In this episode, Chris Knutson, PE interviews leadership expert Steve Armstrong on leadership and how to develop your leadership skills in your engineering firm.
Engineering Success quotes:
Here are the key points around building a strong leadership culture in your engineering firm:
- Everybody in your engineering firm has a story. Listen to their stories and learn from them.
- Just because you may think you are the smartest person in your engineering firm or department doesn’t mean you have to show it off to everybody all the time. Everyone is a genius in their own right.
- Engage engineers and other people as human beings, be aware of what’s going on in their lives because it has a direct impact on their work.
- Concept of servant leadership. You can create a family type environment in an engineering organization and still be a leader.
- Set personal charters. Be clear of what you want, and set clear expectations. Interpretation vs. Expectations
- Always follow up on tasks/projects assigned.
- You cannot allow to be a people pleaser and let everyone do their own thing and get your work done.
- Management by walking around – have a structure, expectations for every structure and every level.
- If you as a leader are clear about they need to do and what they aren’t allowed to do to get things done, then allow them the freedom to work within that area and understand that they will do a good job and they are going to achieve results. If they make mistake, call them on it but don’t beat them up over it.
- Delegation – What is the work that is moving you towards your mission and objectives in your engineering career and life? Who is the best person to pick that up afterwards?
- Complacency and unengaged employees is 100% responsibility of the engineering organization that they are working in.
- To engage engineering and other professionals, leaders must (1) be clearly connected with their work to whatever it is you are trying to achieve (work is valuable, participating and contributing to the accomplishment of the objective); (2) have a clear expectation around their work, who their boss is, the amount of freedom they are allowed to do and they need to made feel like a human being who is an actual participant in the team.
- Engineers want to be part of something bigger than themselves. Talk to people, invest in them, and make them feel important.
Leadership story and more in this episode…
In the Take Action Today segment of the show, Chris shares 3 reasons why there is a variability in excellence a person or an engineering firm delivers to others. Steve also give an actionable tip on how you can be a better leader.
About Steve Armstrong
Steve is a Calgary based speaker, educator consultant and leadership expert who works with technically & intellectually brilliant leaders who were never taught how to deal with people or who find themselves frustrated by not hitting their goals because of people issues. He is an expert at developing followers into leaders and building dedicated, loyal, and remarkable teams through the lessons learned from 35 years as a leader, soldier, and humanitarian. Steve has honed his insights and leadership skills and his unique ability to inspire and teach others to lead. He is one of only a handful of people in Canada who has planned and managed the relief & recovery responses and maintained complex business continuity functions after numerous natural and manmade disasters, and if ever there was a crucible for forging leadership — a crisis would be it. Steve holds a Masters Degree in Public Policy & Management and is the author of You Can’t Lead From Behind: What I Learned in Combat About Leadership, People, and Profit.
“Great leaders are almost always great simplifiers, who can cut through argument, debate, and doubt to offer a solution everybody can understand.” – General Collin Powell
Books mentioned in this session include:
Resources and links mentioned in this session include:
What are your tips on keeping your employees engaged?
We would love to hear any questions you might have or stories you might share on how you have improved your engineering leadership abilities.
Please leave your comments, feedback or questions in the section below.
To your success,
Anthony Fasano, PE, LEED AP
Engineering Management Institute
Author of Engineer Your Own Success