Time and time again, you have probably heard and read much about leadership in the professional world, however you may not see a lot about what it means to be a leader in the engineering field. Just as certain skills and characteristics are needed for most influential leadership roles, leaders in engineering must also master skills, which include: vision, communication, influence, empathy, and attitude. However, there are also other characteristics engineering leaders must have that might not be as prevalent in other industries. These include: understanding terminology, detail orientation, and an utter curiosity for the profession.
The following skills and characteristics are vital to being a successful engineering leader:
● Direction. Engineers prefer to follow strict tasks that follow specific strategies. These strategic tasks come directly from their leaders. When giving direction to the people you’re leading, be sure to do it in a way that will make others want to follow you. This may be through confidence and credibility.
● Teamwork. No engineer takes on a task alone. He/she is oftentimes part of an elaborate team, and your understanding of effective teamwork translates into knowing how relationships within those teams work. This includes knowing what to do, how to do it, and what not to do. Understanding interpersonal relationships in your team is vital for an engineering leader.
● People are sometimes more important than details. Of course getting every detail correct is vital for a successful engineering firm, however, knowing how to work with people is also important. Important “people details” include understanding every person’s personalities, skills, aptitudes, backgrounds, etc. When you apply the same level of focus to the people as you do in every one of your projects, you will be easily followed.
● Technical proficiency. Successful engineers maintain their technical knowledge and skills through continuing education. This doesn’t necessarily mean going back to school and earning countless degrees. However, various associations can help you remain up to date on all technicalities of the field. Some employers, such as Gausman and Moore, even offer learning opportunities for their engineering employees. An engineering leader who is proficient in all aspects of their current field motivates their employees and team members to do well.
When you combine your detail-oriented engineering personality with these key leadership essentials, the result will be an ultimate leader. You will be able to not only build in your craft, you will be able to build others up as well. If you’re interested in an engineering leadership opportunity at Gausman and Moore, please visit our Careers page to view current openings. We also offer competitive career advancement opportunities as well as personalized leadership training through community involvement!