Expert Manufacturing Advice tailored for step-by-step implementation in the workplace. Small Manufacturers, Machine Shops and CAD Engineers improve and thrive with our hands-on help. Essential Leadership and Management Skills for Engineers How to Obtain the Exceptional Management and Inspirational Leadership Skills Displayed by the Best Engineers Engineering Leadership and Management
'Hands-on Help for SMEs' and Smart Technical People'
Engineering Leadership Skills
The best engineers are often highly effective managers and leaders. If you are ambitious and aim to advance your career, obtaining these skills is crucial. For small manufacturing businesses, strong inspirational leadership and effective management is the surest way to get the very best out of your people, your assets and your limited resources.
Maybe for you it’s more personal. You may have been promoted to a management position because of your performance as a technical expert. This is great, except lots of your time is now spent managing teams and dealing with people issues, with surprising little deep technical work. What you now need is the new skills to survive and thrive in this brave new world. Well we’ll help you master these 5 essential leadership and management skills:
See below for links to a wide range of practical help, related to each of these 5 themes...
On the ground, the roles of engineers and technicians typically include management-related tasks. Engineering employees find themselves responsible for leading teams and managing projects, as well as being accountable for budgets and assets. They work with suppliers and customers, in addition to being in frequent contact other functions within the business.
However, the reality is good engineering and operations managers are in short supply. Engineering commonly deals with specifics, whilst management is often more subjective and intangible – so perhaps it’s not surprising.
Considering the above, oddly enough the availability of good quality information to help engineering managers lead and succeed, is far less obtainable than detailed technical training. But if engineers are to truly realise their potential and advance their careers, they need to consider and act upon key management skills. What’s more, if engineering is to be well represented at all levels of the business, all the way up to the board, then engineers need to further their expertise in this area.
Wherever you are in your career, you should strive to obtain and practice these transferable skills.
Some crucial management and engineering leadership themes are examined below. Our best practice information is complimentary to your technical skill development. If your career aspirations include deeper, more specialised technical knowledge, you’ll be working with other technical specialists and so will need strong communication, networking and perhaps project management skills. Likewise, you may be leading a project or team of engineers. Alternatively, your aim may be to develop your career, taking on positions of greater responsibility in technical management. Clearly, vital competencies like decision making, leadership, public speaking, financial and business skills, will all be hugely beneficial.
If you have ambitions and want to progress, you’ll need some of these skills to get on. Think about it – you wouldn’t put an apprentice in charge of a big-money production order! Plainly, they wouldn’t have the knowledge or experience. Likewise, you’re unlikely to ‘drift’ in to the best paid, most responsible positions. As such, leadership and management are skills to be learned and honed like any technical skill.
Too often technical staff often ‘have a go’ at management, risking potentially disastrous results for their team and the business. Sadly too many of us have experienced ‘bad management’ or 'poor engineering leadership' at some time or other. Why not give yourself and your employees the best possible chance by finding out what ‘good management practice’ looks like.
This section contains practical knowledge to be applied straight away in your current job role. Implement these proven ideas with confidence. Alternatively, use it as a spring board to research and find out more. Be motivated, discover what works for you and go and realise your potential.
Have you come across highly effective engineering managers and inspirational leaders? Are you one?!
Describe the qualities you think set the best apart from the rest. What practical tips and styles get the best results?
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