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Practical Leadership Tips 1

Practical Tips from Business 
and Public Leaders 1

Essential Leadership and Management for Engineers

Practical Leadership Tips from Business Leaders

The following points are hints, tips and practical leadership advice from organisational and business leaders. Opinions come from those who have excelled in their profession in the private, public and voluntary sectors.

Practical Leadership Tips 1: Alignment to Your Career...

Leadership Tips - Career Planning

  • Grab opportunities. Don’t just stay in your comfort zone, instead go for stretch.

  • Be proactive and take control of your career

  • Learn from as many people as possible, both from their mistakes and their successes.

  • Be known for something where you work. Be talked about positively through your project and business contributions.

  • An MBA is a great way of developing yourself and building your career, but ultimately there is no substitute for experience.

  • Be yourself because you will never be as good trying to be someone else. By all means draw inspiration from the traits of others, but ultimately concentrate on developing your own style.

  • Keep working on your weaknesses.

  • One leadership style probable won’t do. You need to have many strings to your leadership bow because different circumstances require different approaches.

  • In your career don’t try and plan definitively too far ahead.

  • Some leaders say never move from a job for the money, instead move for the opportunity.

  • Mistakes are part of the journey. Make things happen. The biggest crime is to do nothing. To do nothing is to fail.

  • You’ve got to be positive, enthusiastic, set the tone, and show you care. You spend a lot of time at work and if you’re miserable, there is nothing worse.

  • Leadership can and should take place at all levels of the organisation. It’s not something that comes exclusively from the top.

  • Do something you absolutely believe in.

  • As a leader it doesn’t really matter if people like you, as long as they respect you.

  • Keep learning, developing and expanding your leadership knowledge. Be inspired through books of leaders in all walks of life. Learn from others’ experiences. See how you can apply their lessons to your situation.


Practical Leadership Tips 1: It's All About People...

Leadership Tips - People

  • When putting together a team, surround yourself with people who are fundamentally better at what they do than you could be.

  • Your ideal team members will radiate positive energy, show real commitment and be very good listeners.

  • Try to understand other people and listen to what they have to say.

  • Make people feel valued and take on their points of view when possible.

  • Business is about people. Success is sometimes to do with seeing people get job satisfaction throughout the business.

  • When building a team, consider values and behaviours, as well as skills and knowledge. Will the person fit into the team and the organisation?

  • Moving into a leadership role often involves identifying the right people and making the space and conditions for them to perform.

  • Successful leaders get teams together and get them to achieve stretchable goals.

  • Leadership is about showing people a way to achieve more.

  • You can’t do it all alone. You have to allow people to do their jobs to help you do yours. You have to trust people.

  • You can provide guidance, you can provide help. But no matter how big or small your workforce, the staff are the ones who are going to undertake the work. Next to the customers, they are the most important people. You need to understand them both.

  • You have to provide a framework for learning.

  • You must have empathy for those at the coalface working with the customers.

  • Successful companies need to demonstrate to their employees how much they value them.

  • Build a relationship with your team members to facilitate communication and trust. Be observant and watch and listen to people.

  • You have to be able to motivate and drive your team.

  • Always make staff feel better about any problem after they come out of your office, than when they went in.

  • When building teams look for honesty, modesty, enthusiasm, relevant skills and definitely team players.

  • Learn to control your emotions and never lose your temper. Your message is lost once you lose control and your ability to make balanced decisions is curtailed. What’s more it can ruin your reputation and get you into disciplinary problems. In short, don’t let yourself down.

  • Be assertive, but never aggressive.

  • Be fair and equal handed with staff. Try not to treat some staff more favourably than others. It is divisive and will give you problems later.

  • Confront unacceptable behaviour, making clear what is appropriate.

  • Be prepared to undertake difficult conversations, preferably in private. Attempt to establish the facts without accusing anybody. Try to be constructive, yet making clear what is expected in the future. Be prepared to back up any sanctions potentially obtaining senior management support if required.

  • Be modest and offer any praise to your team, rather than receiving it as a leader. Point out who did what and praise them accordingly.

  • Sometimes you will need to give people bad news. Be honest, but consider their feelings and perspective when delivering the information. Consider being empathetic and try to map a positive way forward as a conclusion.

  • Make the workplace a more pleasant relaxed, yet business-like working environment. Do this by smiling, and encouraging humour, banter and a positive vibe. This is invaluable for boosting communication and moral.

  • Can you as a leader give evidence of where you have developed other people?

Practical Leadership Tips 1

Next... Practical Tips from Business and Public Leaders 2

Back to Essential Leadership and Management 

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

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