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Sunday, September 14, 2008

Good Engineers are Managers and Leaders

Many schools of thought separate between leadership and management. While I agree they are different they are intertwined constructs. Read more here.

Lets take a simple example, one of that of a sales manager. Most people will agree that a sales manager is primarily a management role. However in the case of a small travel agency serving the air travel needs of its clients, the sales manager on a daily basis finds herself performing tasks such as establishing new relationship with potential suppliers (leadership), negotiating contracts and deals (leadership), motivating her sales staff (leadership), developing sales target plans (management), performing forecasts (leadership), reviewing sales reports (management), training employees (management(, coaching high school interns (leadership), addressing customer complaints (management) and calculating sales team commission (management). This is another example of how a sales manager role in a small business deploys leadership skills to remain highly competitive and ensure superior client value.

How much of your time as a systems engineer do you spend managing, leading and engineering?