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Engineers as Managers/Leaders

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1 Engineers as Managers/Leaders
Dr. C. M. Chang Only to be used by instructors who adopt the text: C. M. Chang, “Engineering Management: Challenges in the New Millennium,” Pearson Prentice Hall (2005) Copyright © 2005 by Dr. Carl Chang Copyright (C) 2005 by Dr. Carl Chang

2 Chapter Contents Introduction
Differences in Work Done be engineers and Managers Career Paths of a Typical Engineer Factors Affecting the Promotion of Engineers to Managers Factors Causing Engineers to Fail as Managers Leaders and Managers Emotional Intelligence Copyright (C) 2005 by Dr. Carl Chang

3 Engineering Leadership
Only 26% of CEO’s in the top 1000 companies had their first degrees in Engineering (more in foreign countries) Only 10% of university presidents are engineers Few engineers are in Congress President Jimmy Carter was the only engineer, but he did not get reelected

4 Why So? Engineering mindset and attitude not compatible with management work? Education preventing engineers from becoming great leaders? Strengths in engineering have become weaknesses in management? Differences in work done by engineers versus that by managers?

5 CHARACTERISTICS ENGINEERS MANAGERS Focus Technical/scientific tasks People (talents, innovation, relationships); resources (capital, knowledge, process know-how); projects (tasks, procedure, policy) Decision Making Adequate technical information Fuzzy information under uncertainty (people's Basis with great certainty behavior, customer needs, market forecasts) Involvement Perform individual tasks Direct work of others (planning, leading, organizing, controlling) Work Output Quantitative, measurable Qualitative, less measurable, except financial results, when applicable Effectiveness Rely on technical expertise Rely on interpersonal skills to get work done and personal dedication through people (motivation, delegation)

6 CHARACTERISTICS ENGINEERS MANAGERS Dependency Autonomous Interdependent of others Responsibility Pursue one task at a time Pursue multiple objectives concurrently Creativity Technology centered People centered (conflict resolution, problem solving, political alliance, networks building) Bottom Line "How" (operational) "What" and "Why" (strategic) Concern Will it work technically? Will it add value (market share, financial, core technology, customer satisfaction)? Adopted and revised from P. Morrison, "Making Managers of Engineers," Journal of Management in Engineering, Vol. 2, No. 4 (1986)

7 Career Path of Engineers

8 Mid-level Positions Dual Ladder System (1) Technical (senior engineer, consultant, associate, fellow) (2A) Managerial (section engineer, supervisor, manager, director) (2B) Project Management (project engineer, project manager, manager, director)

9 Dual Ladder Vice President Director Director Fellow Manager Manager
Associate Supervisor Project Manager Consultant Section Engineer Project Engineer Senior Engineer Staff Engineer Engineer

10 Mid-level Positions Mid-level positions are equivalent in ranking, mid-point salary and prestige Technical Ladder is capped at the Corporate Fellow level Managerial ladder, including Project Management positions, leads to Executive level positions (vice president, CTO)

11 Mid-level Technical Larger responsibility for programs of high technical contents but no managerial duty Add value by technical contributions, innovations, and technology applications Fellows are typically well-renowned both inside and outside of the company for technical expertise demonstrated in patents, publications and commercial success

12 Mid-level Managerial Larger responsibility of managing people, tasks, capabilities, functions and programs Devote increasingly less time on technology work and more on managerial work Success Factors (1) Established technical expertise, (2) Proficient in all management functions, (3) Problem solving and conflict resolution, (4) Strategic planning abilities

13 Remarks on Mid-level Positions
Technical ladder positions are less quota-limited than the corresponding positions in managerial ladder Transfer from positions in technical to managerial ladder is somewhat more easier than the other way around

14 Executive Level Positions
Positions such as vice president (VP) of Engineering and chief technology officer (CTO) demand leadership capabilities in creating and implementing technological strategies to capture new business opportunities Teamwork with other high level executives is a critical success factor

15 First-line Supervisor
Work Contents Change of work contents with engineering career progression First-line Supervisor Mid Manager Executive Technical 70% 25% 5% Managerial 50% Visionary

