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You know it. These are challenging times. Some engineers are just trying to keep their jobs while some are trying to advance their careers. The bottom line is you can be the brightest engineer in your company and yet, if you cannot integrate yourself and your ideas into the overall structure and operational processes that allow you to impact your organization positively, in a way the organization values, you will fail. When push comes to shove, if you can’t provide value that is more than technical, your company will keep or advance those who can. End of discussion.

You’ll be passed over for advancement or you won’t advance your career as rapidly as others in your graduating class, or you won’t get that new interesting and challenging assignment. You end up jumping from company to company with layoffs in between headed for a dead end career.

I have seen it over and over. I get plenty of mentoring clients who are brilliant engineers but engage me because they have dead-end careers or because their management is faced with either helping them contribute more effectively to the team or their management will let them go. And all because they do not have the requisite behaviors to be fully integrated into their engineering organizations.

So that’s the current situation for many, many engineers in these challenging times. And… I can also guarantee you that it does not have to be this way. You can get that promotion. You can advance faster than you thought possible. And you can have a career that is constantly offering you new and better opportunities and choices.

To be successful as an engineer long-term or to successfully transition into engineering management, you must have a range of specific capabilities, behaviors, strategies, and tools, not all of which are technical. In fact, being technical got you your job… being more than technical will help you keep it. Your “toolbox” must be filled with the right non-technical tools. You must know how to use them and when, and you must actually be capable of applying them.

Your engineering career cannot grow just based on what you learned in school, just based on your engineering competence. Those of you who have been out of school for a while know that what I am saying is true. Your organization, your company, is asking more of you than just doing good engineering work.
I have been conducting one-on-one mentoring with engineers, engineering managers, and executives for over twelve years. At the request of many of my one-on-one mentoring clients, I have created a new program that will give many of you access to my mentoring program. It is designed to specifically Advance your Career in Engineering and the acronym is ACE! This program is designed for engineers, scientists, and technologists, regardless of your experience level, your age, or your career position.
I heard mentoring clients who were engineering managers telling me the following:

“I attempt to mentor my people and when I do I say things like; ‘Steven says this is a useful way to think about delegation.’ Or I say; ‘Steven’s idea is that contributing in a meeting is best accomplished by integrating ideas’. However, it would really be great if you could develop a program where you could mentor my direct reposts, my younger engineers, directly. But I know that my company is not going to pay your one-on-one mentoring fee to mentor a relatively young engineer one-on-one. But if there were some way to work out the numbers it would really be beneficial to my direct report to hear directly from you.”

So in response to these types of statements, I decided to develop a program that could reach many more engineers.

Why I Developed the ACE Mentoring Club

You see, I conduct on-site trainings as well as public trainings. Trainings accomplish a lot, especially in the area of group interaction. They provide an environment in which people can interact with each other while learning a broad range of material. One-on-one mentoring, on the other hand, is extremely beneficial when it comes to improving the performance of an individual. However, it’s with only one person at a time.

Up until the ACE Mentoring Club there was nothing in between; there was no program that would allow some of the benefits of training to be coupled with some of the benefits of one-on-one coaching… AND make it available to many people at once… until now. Now it exists… the ACE Mentoring Club.
Your current situation in your engineering career.

If you are uncertain about your career or you are having difficulty naviagating the twists and turns of your organizations career path for yourself, you know it. And I don’t need to tell you how frustrating and freightening that can be. My guess is that you have not found anyone you trust who can give you advice that will answer your major questions. You’re reading this page because you are looking for some kind of assistance that will make your career life easier and more effective.

You’re probably tired of the typical career advice that comes from generalists who really don’t know what it is like to be an engineer or technical professional. They can give general advice but they don’t know what it is like to be in your shoes.

Hearing about the organiaational career path that your company has selected for you doesn’t really tell you how to be successful navigating it. You can’t look into the minds of the managers and decision-makers around you to understand how best to advance your career. You want someone who can give you concrete advice that relates to the engineering and technical worlds and is outside not playing the operational games and policies that come with being inside an organization.

What’s possible with good career mentoring? ACE Mentoring is effective. The track record supports that statement. For all it’s success, it isn’t magic and mysterious, but it is unique and unconventional. Effective engineering career mentoring is about a way of being and moving through the world that is very different than say, being a sales associate or an accountant, or a financial analyst. Engineers are trained to view the world differently that people in other professions. It’s not right or wrong, or better or worse, it’s just different. You went into engineeringo to do engineering and you didn’t think you needed to do anything other than “good engineering” to have a great career.

