June 24, 2007
June 24, 2007
June 27, 2007
Continuing Professional Development
12.300.1 - 12.300.8
Attributes of technology leaders
A consortium of companies and universities has developed a certificate to help prepare senior engineers to become technology executives. One of the learning outcomes is that the target jobs are very diverse and demanding. To qualify that outcome, the participating groups have prepared a list of the attributes they consider to be essential in a technical leader. The desired attributes can be broadly considered in four groups: personal features, communication ability, operational (management) capabilities and technical skills. The paper concentrates on personal attributes since they are essential to the successful application of the other skills. A simple process has been identified to develop the personal skills in early industry training and in academic technology programs.
Introduction and scope
Over the past 30 years, most high-technology companies have developed dual paths to technology leadership. One route is for technical specialists. It is often called a ‘Technical Ladder’ and it is a way to retain and recognize the depth of expertise needed for the business. The other path is through project management which requires broad experience in many contributing functions. The paths are represented in figure 1 which shows the trade-off between breadth and depth. New engineering or technology graduates enter the job market with specific discipline skills and would normally stay with that specialization unless they make a deliberate move into project management.
Technology executive Breadth
Depth Figure 1. Technical career path options
Robertson, J. (2007, June), Attributes Of Technology Leaders Paper presented at 2007 Annual Conference & Exposition, Honolulu, Hawaii. https://peer.asee.org/1780
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