16 Goals for All Levels: Add Value

17 National Science Foundation Study (2000)

18 To Manage or Not to Manage - Pros
Financial rewards Authority, responsibility and leadership Power, influence, social status and prestige Career advancement, achievement and recognition Random circumstance Random circumstance: Opportunities suddenly open, preventing a disliked co-worker form being the boss, other special reasons. Copyright (C) 2005 by Dr. Carl Chang

19 To Manage or Not to Manage - Cons
Long hours and hectic life (overtime, travel) High stress level (pressure of deadlines, constraints of resources, political infighting, lack of peer cooperation, trivial personnel conflicts) Poor family life (not seeing family much) Health hazards (travel, unhealthy foods, physical stress) Copyright (C) 2005 by Dr. Carl Chang

20 Success and Happiness Success in a management career contributes positively to happiness, but requiring certain sacrifices causing unhappiness - one must select a path to optimize happiness Happiness factors: (1) Wealth, (2) Social standing, (3) Professional achievements, (4) Peer recognition, (5) Quality of family life, (6) Health, (7) Absent of excess stress and anxiety, (8) Power, and (9) Others

21 How to Get Promoted Competence in current assignments - master current duties and responsibilities, gain respect of co-workers and get favorable recommendation from the boss Readiness and desire to become manager - handle larger and more challenging assignments (budget, people, impact) Good match with organizational needs

22 Managerial Competency
Knowledge Skills Aptitude Political Strong Will to Manage Strong Need for Power Strong Capacity for Empathy Handling Power & Enterprise Politics Technical Conflict Resolution Managerial Administrative Leadership Motivation Communications Coaching & Appraising

23 Question # 10.1 Silverman, author of “The Art of Managing Technical Projects,” Prentice Hall (1978), argues that our college engineering curriculums might be a hindrance to engineers wanting to move into management, as they typically emphasize an orderly, predictable and pragmatic view of the world. Judging from the University at Buffalo’s 30-credit engineering curriculums at the Masters degree level, do you agree or disagree with Silverman, and why? The answer is yes, with some minor exception. Yes, I agree more or less. Because the majority of our masters students would rush through here by (1) Having the misconception that technologies alone will assure their future career successes,(2) Going to beer parties often to enjoy the wonderful today, and letting tomorrow be tomorrow, (3) Not taking any initiative to broaden their views of the world, and/or (4)Using up their elective courses for job-securing skills (programming languages, e-business tools, information systems, and other such eye-catching course titles). Obviously, these engineering graduates will leave college with the typical "black and white" view of the world, just as Silverman has predicted. For these graduates, the current engineering curriculums would indeed become a hindrance to their transition into management at a later time. The only exception is that a minority of our masters students understand what they want to do with their career life, know how important a broadened perspective is to them, and/or become aware of the success factors in their career life beside technologies. These students can take advantages of the build-in flexibility of the UB engineering curriculums to prepare themselves well for transitioning into management by (1) Using electives to broaden their perspectives, (2) Attending graduate seminars, (3) Proactively seeking advice from academic advisers and professors, (4) Actively participating in student organizations and other activities to gain managerial competence and build leadership skills. Copyright (C) 2005 by Dr. Carl Chang

24 Leaders and Managers Managers – set goals, plan actions, secure resources, set up structures, exercise control and getting results (to keep organization functioning properly and create orderly results) Leaders – set vision and direction, create strategies to achieve vision, conceive actions steps to accomplish goals, align people and form coalition, motivate and inspire people to move forward (to promote future-oriented changes)

