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John Rau, former president and CEO of LaSalle National Bank, addresses the student body

Kellogg students learn what it takes to be CEO

By Kari Richardson

2/19/2003 -

John Rau, former president and CEO of LaSalle National Bank, gave MBA students a lesson in advancing to the top of the corporate world during a half-day seminar held at the Kellogg School on Feb. 19.

In his presentation “Getting to the Corner Office,” Rau advised Kellogg students to tailor themselves to a company’s top job from Day One in their careers.

“One of the hardest things for firms to figure out is how smart you are, how tough you are and how you can handle pressure,” Rau said. He advised would-be CEOs to strive for jobs where their impact will be measurable, to work for an “academy” company at least once in their careers, and to work for firms in line with their personal values and style so success is easier to achieve.

“Getting the job matters for only one day,” he said. “After that, it’s succeeding in the new job that determines your future.”

Rau’s seminar, sponsored by the Kellogg School’s Business Leadership Club, was based on his book, Secrets From the Search Firm Files: What it Really Takes to Get Ahead in the Corporate Jungle. He gave his “Corner Office” presentation to Kellogg School students in 2002.

Rau, who earned the top job at LaSalle National Bank at age 35, also served as dean of the School of Business at Indiana University from 1993 to 1997. He is a member of the Dean’s Advisory Board at the Kellogg School and was a visiting scholar at Kellogg from 1992 to 1993.