“I think (Steven) is unique. I work with a lot of managers. My father taught at business schools. I met a lot of teachers at business schools. But I have not come across the knowledge Steven has. I think it is unique.” Mark Andrews, Software Development MAnager, WildPackets, Inc.

How the ACE Mentoring Club helps you advance your engineering career
“The material Steven taught seemed like unconventional wisdom to me. I’ve seen a lot of different trainer, training programs, and mentors, and after more than 10 years, I have yet to find anyone else who uses Steven’s style of teaching and mentoring.

“Within a year of taking Steven’s class I made a big advancement in my company. I moved up into a lead role. Within a year of taking Steven’s class I was given direct reports. I’ve applied the things I learned in Steven’s classes and mentoring and it’s worked so well.

I like to grow. I’s like a video game. When I master a certain level, when I get the secret key, the key to get me to the next level, then i’m ready to move on to the next level. And a lot of (Steven’s0 mentoring and classes have been that key for me.

I see out Steven’s mentoring and courses whenever I want to grow to the next level of my professional performance. I’ll reach a threshold, a limit of my current capability and I’ll want to take the next step up in my capability.

Steven Communicates the information in a way that a technologists understands it. Steven gives the information a totally different spin. Other trainers and mentors don’t think like engineers think. Other trainers and coaches don’t understand the challenges we have (as engineers).

Steven’s techniques tend to be very ‘hands on” techniques. Engineers tend to be more “hands off”. The people I manage using Steven’s techniques are usually thrilled with my communication, influence, and management processes. They are thrilled that there is finally a manager that can stay respectfully involved in their assignments at the right level until they’re comfortable handling it on their own.

“Steven has been an instructor in the College of Engineering, Technology Management Program (TMP) at the University of California, Santa Barbara, CA for the past seven years beginning in 2003. He has been teaching both graduate and undergraduate courses titled ‘So You Want To Be A Technology Manager’.

Originally, almost none of the engineering graduate students wanted to take a ‘management class’. After Steven’s first year in which he utilized his own engineering insights and perspectives together with some of the latest theories of management, judgment, and decision-making, students now literally rave about the content and effectiveness with which it is delivered. The most common quote from his feedback evaluations is ‘the most important and best class I have taken at UCSB’. Steven is very, very good.” Professor Gary Hansen, Associate Dean of the College of Engineering, Technology Management Programs.

What is the ACE Mentoring Club?

The ACE Mentoring Club is an online portal, that for a monthly fee of $47, provides engineers, scientists, and technologists with access to monthly live tele-mentoring calls, archived tele-mentoring files, tutorials, audio and video files, PowerPoint presentations, articles, and archived webinars, all geared toward advancing your career in engineering. The content continues to grow every month as a new tele-mentoring call is conducted and archived, and other new materials are posted at the portal.

All the materials were developed for those who realize they need advice, information, and knowledge not about the technical aspects of their engineering career, but about the non-technicacl aspects… and the sooner the better. The ACE Club is for those who understand that advice is necessary if you are to avoid the mistakes and missteps that often befall many engineers as they move through their careers rather than reacting to the mistakes once they occur.

The Club is designed exclusively for engineers, scientists, and technologists regardless of age or career phase. You can be just about to graduate from college and join the work force, or you can be an engineer with 5 years of experience ready for your first management assignment, or you can be a senior engineer or scientist, or you can even be an engineering manager. Your age does not matter. Your title does not really matter either. All that matters is a desire to learn important tools, tips, knolwedge, and behaviors that will allow you to anticipate what is next in your engineering career.

Wherever you are in your technical career, the ACE Mentoring is for you.

The material in the ACE Mentoring Club focuses on the important “non-technical” aspects of advancing your engineering career. Regardless of where you are in your career, a new engineer, a technical manager, a senior technical professional, the ACE Club focuses on providing you with what I call “Uncommon Wisdom” about your engineering career that is seldom articulated. However, it is specifically presented in ACE so you can apply it BEFORE you need it or BEFORE the knowledge becomes critical. Some of the topics addressed by the ACE Mentoring Club are:

1. Communication. How should you communicate so that you can effectively “sell” your ideas, your messages, and yourself to a wide variety of people in a wide variety of situations with today’s diverse workforce?