25 Characteristics Managers Leaders Focus Do things the right ways
Do the right things Administration, problem solving Direction setting Reconcile differences Creativity and innovation Seek compromises Maintain balance of Power Emphasis Rationality and control Innovative Approach Accept and maintain status quo Challenge status quo Putting out fires Blazing new trails Targets Goals, resources, Ideas Structures, people Orientation Tasks, Affairs Risk taking Persistence Imagination Short-term view Long-term perspective To acquire these skills, an engineer could follow these steps: (1) Understand why each skill set is important, and verifying its importance by talking with trusted sources (parents, close friends, relatives, professional acquaintance, mentors, etc.). Other useful steps to create understanding and build leadership skills include: · Browse technical, business and managerial publications. (Technical journals, Business Week, Fortune, Wall Street Journal, Harvard Business Review, etc.). · Keep informed of new developments (business strategies, market development, technologies, innovations, customer relations management, enterprise integration systems, supply chain management, business models, lean manufacturing, e-business, etc.) · Absorb new concepts and practices, and become proficient in identifying "best practices," "success factors" and other 'benchmarks." · Recognize new opportunities valuable to the organization (technologies, business, products). (2) Understand the metrics (standards) for measuring progress made in these skill sets. (3) Develop a plan including specific action steps and milestones. (4) Make a commitment by setting aside time and efforts to implement the plan. (5) Take courses and training seminars, observe the experienced managers/leaders in action, and ask questions of qualified people, to acquire the specific techniques needed in order to · Facilitate technical and managerial development. · Build and maintain skills, Training programs are available: (A) Professional societies (B) Companies offering training services (C) American Management Association courses (D) University-based training programs (6) Proactively seek opportunities to practice the learned techniques. (e.g., volunteer for team assignments, become an officer in a student organization, do volunteer work in church, Scouts, benefit, United Way, Rotary Club, or political groups, spend time in professional societies or industrial committee, join Toaster Masters Club to practice public speaking, etc.) (7) Monitor progress in developing these skill sets. Copyright (C) 2005 by Dr. Carl Chang

26 Success Factors Tough-mindedness Perceptual capability Hard work Tolerance Goodwill Analytical capability Points of Inquiry How and when What and why Preference Order, harmony Chaos, lack of structure Aspiration Classic good soldiers Own person Favor Routine Unstructured Follow established procedure Approach with People Using established rules Intuitive and empathetic

27 Personality Team-player Individualist Relevance Necessary Essential Thrust Blend in Stand out Bring about compromise Lead Changes Achieve win-win Mentality "If it isn't broke, don't fix it" "When it isn't broke, this maybe the only time you can fix it." Adapted from Abraham Zaleznik, "Managers and Leaders: Are they Different?" Harvard Business Review (March-April 1992), and Warren Bennis, "21st Century Leadership," Executive Excellence, Provo (May 1991).

28 Emotional Intelligence
All leaders have a high degree of emotional intelligence (1) Self-awareness (2) Self-regulation (3) Motivation Empathy Social Skills

29 Failure Factors for Engineering Managers
Lack of political savvy Uncomfortable with ambiguous situation Tense personality Lack of risk-taking willingness Tendency to clinch on technology Lack of human relations skills Deficiency in management skills and perception Not cognitive of manager’s roles and responsibility Narrow interest and preparation

30 Most Common Reasons for Career Failures for Engineers

31 (A) Poor Interpersonal Skills
This is the single biggest reason for career failures. Every one needs to be (1) Showing respect and sensitivity in dealing with others, (2) Minimizing conflicts and disagreements, (3) Giving and taking criticisms well, (4) Striving to build team support, (5) Becoming emotionally stable, and (6) Behaving professionally

32 (B) Wrong Fit Not fitting to the cultural norms, core values, priority, profit motives, social/ environmental preferences, and others of the workplace Hard to adapt one’s own abilities, styles, personality and chemistry to those of co-workers Solution is to move on quickly

33 (C) Not Able to Take Risks
Staying in a position far too long for fear of losing control of own comfortable life Not willing to venture out (e.g., taking on a management position, relocation for a promotion, new job, different industry, etc.) Wha is too long: When one stop learning from the job, it is time to move on or seek an alternative job assignment. Copyright (C) 2005 by Dr. Carl Chang

34 (D) Bad Luck Caught unexpectedly in an organizational restructuring situation (mergers and acquisition, downsizing, change of market conditions, economic downturn, outsouring strategies, formation of supply chain, etc.) Bad luck is not always avoidable Be ready for it by keeping oneself marketable: Value creation attitude, skills, and records

