“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.” from “Leaders Eat Last” by Simon Sinek
Some people are just natural born leaders. While for others, it takes time and patience to become a great leader. It’s not always easy and often involves hard work and dedication.
For those in the engineering profession, effective leadership skills can have a huge impact on the future success of the individual, employees and ultimately the organization. Engineers across all disciplines are known to be innovative, creative and knowledgeable in the fields of math and science.
As engineers advance in their profession, it’s crucial to obtain great leadership skills. This applies whether or not they plan to work toward becoming managers.
Employees in the engineering field often manage projects and lead teams. They work with a wide range of clients as well as other teams in their own companies.
Seven Must-Have Engineering Leadership Traits:
It is often said that “knowledge is power.” In addition to having a deep understanding of their specialization, great leaders also work toward expanding their knowledge and make it a priority to continuously learn new ideas and concepts. This includes reading a wide variety of books, attending networking events, as well as staying up-to-date about the latest industry trends and announcements.
Attention to Details
Thoroughness and accuracy are an integral part of being an excellent leader. It’s important to pay close attention to every detail and notice things that might be overlooked by others. By analyzing what could happen in the future and considering a variety of possibilities, it will improve personal credibility as well as set your company apart from the competition. If this is not one of your strengths, hiring someone who is detail-oriented can be helpful to ensure all bases are covered.
Taking the time to organize yourself and your business has multiple benefits. Not only does it reduce stress, but it also helps you become more efficient. An organized leader knows what needs to be accomplished. He or she can better focus on projects and support employees. In addition, organization can aid in planning, time management and meeting deadlines.
It has been shown that employees identify and work harder for leaders who are passionate about what they do. A can-do attitude and mindset motivate employees. Successful leaders demonstrate they care about the work they are doing and the people who are on their team. Being passionate doesn’t necessarily mean being loud and outspoken. Some of the best leaders are calm and thoughtful.
It is crucial for leaders to demonstrate they care about the needs of their employees and clients. The term “servant leadership” was coined by Robert K. Greenleaf in an essay titled, “The Servant as Leader.” The idea is that a servant-leader focuses on the growth and well-being of their employees, which ultimately translates into positive results for the organization.
Integrity is one of the most coveted traits of being a great leader. People want to work for someone who is honest and ethical. Those who demonstrate integrity are more concerned with their character, rather than their reputation. Everyone makes mistakes, but those who have integrity can admit when they have and take the initiative to make a change. As C.S. Lewis said, “Integrity is doing the right thing even when no one is watching.”
Lead by Example
Get to know your team and think carefully about what you expect from them. Then, make sure to exhibit those same traits. Remember, you’re the role model. What you say will impact your employees’ work habits. Be fair and respectful to everyone and never criticize team members in front of others. Follow these behaviors, and you’ll find your team will likely do the same.
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