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Leadership for Engineers:
8 Key Leadership Themes and Behaviours


Essential Leadership and Management for Engineers


Leadership for Engineers: Intro...


Leadership is a great skill to compliment the technical expertise of any engineer. What’s more, it’s the ideal competency if your aim is to get on, get noticed and get your career on the move.  But what is leadership? How is it different from management? Can it be taught or are we born as leaders? This section gives you the information and tools to not only develop your leadership potential, but inspire others and use leadership qualities to advance in your chosen field.   

Key Leadership themes covered below include:

  • Leadership Behaviours in a Nutshell
  • Creating a Vision for the Future
  • Communications Skills
  • Decision Making
  • Leadership and Teams
  • Motivating and Inspiring Others
  • Leadership Styles
  • Practical Leadership Tips from Business Leaders


 

Leadership for Engineers: It's About Behaviours...

Leadership Behaviours in a Nutshell

(Source: The Psychologist Manager Journal, Volume 12)

  • Consulting: Checking with others before making plans
  • Delegating: Authorising others to have substantial responsibilities
  • Influencing Upwards: Appealing to those at the top
  • Inspiring: Motivating others to greater commitment and enthusiasm
  • Mentoring: Facilitating skill development and career advancement
  • Networking: Developing and maintaining useful relationships
  • Problem Solving: Identifying and acting decisively to remove impediments
  • Rewarding: providing recognition, praise and remuneration for good work
  • Team-building: encouraging cooperation and resolving conflicts
  • Supporting: Assisting and encouraging others and allocating resources to help


 

Leadership for Engineers: The 'Vision Thing'...

Creating a Vision for the Future

A key theme of leadership is the ability to form a vision of the future, followed by successfully convincing others to help achieve it. For engineers and technicians, the leadership vision may be a project, a change activity, a new production run, problem solving or any other technically challenging activity. The point is a leader doesn’t just let the situation evolve. Instead they inspire others to apply themselves, to achieve a common purpose.

The leader’s vision may sound rather cryptic. Simply put, it is a good idea - a good idea that has advantages for the business and for the people involved. Ideally the vision should be aligned to the business objectives of the organisation. In so doing, there is a far greater probability in gaining agreement from both management and all employees. 

A good leader will be skilled in getting others to buy into the vision and recognise the advantages of the change. Considering this, an effective leader is often persuasive, able to convince others’ thinking and importantly able to articulate the ‘new’ way of doing things.

A vision, by definition, is about change. It’s about doing things differently. As such the ability to think unconventionally and take risks are common leadership traits, as are boldness and confidence. Think outside the box and be prepared to consider alternative points of view if you have leadership aspirations.

Visions and new ideas can come from a broad range of sources. Talking to people and networking are common ways to find out what others are doing. Reading and researching also yield alternative ways of doing things. Being creative, brainstorming and seeing how others have solved problems, can also assist in visionary thinking.

Leadership for Engineers


Next... Communication Skills: Effective Listening and Verbal Communication


Back to Engineering Leadership and Management 


For you, what are the qualities of a Great Engineering Leader?

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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