35 (E) Self-destructive Behavior
Examples include: work in secret, resistance to change, being excessively aggressive, shown non-cooperative attitude, picking fights with people, becoming overly argumentative, being readily excitable about trivialities, and showing a lack of perspectives in things Must check own behavior often and modify

36 (F) Lack of Focus Try to be jack of all trades, but not good in any thing of value Having no expertise to be known for is dangerous for one’s career (examples: work well with different people - getting things done effectively through teams; problem-solving – applying FMEA or root cause analysis techniques to complex problems)

37 (G) Workplace Biases Ideally, all workplaces should be free of any biases with respect to gender, age, color, national origin, religious beliefs and others In reality, some workplaces are indeed better and more progressive than others in this respect Take proactive steps to avoid getting hurt by such possibilities

38 Question # 10.12 Everyone works for a boss in industry. The boss factor is extremely important, as it directly affects a person’s career progression. On the other hand, every one has specific values, basic beliefs and certain fundamental principles, which must be honored and upheld all the time and under any circumstances. Are there guidelines on how to effectively manage own boss? The boss factor should be taken seriously. The following represents a set of general guidelines to manage the boss: A. The Boss Factor Affecting Career Growth · Understand the key reason for job turnover (Personality conflicts, not technical performance.) · Beware of organizational mindset Whenever the organization appoints a group leader, the following unwritten rules apply. (a) The organization knows that no one is perfect and the appointee is no exception. (b) The appointee's strengths are valued more than the troubles caused by his/her weaknesses. Even if he appears to be sort of SOB to some subordinates, the organization counts on him/her to lead the group and add values. (c) Unless the appointee clearly violates the stated rules, the organization will back the appointee most of the time. · The organization trusts the view and desire of the appointee, over those of his subordinates, to achieve the goals of the organization. B. Organization's Expectation of Employees · Attune to the boss, not insisting that the boss adjusts to you. (Do it your way, when your turn comes). (a) All subordinates are expected to adjust their respective style to work closely in support of the appointee. (b) Usually the boss has access to more and better information, and is likely in a better position to make good decisions. Do not question his judgment and decisions. · Help the boss to succeed (this is position expected of all subordinates in Corporate America) · Complement the boss for good work, if possible (this is not apple polishing, as the boss needs encouragement too, being a fallible human being). C. Fundamental Precepts of Career Growth: · Satisfy the job-related needs of the boss. · Make the boss look good. · Add recognizable value to the organization (continuos improvement, innovations, application of new technologies). · Demonstrate readiness for accepting larger responsibilities. D. Prerequisite for Managing the Boss To manage the boss effectively, one must have a good understanding of the following: · Business and personal pressure the boss is under. · Values and Motivators (achievement, success, recognition, money, value systems, priorities, principles, and other factors). · Work style (peacekeeper; conflict lover; riser or setter channel oriented; skips hierarchy, likes to listen or read) · Personal style (optimistic; fighter; family; hobbies, active or passive). E. Suggested Guidelines to Manage the Boss · Expect modest help, and ask for it only when really needed. (better to get help form own networks) · Be sensitive to the boss' work habits (watch how he receives data/information and works on it, what is his preferred mode of communications, face-to-face, phone, s, staff meetings, etc.) · Present materials without technical obscurity such as complex details and jargons. (a) Emphasize the significance (benefits and impact realizable) of the work to the group/company, not its technological sophistication and elegance. (b) Use concise language to clearly describe ideas or recommendations. · Do not defend a cause, unless it really deserves it (i.e. keep it in perspective). · Exercise self-control (i.e. manage own over-reaction or counter-productive behavior). · Stay in touch with the boss (unless he does not want to be bothered regularly). · Do not cuss, when not getting all that was asked for. · Be dependable (show reliability, efficiency of completing assigned work with acceptable quality). Copyright (C) 2005 by Dr. Carl Chang

