Engineering leaders are multitiered and include vice presidents, directors, managers, and project and department supervisors. While being a talented and skilled engineer can get them hired and engaged in key projects that can further their career, not all talented engineers make great leaders. However, they all require certain traits in order to be successful. Some of those traits may surprise you.
In a field as intricate as engineering, you can’t do without technical knowledge and expertise, especially at an executive level. Most of the top engineering leaders have a background in engineering and are highly qualified in their field. They tend to have a rich educational background and experience that have strengthened their technical skills.
Yes, leadership requires more than just technical know-how, but that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t have technical skills. A person can be great at delegating tasks and managing projects, but without industry-specific knowledge and expertise, they can’t become good engineering executives. Executives with strong technical skills are able to fully understand the work and are more respected by their teams.
Speaking of managing projects, you also need your engineering leader to have excellent project management skills. While great leaders don’t get caught up in the weeds of projects, they do understand what the weeds are. They know how to delegate tasks for efficiency and refrain from micromanaging their teams while meeting project goals and deadlines.
An engineering manager should know how to oversee a project and be sufficiently involved in it beginning to the end. They should also have impeccable soft skills that allow them to communicate effectively with their team and peers to foster collaboration both within their own team and across other business centers to keep initiatives advancing.
The best engineering executives are innovators who know how to execute. They have a positive approach to handling projects and achieving goals, and they direct their teams to follow suit.
Exceptional engineering leaders can differentiate between realistic and unrealistic ideas. They’re good decision-makers and have the ability to take critical steps and make quick decisions during crises. But more importantly, they expect the same from their teams and are willing to teach them. Great leaders share their knowledge and skills and are always looking for opportunities to elevate others on behalf of the group.
Brookwoods Group is a top executive recruiting firm in Houston that helps organizations find the right-fit professionals who move their businesses forward. If you’re looking to fill executive engineering roles at your organization, reach out to our recruiting firm near Austin today to get started.