2. Advancing your career. How should you take steps to position yourself for the next step in your career ladder?

3. Expectations. How do you communicate, what do you say, in order to avoid a miss-match of expectations between you and your manager?

4. Having a solid career strategy. What is a career strategy? How do you develop one? Of course it should be flexible, but how flexible and what parts of your career should be flexible and which parts should you stand firm on?

2. Mindsets. How does the mindset of the early career engineer differ from the mindset of a senior engineer or the mindset of a manger and how do they all differ from the mindset of an engineer who successfully advances throughout his or her career?

3. Engineering Career Messages. What are Engineering Career Messages, who sends them and why? Do you know what career messages you are sending and what they mean to others?

4. Engineering Career Conversations. What are engineering career conversations? How do you have the right conversations with the right people and what does it mean to not have the right conversations?

What is the focus of ACE?

When we did that exercise (i.e., Yes/No) a light bulb went off over my head about how to help people learn faster and influence more effectively. It changed my communication and management approach.
I’ve seen a lot of different trainers, training and mentoring programs, and after more than 10 years, I have yet to find anyone else who uses Steven’s style of teaching and mentoring.Leslie Buchanan, Manager, Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp.

5. Advancing into management. How do you advance into management without making the mistakes that often derail a first time lead or manager?

7. Functioning effectively in a diverse workforce. How should you communicate with and contribute to a team made up of members from around the world and dispersed throughout the world? These are just a few of the topics that are covered and will be covered by the material in the aCE Mentoring Club.

At some point you realized, “If I don’t learn how to make the right career moves, long-term, I’m in trouble!” The good news is that when you learn how to think about your career in a certain way, all sorts of doors open up, and you can expect to see these kind of results:

1. You will feel more confident that what you’re doing in regards to your carrer really works. Before long you’ll start to see actual results, actual changes in the types of projects and tasks you get and it’s a giant feedback loop; the more confidence you get the better and more interesting projects you will get, and the more confidence you get from those projects and on and on.

2. The first thing you’ll see is more opportunities opening up for you to work on a wider variety of projects. Your managers and colleagues will begin to see you in a different light. You will engage in a much wider range of discussions and topics and you will be able to contribute more fully your technical expertise.

3. You become more adept at speaking about and conveying your ideas. People will begin to listen to you more fully. You will begin to be able to convey your ideas and your ideas will be heard more fully.

4. You’ll become more skilled at developing persuasive presentations. You’ll be comfortable presenting your ideas. You learn how to develop a clear, powerful presentation from beginning to end that makes the points you want to make and presents the data your audience wants to hear.

5. You’ll learn how to control expectations. One of the most damaging experiences is for you to deliver results of a task that you think you ‘ve done a great job on only to find out that your manager thought you were going to deliver something completely different. Miss-aligned expectations happen all too often and yet they don’t have to happen at all if you know how to have the right conversations before the task begins. This is the art of controlling expectations.

I want to assure you that I’s not only possible to get these kind of results with your career, it’s actually predictable if you learn and apply the principles I’ll introduce you to in the ACE Mentoring Program.

What will you get when you join the Program?

You can expect no-hype, practical and proven ideas and information and strategies on advancing your engineering career. I am anti-hype and believe you can advance while maintaining your integrity and dignity, and increase your excitement and passion for your work and your career. Manipulation is not required. The key is understanding human communication and what is expected of you before you have deliver it. By anticipating what will happen and when you can prepare for it rather than being blind-sided by it which ultimately leads to making a mistake.

And everything I teach I have used and it has worked. If I haven’t used it successfully, you won’t hear about it.

Everything is online so that you can access it from anywhere any time. I live in California. But there a lot of people who follow my work all over the world. While it might be most exciting to communicate in real time, it just isn’t necessary any more. So my online programs, teleseminars, webinars, tutorials, etc. allow you to be anywhere in the world and take advantage of this knowledge. That’s a huge advantage.

Month after month, you will advance your engineering career with knowledge based on my first-hand experience, not based on idealistic concepts or second-hand observations. You will get ready-to-use-tips and guidance. You will gain experience without the bruises.

The befefits you will receive as an ACE Club Member are available nowhere else, regardless of the price. I truly believe that. With the program benefits and me as your monthly, personal mentor, you will avoid the mistakes and make the right moves to advance your engineering career.
The only way you lose is by doing nothing. Being apathetic.