39 Question # 10.14 Some engineers and managers are known to have more difficulties in interpersonal relations than other. How can they improve their interpersonal skills? Interpersonal skills are extremely important to engineers and managers alike. Factors affecting people's success are: (a) Technical skills and capabilities: 15% (b) Human relations skills: % This is because technical problems can be solved once and for all. However, human relations problems are more frequent, often repetitive. It is the nature of its repeatability which contributes to the difficulty. There are situations which require interpersonal skills. These include: · Correction of performance deficiencies. · Negotiation of agreements. · Handling of complaints · Others. A large number of situations must be handled with feelings and a good understanding of people's behavior. An effective way to change people's behavior is by positive re-enforcement. · People crave to be appreciated and positively acknowledged, longing for value/worth confirmation to others. · Show honest and sincere appreciation for work well done in a timely manner - "Catch Him Being Good" - praise good behavior to make it permanent. Comments should be specific to performance/task accomplished, not of a general type. More often than not, good work/behavior is taken for granted, and negative feedback is given to bad work, real or imaginary. Such a lack of balance between reward and punishment represents a sign for poor workplace culture. Copyright (C) 2005 by Dr. Carl Chang

40 What Takes to be Successful in Corporate America

41 Success Factors (A) Performance - Make sure that each and everyone of assignment is done well - “You are only as good as your last performance.” (B) Personality - How one acts and behaves is important. One should project a mature, positive, reasonable and flexible personality

42 Success Factors (cont’d)
(C) Communications Skills - Ability to communicate is important for promotability, particularly writing concerning readability, correctness, appropriateness and thought (D) Human Relations Skills - Interact with people to create and maintain acceptable working relationships, avoid being labeled “Not working well with people”

43 Success Factors (cont’d)
(E) Make Tough Decisions - Take prudent risks and make the tough plays (F) Work Experience - Build up own work portfolio with diversified experience and high impact assignments (G) Self Control - Stay cool and be able to withstand pressure and stress, having high tolerance to frustration

44 Success Factors (cont’d)
(H) Technical Skills/Ability - Capabilities need to be kept marketable (I) Health and Energy Level - Take care of own health and maintain physical vitality (J) Personal Appearance - To fit into the corporate image by following the boss’s example

45 Career Strategy for the 21st Century
Think, speak, act and walk like an entrepreneur - entrepreneurial mindset Embrace change as an opportunity for growth, “Eager to stay, yet ready to leave” Be visionaries and detail-oriented Know own strengths and weaknesses, be competitive, and set high standards for self Build alliances and stay connected

46 Career Strategy for the 21st Century(cont’d)
Avoid specialization in favor of adaptability, cross-functionality, people skills, and a solid customer focus, learn fast to do new things or partner with someone who knows Stay professionally active and keep skills marketable Maintain work/life balance - “Earn a living, make a life” (Source: James F. Kacena, “New Leadership Directions,” The Journal of Business Strategy, March/April 2002)

47 Summary and Conclusions
“Rules of thumb” from experience are worth knowing Constantly reading to reinforce one’s conviction in the values of noted leadership profiles Practicing them until the preferred behavior becomes ones’ second nature

48 References Eugene Raudsepp, “Would You Make a Good Manager?” Machine Design, p. 57 (August 8, 1985). Anne Roe, “Networking: New Contact Sport For Managers,” Chemical Engineering, p (October 27, 1986). F. Bartolome and A. Laurent, “The Manager and Servant of Power,” Harvard Business Review, p. 77 (November - December 1986). R. W. Gallant, "So You Want to be a Manager,” Chemical Engineering, p. 55 (November 9, 1987) Alan Chapple, “Weak Interpersonal Skills Doom Engineers to 'Managerial Malpractice' Experts Charge,” Engineering Times, (November 1986). Perry Pascasella, “How Can I Keep the Boss Happy?” Industrial Week, p. 213 (October 13, 1975). Anonymous, “A Quick Way to Test Your Boss Ability,” Business Management, p. 217 (July 1966). Robert E. Shannon, “Engineering Management,” John Wiley & Sons (1980).

