How to be the Best Technical Business Leader

Being a Technical Business Leader

My ideal engineering leader is certainly somebody that’s got the engineering background to understand what’s going on within their particular area of focus. T0here’s also the leadership skills that are required in order to make that person work better with teams so whether they’re an individual contributor and taking on a leadership role within that team.

Whether they’re a direct manager with a team of people, they need to have the skills to be able to get those folks to want to follow the path or strategy that that engineering leader is taken.

And so the person needs to have those skill sets in order to do that. Otherwise you get where nobody wants to follow you where you’re going. You know leadership is important so you think of individuals that can communicate well, have a sense of purpose and understand the mission and can stay focused that are candid because a lot of it is trust in order to be a leader. Your team has to trust you but also have the idea that you will lead them in the right direction so capability is another key attribute of a leader.

I think some of the soft skills that an engineering leader needs to complement their technical skills are items like interpersonal relationships, communication skills, very very important aspects of working together. If you’re trying to articulate something to somebody and it’s in a way that maybe they’re not comprehending then you’re really not communicating very well and in today’s environment communication is I think one of the most more important skills.

At the end usually it settles down to something that sounds kind of superficial but it’s not. It’ll be a comment at the end something like, I just like him or I like her and what they mean by that is can I work next to this person.

How to be the Best Technical Business LeaderWhen this person gets put onto my team or if I’m gonna be on this person’s team, is that team more functional or more dysfunctional because of them and that really goes into all those skills that you’re talking about where comes to communication. When it comes to being able to have legitimate conflict with someone and not not let it get personal, keep it professional, all these various things that that really don’t come from an area of technical expertise. I believe in the business community today there’s a lot of collaboration you know even in the the engineering arena.

In order for that to foster and be successful it’s important you know that engineers have that good technical background. I believe that’s a cornerstone but with that collaboration is a need for leadership, you know, someone that understands the the overall purpose of the project and can help lead the team in that direction.

So leadership you know is a key element of success I believe the two attributes of technical capability you know and those leadership attributes are key elements of success. Engineering is by its very nature an environment where we continue to try and progress things that are there today to something better and so innovation is extremely important and whether you work for a big company or small company in order to innovate keeps you moving forward as a company longevity.

I think a lot of people see innovation at small companies but at very large companies it’s extremely important as well I believe for one thing it’s it’s a tiebreaker you know there are many people that come with you know the technical skills you know but if you can expand that you know with the idea of application, innovation, so that you can bring your technical know-how to create useful products that’s important for business.

And so that’s really what separates you know leaders from others, the ability to merge those ideas for a good business venture So the ELD program here at Penn State helps students to enhance and progress their careers because it’s an environment where it’s not a requirement to take just to get an engineering degree but it’s something that people elect to go ahead and take.

And so as a company we’re looking for people that want to take on extra work within their environments everyone has a job that they do within their normal day but there’s a lot of ancillary things that need to happen in order to keep a company moving forward and so when we’re looking to hire people were looking for people who have worked in many different activities who have taken on extra work not again as a requirement but as something that they wanted to do to to improve themselves.

I would say a level of maturity and a level of perspective that you’re not going to get just strictly focused on the technical work. You want to learn about things like management, management problems, if nothing else even if you’re not going to manager, so you can understand how the manager, the problems he or she is is grappling with.

And its going to make you a better employee and managers pick that up very very quickly.

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