My guide, ‘From Engineer to Manager’ details 5 important issues and 8 key success strategies for engineers that have recently moved into a management role. But how does an engineer become a manager in the first place? The skills worth developing if you want to be a great manager are also behaviours that can be practised as an engineer prior to taking on the additional challenge of managing others.
Here are 8 areas to focus on in your career for your own benefit and if you want to be ready for the step up to management.
Being good at what you do is, of course, the first way you get noticed as an engineer. However, too many engineers aren’t very good at blowing their own trumpet. Of course, it would be great if your manager took an active interest in your development but many don’t or are simply too overloaded to notice your achievements. So when you’ve finished a qualification, learnt a new skill, delivered...
“Remember the Golden Rule? "Treat people as you would like to be treated." The best managers break the Golden Rule every day. They would say don't treat people as you would like to be treated. This presupposes that everyone breathes the same psychological oxygen as you.” - Marcus Buckingham
A key principle in all my work is that any great manager or leader starts with great self-awareness. A full understanding of strengths and weaknesses and how to play to them is essential for 5 key reasons.
If you're not sure who you are then you will be continually fishing for the real you. Others will experience you as a moving target and someone difficult to work with. When you're consistent you give others a chance to understand and manage you. They can feel more comfortable around you as the learn how to connect and communicate with you.
With greater self-awareness comes a greater awareness of your own values and beliefs and what makes you tick....
Often people are 'Difficult' because:
They are not getting the job done that we want them to do in the way we want them to do it. To that person, we are the 'difficult person' because of our perceived inflexibility or inappropriate behaviour.
If you're paying too much attention to how a job is getting done rather than whether the job is getting done to the required standard and within the constraints of the task then you're probably micromanaging, You may be the problem.
Here are 5 key questions to ask yourself in order to reflect on how effective a manager you are:
1. Do the individuals that actually do the delivery of tasks feel like they actually own their jobs and the way they do them? How do I know that?
2. Do I have the appropriate learning and support mechanisms in place to support the team?
3. Am I constantly developing my own skills to best develop and support my team?
4. Am I getting regular feedback from my team that my team thinks I’m doing my job well, i.e., I am...
(This article is an edited extract from the free guide, ‘From Engineer to Manager – 8 Key success Factors’)
You know the story. Someone, who is very good at their job and generally well-liked and respected, gets appointed to a position where they are now managing a small team of peers. Everything can start out so well and, at first, it can seem like a new and exciting challenge. Most of the time though, this transition is handled badly and many companies recognise this as perhaps one of the most difficult people development issues. Google, in an extensive multi-year review of management development practice called 'Project Oxygen' highlighted that one of the most significant management problems is when 'fantastic individual contributors are promoted to managers without the necessary skills to lead people'.
It's important to understand what typically goes wrong in order to fully understand why it's so important to actively do something about it. If we don’t...