49 Question # 10.3 Hoffman, author of “Prescription for Transitioning Engineers Into Managers,” Engineering Management Journal (September 1989), believes that a management education program should have three elements: (1) Behavioral – People skills (motivation, team building, communications and delegation). (2) Cognitive (production, marketing, finance, control). (3) Environmental (markets, competition, customers, political, social and economical environment in which the organization operates) The first two elements appear to be self-evident. Explain why the third element, the environmental, is important? The first two elements are internally oriented, the third is externally oriented. There are two reasons for the third element to be important: (1) Stakeholders of the organization. There are five stakeholders a given organization must strive to satisfy, namely, customers, shareholders, employees, suppliers, and the community in which the organization operates. Both customers and community are part of the environmental element defined above. Managers must be educated to be externally oriented with respect to these stakeholders. (2) Globalization. As the markets become increasingly global, the external orientation of managers will also assume an increasing importance, as managers must collectively lead the organization to plan strategically and to compete effectively in a global marketplace, while applying internal resources efficiently. In fact, the organizational survival depends on mangers' skills in handling the new external challenges related to: (a) Global markets taking into account of the cultural diversity, local preferences and business norms (b) Rules and regulations of local governments (c) Communications technologies (d) Worldwide supply chains (e) Management of international customer relationship (f) Business-to-business practices (g) Business relations building (h) Production partnerships, (i) Outsourcing opportunities, (j) Distribution networks Copyright (C) 2005 by Dr. Carl Chang

50 Question # 10.4 How is engineering management different from management in general? "Engineering management" refers to: (1) Management of functional departments/groups involved in engineering activities (e.g., engineering, product design, production, process development, quality control, engineering operations, research and development, etc.) (2) General management of a high-technology enterprise, requiring technical judgments (General motors, IBM, Intel, Xerox, General Electric, etc.) (3) Management of consulting firms involved in engineering (e.g., McKinsey, Accenture, Arthur D. Little, etc.) On the other hand, "management in general" encompasses the management of functions and organizations with low-technology contents (e.g., hotels, banks, brokerage firms, airlines, governments, hospitals, non-profit foundations, etc.) As defined above, "engineering management" is a subset of "management in general." Copyright (C) 2005 by Dr. Carl Chang

51 Question # 10.5 How to become a good boss? What are things the boss should and should not do? The following is what to do and not to do by a good boss, technically trained or otherwise. A. Do's · Have helpful attitude and be accessible. · Provide operational help to others: (a) Secure adequate resources. (b) Set priorities for actions. (c) Read reports. (d) Take action steps. · Provide political help to others: (a) Inform others and keep self informed. (Provide news/information, decisions, praises, and criticisms timely). (b) Take heat (stand up to protect people, when called for, by using own position power). (c) Resolve and settle conflicts. · Establish expectations - Follow through plans and exercise Control to achieve the expected results. · Set personal examples for good professional conduct. (character, ethics, fairness, courtesy, openness, credibility, etc.). B. Don'ts · Showing up employees in public (Belittling, fault finding, ridiculing). · Playing favorites (choice assignments, differentiated performance standards, giving credit to the wrong person, etc.). · Dismissing people abruptly from assignment. · Playing politics. · Keeping people in dark as to where they stand (must offer feedback to promote growth and development). · Displaying indecision and vacillation. · Setting no performance standards or changing standards continuously. · Having low expectations (they are demoralizing and self-fulfilling). Copyright (C) 2005 by Dr. Carl Chang

52 The Engineer of 2020 National Academy of Engineering, Washington D.C., <>, Published a Phase 1 Report: “The Engineer of 2020” Eleven “Attributes of Engineers of 2020”: (1) Strong Analytical skills, (2) Practical Ingenuity, (3) Creativity, (4) Communication, (5) Business & Management, (6) Leadership,

53 The Engineer of 2020 (7) High ethical standards, (8) Professionalism, (9) Dynamism, (10) Agility, resilience, and flexibility, (11) Life-long learning

54 The Engineer of 2020 May be reground into 4 major categories:
(1) Leadership (high ethical standards, professionalism, communication) (2) Technical capabilities (strong analytical skills, practical ingenuity, creativity) (3) Business and Management (4) Drive to excel (dynamism, agility, flexibility, life-long learning) Indeed, these are the same attributes emphasized here

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