Observations from the Corner Office


Earlier this year, Capstone On-Campus employees outlined six “promises” to our colleagues, residents, and clients that we believe are critical to supporting and maintaining our focus and mission, which is to continue to excel as specialists in the management of student housing owned by non-profits.  Our goal is to come to work every day committed to living out these promises because we know the impact that they can have on us individually and to those around us that are touched by our work.

Doug Brown, President of Capstone On-Campus, recently wrote an article for Capstone’s employee newsletter that focused on the sixth promise.  I felt that it merited sharing, as there is an important “take-away” for everyone.  Below are Capstone’s Promises and Doug’s take on #6.

The Capstone On-Campus Promises:

  • To pursue excellence in all that I do. I will not accept mediocrity.
  • To strive to provide services that are remarkable to my colleagues, residents, and clients.
  • To respond to your email or phone call within 24 hours. I may not have an answer, but I will at least give you a reasonable estimate on when I will.
  • To seek to understand your situation before I ask you to understand mine.
  • To be fair, honest, and accountable (including owning my mistakes).
  • To support, encourage, and mentor those around me.


Here is what Doug wrote for the Capstone On Campus newletter.

Over the past six months I have had the privilege of offering my perspective on the I Promise Statements we adopted in January 2012 when Capstone On-Campus Management became a separate independent company. This has given me an opportunity to reflect, tell stories and feel like a big shot because people were actually reading this stuff. So to wrap things up let’s talk about the 6th and final I Promise Statement.

To support, encourage, and mentor those around me.

By the time I completed graduate school I had an impressive resume of jobs I was not very good at. I was a short order cook, mobile home salesman, motel clerk, house sitter, and during the longest summer of my life I mowed a cemetery. So when it came time to decide on the subject of my master thesis I was at a loss in coming up with subject from which I could back up with real life experiences. I recall talking with one of my most trusted professors about my dilemma knowing of course she would sit on the review committee and I needed to do a little sucking up. But she offered little constructive advice and only posed one question: “You have come to graduate school taking a non-traditional route, what was it about all those jobs that helped to get you here?”

The other day I was digging in my attic in search of the box that contained the files from my graduate school days so that I could get my hands on this literary accomplishment. I remembered the topic I settled on but I could not find the document so I will offer what I learned. The topic of my master thesis was Mentor/Protégé relationships. I realized the answer to my professor’s question regarding how all those jobs lead me to a graduate degree; it was all those people I looked up to and learned from while doing all those jobs. What I recall most about my research on this topic was that one must be open to being mentored and willing to become a mentor. It is a choice not something that just happens. I also learned that as your relationship with your mentor changes with time and he/she may even begin to seem out of touch. It is at this point when the relationship will have its greatest impact later in your career.

There was one quote from an unknown author I used in my thesis that I have never forgotten and it went something like this: “If you support and encourage the people who work for you, they will take you to the top with them.”

While this thesis did not contribute to the body of research on the Mentor/Protégé topic I did learn a few things in the process of researching and writing it. First: refrain from giving advice and stick with asking good questions. Second: listen for the “quiet” and a course of action will soon follow. Third: do not put off what you are putting off.

So as I conclude this perspective on the I Promise Statement I will end where we began. Tonight as you sit at the dinner table and reflect on the day’s activities remember to ask this question: “Did I keep my promises today?”