My career. Of course, I started as an engineer; an aeronautical engineer. Along the way I received a Masters in Geophysics and an MBA. That was my formal education. My work education took a more circuitous route from engineer, research geophysicist, to programmer, to project manager, to director of engineering to VP of engineering, to general manager to product manager and Director of training, and all of this in both Department of Defense as well as commercial companies.

I’ve spent over 26 years developing my capabilities and my material. One of the facts I saw displayed over and over throughout my career was that the best engineers don’t necessary advance up the career ladder, whether that career ladder is technical or managerial. It seems that companies and
What changes and benefits can you expect from the ACE Mentoring Subscription Program?

My Career

Organizations want something more than just techcnial expertise, even from their technical experts. In fact, I’ve seen many a brilliant technical person let go (in difficult as well as good times) because the brilliant techncial person was too difficult to deal with. And when I say “difficult to deal with” I’m not talking about someone who yells at people and verbally abuses colleagues. I’m talking abut senior engineers who just don’t seem to know how to fit into their respestive organizations and after a while, no one wants to work with them. Colleagues don’t stand in line to protest against you… they just quietly let management know that they don’t want to work with you if there is another option.

After management gets this message a number of times…out the door they go and they are surprised and wonder what happened.

During my career something became very clear to me. I had a knack for building people who could go on to take on projects, programs, motivate and lead others, and some even to build their own comapanies. In 1994 I decided that this “knack” was something real and unique and so I decided to provide my expertise to more people than just my direct reports. I started STCerri International.

Over the years I have mentored, coached, and trained thousands of engineers and engineering managers. I have brought engineers back into the companies from which they were let go. I have helped engineering managers deal with difficult customers to the point where the customer became an ally. The results have been astounding and so I decided to make this knowledge more available and accessible.

Why did I start the ACE Mentoring Program?

My reason #1: Frankly, I’ve been looking for a way to reach more engineers, regardless of where they are in their career life-cycle. Over the years, while technology has changed, the way people interact, the processes by which people are motivated, have not. And while schools have changed so they can teach the latest in technology they still do not have the time to teach the non-technical aspects of being a successful engineer, long-term. They still do not have the time or the courses or the professors who can teach the soft-skills, the interpersonal communication and management and leadership skills that will be necessary for your success. Imagine what it would be like to have these skills earlier in your career.

I know generations are different, and there are certain ways to deal with certain issues of importance to specific generations, but that is in the “noise” of human motivation. Very few people really understand the root source of human motivation. In my career, as an engineer and an engineering manager, I have almost always been able to build teams out of a wide variety of people and personalities, and it is all because I understand “how to discover and uncover what motivates each person on my team.”

My reason #2: Knoweldge does not equal a change in behavior. There is a disturibng trend that I have seen over time and that is that most trainers and coaches and mentors do not understand that just because someone “knows” something does not mean they can translate it into behavior. Many believe that knowlsdge alone will change behavior. Or that knowledge coiupled with practice will change behavior.

The assumption is that just telling an engineer what to do and what not to dow will make the difference in their carreer. But it does not work that way. It is important to understand not only what to do and why to do it, but it is critically important to be able to “translate” that understanding into behavior, into neurological conditioning. The “neurological conditioning” portion is very important and is not necessarily a “given”.

My reason #3: Gender issues in the technical world are still prevalent. Mentoring men and women require a focus on different issues. And yet, sometimes it is very good for both genders to understand what the other gender thinks, feels, and is dealing with. The ACE Mentoring Club will address the issues of both men and woman in the engineering world and some of the issues around perceived issues of communication, management, and leadership.

How does the ACE Mentoring Club work?

Step 1: Join the ACE Mentoring Club by clicking on the Join Now button on this page. You will be taken to a page where you will sign up using your credit card or your Paypal account. The investment is $39 per month for access to all the information in the ACE Mentoring Club plus a monthly tele- mentoring call via phone, Skype, or webinar.

Step 2: You will be taken to a page that asks you to select a username and a password that will then be your exclusive access to the ACE Mentoring Club portal, 24/7, 365 days a year from anywhere.

Step 3: You will receive a confirmation email.
That’s it. You are now a member of the ACE Mentoring Club. (Your credit card will automatically be charged $47 each month until you cancel by merely emailing and placing cancel in the subject line.

How the ACE Mentoring Club helps you advance your engineering career
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The ACE Mentoring Club is a membership program for Engineers and Technical Managers that includes hands-on communication and management tutorials, CDs, videos, articles and online instruction to help you advance your engineering or technical management career.

