When leadership comes to mind in the engineering sector, outside perspectives miss the mark on what actually occurs in those roles. Engineers, often typecast as introverted linear thinkers, and their leadership abilities are similar. While product output is systemic and precise, the leaders behind those products are anything but. Believe it or not, engineering leaders are not built on a product assembly line and their leadership capabilities are indicative of their personal style. Each leader, as is with any other sector, brings something different to the table. Here are 4 types of Engineering styles that you can compare yourself to.
These leaders are the ones that challenge the status quo. They like to push the boundaries when it comes to innovation. Innovation is not solely for the leaders in the tech sector as engineer leadership encompasses this as well. These leaders are the people behind medical device innovations that help those with lost limbs walk again. Seeing the forest for the trees, Envisioners create teams that can see their vision through with the help of their leadership.
This leadership style is all about precision. Facts, predictability, and consistency are deeply important in this role. These leaders are seen in the structural engineering sector. In an industry that has to be precise and exact, these leaders thrive in giving clear and concise direction to their teams, ensuring that the structures they create match their plans accordingly. With this structure and predictability, they are known problems solvers and provide organization in their environment.
Despite the myth that engineers lack soft skills, these leaders readily debunk that notion. Feelers create an inclusive environment that provides a space for engineers to build on relationships to create the magical. These leaders can be seen in the entertainment engineering industry. Have you ever attended a circus or a Cirque du Solei show? These arenas require dreamers with a technical background to make the impossible, possible.
Last but certainly not least, doers are the backbones of their organizations. Leaders that fall under this category, work alongside their teams in the trenches, providing a ‘hands on’ approach to leadership. They’re decisive, communicative and results-oriented. These leaders can be found in any sector, and while they may seem outdated or old school, results are achieved under their tutelage.
Things to Consider
Leadership in the engineering realm is more diverse than what is presented on the surface. While leaders may adopt different styles of leadership, it is critical to remember the ultimate goals of the engineering leader.
Direction: Leaders have to provide their teams with insight and direction. Some engineers are naturally congruent in terms of giving direction, whereas others learn to grow in the role. No matter the leadership style, having a thought out plan from inception to creation is crucial to the success of the project.
Teamwork: Engineers do not create designs alone; it takes a team. When guiding a group of engineers, leaders have to understand the importance of cultivating a team that understand their role in the project, how it connects with their teammates, and how to solve the equation of the project as it relates to the nature of their work.
Details: When it comes to projects, it’s all about the details. Fortunately, attention to those details is engrained in engineers during their formative education. Leaders are able to hone that trait, whether it involves details in working relationships or in project management.
Technical Proficiency: Keeping up with technical proficiency through continued education is a must for the engineering leader. They have to be masters of their universe to ensure the highest precision
As previously stated, leaders in the engineering sector are not formulated. Some leaders are innovators, relationship builders, and dreamers. Bottom line, it takes a variation of styles to achieve certain results in the industry. Which leadership style resonates with you? Let us know in the comments or Tweet us @TheDavisCos!