In this episode, we talk with Donnell Duncan, P.E., S.E., an accomplished author, captivating speaker, and associate vice president at Arcadis, about some of the challenges and opportunities that engineers encounter in our rapidly evolving marketplace, and how you can adapt to these changes by thinking strategically.
***The video version of this episode can be viewed here.***
Here Are Some of the Key Points Discussed About How to Think Strategically and Be a Successful Engineer:
- The engineering industry faces challenges with a competitive job market, requiring employers to prioritize employee needs and diversity while coping with tighter profit margins. Non-technical skills are increasingly valued alongside technical expertise.
- The book “A New Mindskin – Innovation, Creativity, and Strategic Thinking for the Marketplace” was inspired by the transformative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, emphasizing the need for individuals to adapt and embrace change. It teaches the importance of flexible thinking, transferable skills, strategic mindset, networking, and self-reinvention to succeed in a rapidly evolving environment, where clinging to outdated approaches can leave one behind.
- Transferable skills, such as analytical thinking, can be applied across industries, allowing engineers to adapt and excel in different environments, whether it’s using structural engineering principles to deliver a message at a church or applying the same approach to business ownership. Core principles like integrity and professional ethics are also transferrable, alongside practical and non-technical skills that contribute to success regardless of the specific field of application.
- Developing a strategic thinking approach as an engineer requires entering projects early, understanding the big picture, stepping out of comfort zones, and engaging with diverse perspectives to stimulate creative thinking and growth.
- To thrive as an engineer, focus on building a strong personal brand aligned with industry trends, acquiring relevant qualifications and skills, and positioning yourself as a thought leader in emerging areas. This proactive approach ensures you stay ahead and prepared for future industry developments.
More in This Episode…
In the Take Action Today segment of the show, Donnell talks about recognizing your true capabilities and leveraging them strategically.
About the Guest, Donnell Duncan, P.E, S.E.
Donnell Duncan, P.E., S.E., is a speaker and author of eight books with his most recent publication, “A New Mindskin – Innovation, Creativity and Strategic Thinking for the Marketplace,” released on January 1, 2022. He is a structural engineer, project manager, and business development professional in the water/wastewater industry. At the Water Environment Federation (WEF), he serves as the current Speaker of the House of Delegates (HOD) and Outreach Director of the Community Leadership Council (CLC). He is also past co-chair of the Board of Trustees DE&I Committee, past chair of the HOD DE&I Workgroup, and past member of the Workforce D&I Task Force. At the American Water Works Association (AWWA), he is the incoming chair of the Diversity and Member Inclusion Committee, on which he has served multiple terms.
He earned a bachelor’s degree in applied physics from Morehouse College as well as bachelor’s and master’s degrees in civil engineering (structures) from Georgia Tech. Donnell is a licensed professional engineer or structural engineer in 27 U.S. states, including California. He also earned “Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in the Workplace” and “Ethical and Inclusive Leadership” Certificates from the University of South Florida Muma College of Business. Working out of the Atlanta office of Arcadis, he serves as the account lead for several important Arcadis clients and leads the South Region of the Resilience (Water) Business Area Structural Engineering Group.
Most importantly, alongside his wife, Angel, he pastors The Body Church in Metro Atlanta, GA.
About the Host, Jeff Perry, MBA
Jeff Perry is a leadership/career coach for engineers, building mindsets, leadership, and career intentions to unlock hidden potential and remove self-imposed roadblocks for career and life. For years, he has had the pleasure of supporting engineers and software pros, from new grads to director level. Having been on the front lines in the technical world, he has been able to map out the necessary skills for becoming a quality leader in the field.
You can connect with Jeff on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/in/jeffcperry/ or visit his website, https://morethan-engineering.com. Jeff also has a new, FREE, on-demand training course for engineers who are job searching or in job transitions. You can see it at https://engineeringcareeraccelerator.com.
Books Mentioned in This Episode
Resources and Links Mentioned in This Session Include:
We would love to hear your questions and stories about how you think strategically to enhance your success as an engineer.
Please leave your comments, feedback, or questions in the section below.
To your success,
Jeff Perry, MBA
Host of The Engineering Career Coach Podcast