Well, everything I know about career consulting. My friend and colleague Fred Drake died today of cancer. So much will be said about what an incredible person Fred was: how he cared so much for others, what a loving and caring husband he was, and what a great father he was. So I won’t elaborate here. I worked with Fred for nine years here at Darden. When I joined the team with Fred, I was the rookie. While I thought I knew everything, he patiently showed me that I didn’t. Here’s what I learned from Fred, not just about being a great career consultant, but about being a great colleague.
Be patient. Fred took the long term view of his students’ success. And he did the same with relationships. He hung in there with me when I was new, standing up for students and lobbying for colleagues. He challenged my challenges, and argued my arguments. Yet, he did it with grace and charm, so that I always was compelled to listen and consider his point of view.
Be tireless. Fred worked incessantly for his students. He took their success personally. We would be playing poker on a Tuesday night at 10pm, and Fred would be talking to me about a student’s interview with Danaher, and what he might have done differently to help her.
Be genuine. If you knew Fred, you always knew where you stood. He gave you feedback: as a career consultant, as a colleague, as an employer, as a friend. He had no agenda. Just to be true to his calling.
Be a friend. More than anything Fred was a friend. He cared. He showed it. He had the team to his home for many beautiful lunches. He brought vegetables from his garden to share. He organized the poker group. He came to every extra-curricular event, when he wasn’t required to attend. And I always got the sense that Fred truly cared about me and my success. He was genuine, tireless and patient.
I learned a lot from Fred.