How does membership in the Site Work? The ACE Mentoring Club is priced as a monthly membership. You can get access to the ACE Mentoring Club for $39 per month. You have unlimited access to the Club which includes almost $4,000 worth of programs, videos, audio recordings, live mentoring calls, articles, and communication scripts. You can join the program for as little as one month or for as long as you like.
How do the Mentoring Calls Work? Once a month I lead a live mentoring call for Club members. Each of these sessions focus on the main principles of advancing your engineering or technical management career. In some cases the call will be preceded by informaiton and preparation work that will be sent to you via email before the all.

What Programs are included in the Club Membership? All of these materials are included free with your membership:

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How do I get started with the ACE Mentoring Club? You start with a 7-day free trial. The complete details of the ACE Mentoring Club are on this page: Click here
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Testimonials
“If you’re really serious about doing better in your work life in order to get more respect and help to effect good change… then Steven’s mentoring and courses are a must.” “I was always focused on the facts. It’s red or blue or it weights 3 kgs. What I’ve learned working with you (Steven) the facts are the least important part (in effective communication and influence). And how people feel about (the communicator) can actually color the way the facts are received. And it’s helped me to see that it’s a very

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“By far the most useful and applicable to improve my effectiveness in dealing with people… Over the years I have attended several classes and read some literature on leadership and management development. The insights and techniques I received from Steven Cerri’s courses are by far the most useful and applicable to improve my effectiveness in dealing with people…. The information and exercises Steve covers are revealing and intellectually challenging. Steve’s informal and engaging presentations style is well paced and spiced with humor. I go back to the class handouts and notes I have taken again and agin as a refresher on the subject… if you are disenchanted with the latest best selling ‘fad de jour’ books on management theory, if you are serious about enhancing your skills in interacting with colleagues and customers, attend one of Steven Cerri’s classes…You will happily return for more.” Bert Obleski, Engineer, Isys Technologies

“(This course) will change my interaction perspective and approach permanently. (I will use this information in my) daily interactions with staff, peers, and leadership team. (I) really liked the course. It was very insightful and useful on a daily basis.” Larry Straushein, Engineering Manager RF Technologies, Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corporation

“You really speak the language of the engineer AND you understand management. I now understand I have to find the right person to fit the right function. Although I don’t think of your classes every day, I’d guess that I think about something I learned from you every week. I think of something I learned that helps with my work.” L.A. Manager

Steven Cerri does an excellent job of clarifying terms and giving understanding to our questions.” Rachel F.
“We specifically brought Steven to BATC (Ball Aerospace and Technologies Corporation) because of his ability to communicate with our engineering and management staff. When Steven talks to our engineers and scientists he has INSTANT credibility because he is an engineer, scientist, and businessman. He has done what he and we are asking our people to do. When he talks about the soft-skills like communication, leadership, and customer service he walks his talk and behaves just like he is training our people to behave. Their behavior changes without even realizing it and without any effort or resistance. Steven has definitely developed a following among our technical staff. They anticipate and sign up for every one of his classes.” Vern Hanson, Training Coordinator (retired), Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp.

much more complicated process than just facts, which is what I naively assumed to be the truth before.
I found that people want me to provide the right answer but they don’t want me to always “be” or “portray myself” as right. As I’ve become more of a technical expert it’s become more favorable for me and my expertise to “fade” into the background, in some ways.

In my job, as a technical expert, the technical part was expected, it was kind of a given. The technical receded into the background. The interpersonal capabilities become more and more important.
I’ve seen this over and over, now that I’m aware of it. I didn’t see it before Steven pointed it out to me. But now even among my colleagues I can see when the lack of interpersonal skills is holding them back. As they gain more and more experience, more and more is expected of them in the non-technical area. In their ability to communicate, influence, and lead. And it’s really a new way of being in the world.

The only thing I was missing was my people and relational skills. I’ve found that I’ve been successful technically and after a certain point, a certain level, I was not longer being rewarded for that. What’s been missing has been my interpersonal skills. The lack of these people skills was actually closing doors for me. now that I know how to communicate better, it’s actually opening doors for me.
If you’re really serious of doing better in your work life in order to get more respect and help to effect good change, and you are serious, then Steven’s courses are a must.
Steven has such an insight into the technical environment; he really knows the issues that engineers face, what engineers are going thorough. He really puts me and other engineers at ease. Steven has a talent for mentoring, coaching, and training. Rich Tarde, Internal Technical Consultant, Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp.

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