors. Future CEOs will be those who are flexible to experience new situations, are mobile within the company, and are team builders. Working hard to make your group succeed will get you much farther than playing by yourself.

Apparently now is a great time to be young and starting out. Companies are hiring new graduates to be the future managers and executives, as baby boomers near retirement and leave high-level positions open. Boeckmann stated that it is decision and willingness to step into those roles that will get you promotions. Get on the ball guys, take advantage!

Boeckmann stated that talented employees in industry help a company get a jump on its competitors in both design and execution of a project. At the same time, a company and all its competitors receive a boost or a drag from the market. He estimated that market trends account for fifty to sixty percent of a company’s growth and profits, while talent accounts for forty to fifty percent.

What can a company rely on in times of market fluctuation? The same as anyone will tell you about investing in stocks…you have got to diversify. This is not the easiest thing for startup businesses who want to stay in a tight niche, but as you grow your business it is a concept that should be applied.

Maybe it is just my newfound love for business that’s talking, but hearing Boeckmann speak made me think, “Man if I ever work in industry, my goal will be to become CEO of my company.” Executives have all the fun driving a company towards progress. this! · digg this!

1 Response so far

  1. Idea Senator said,

    October 2, 2006 @ 10:20 pm

    I had a restaurant once with 26 people working under me. It was very difficult managing people. I tried to do it myself and became sick. Appoint a manager, let him deal with them. Let them hire and fire…remember you cannot do everything. I learnt too late that delegation would have saved me alot of stress. Perhaps this may help you.

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