I was asked to participate in an engineering career development panel session at the 2013 ASME Pressure Vessel and Piping Conference which was held in Paris, France. I elected to talk about what engineers can do to improve their leadership skills. I am including some of the introductory material in this blog; the full presentation can be downloaded as a pdf here.
I thought it best to clearly define what a leader is. It is simply a person that people follow. This is separate from the definition of a manager, which is an appointed position whose role is to plan, organize and coordinate the work. Generally, the most effective managers are also leaders. And generally, an organization needs leaders to achieve its potential and grow. If you wish to be a manager, and are in an organization that prefers to select people with leadership skills as managers, then you should develop leadership skills. While that is the subject of the full presentation, for this blog I am only posting the roles of a leader.
I condense the role of the leader to five simple points:
Most of the skills required for this can be developed by practice, and/or by making a conscious decision on how you will behave, and working on it until it becomes ingrained behavior.
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Dr. Becht, Fellow ASME, former Chairman of the ASME B31.3, Process Piping Code, is a recognized authority in pressure vessels, piping, expansion joints, and elevated temperature design. He has more than 30 years of experience in design, design review, analysis, check-out, mechanical integrity, development, troubleshooting, and failure analysis.
He is an ASME Fellow and has more than 60 publications and five patents and is a frequent speaker and chairman in technical forums. He received the ASME Dedicated Service Award in 2001 and was the recipient of the 2009 ASME Pressure Vessel and Piping Medal and the 2014 J. Hall Taylor Medal. He is President of Becht Engineering Co., Inc, CEO of Helidex, LLC, and Director/Owner of Sonomatic Ltd.
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