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In this episode of The Engineering Career Coach, I discuss the life cycle of a great engineering manager and how engineering organizations can avoid stunting this cycle. I will provide 5 strategies that organizations can use to ensure they are setting up their engineering professionals to become the best engineering managers they can be.
Here Are 5 Actions Organizations can Take to Help Engineering Professionals Become Great Managers and Powerful Leaders:
- Provide your younger professionals with a mentor, but not any mentor, one that is a leader in his or her field that can provide the right type of guidance. This mentor should already be an effective manager or leader in the same field that the younger engineer is aspiring to manage, so that they can learn from the mentor, otherwise you may be wasting both parties’ time.
- Provide soft skills (people skills, communication, building relationships, engaging people) training that will transfer back to the job. Very few engineering organizations do this. When delivering training to engineers, provide them with a framework that they can use to apply what they’ve learned on the job.
- Have them present or engage in real-life project situations for managers that matter. Think about the things that a great engineering manager has to do on a regular basis and try to your aspiring managers in a position to do these things as often as possible.
- Ask your new and aspiring managers what managerial skills they feel they need to improve on. You might even do an assessment or survey to find out which skills they are weak in. Then, and only then, should you provide them with the necessary training needed. This will ensure that the organization gains the best return on the training investment and properly cultivates effective managers and leaders in the long turn.
- Have them shadow their own managers as much as possible when you are getting ready to promote them. During a meeting or even just an important phone call, have these potential future engineering managers listen, observe, take notes and determine strategies that might work for them, so when it’s their turn, they are ready!
All you need is the plan, the road map, and the courage to press on to your destination. – Earl Nightingale
Resources and Links Mentioned in This Session Include:
Engineering Management Accelerator Workshop (Online) | 5 PDHs
Engineering Management Institute Professional Membership
TECC 212: Mentoring Matters – How to Find a Great Engineering Mentor Regardless of How Busy People Are
How Can I Become a Great Engineering Manager?
We would love to hear any questions you might have or stories you might share on the life cycle of a great engineering manager.
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