June 23, 2013
June 23, 2013
June 26, 2013
Engineering Leadership Development Division
23.399.1 - 23.399.16
Developing Engineering Leaders using Engineering Leadership Capabilities and Leadership LabsTo succeed in today’s hyper-competitive global economy, industry and society need the end-to-end education process to develop future engineering leaders who have the capability to Leadteams in efficiently and effectively delivering projects and products for their stakeholders.Currently, a significant “gap” exists between this need and the output of the engineeringeducation system. At the very least, this gap causes a lack of competitiveness for commercialentities; at worst, it results in failed projects and failed companies, preventing worthwhiletechnologies and innovations from reaching customers and society.The purpose of this paper is to examine a specific pedagogical technique employed in developingengineering leaders: the use of a leadership capabilities framework linked to interactiveleadership laboratories.We use this method as one aspect of our overall approach to developing graduate-levelengineering leaders. Through leadership capabilities and leadership laboratories, we enhance theknowledge, skills and attitudes of engineers and accelerate their ability to lead cross-functionalteams.We begin by assessing and creating self-awareness of the necessary capabilities of a successfulengineering leader and focus the Candidates on building on the strengths they have, as well ascreating new capabilities in areas where they have weaknesses. The leadership models taughtare derived from a variety of sources, including the Sloan-MIT Leadership model. These areused together with appropriate models focusing on core leadership competencies based onproven military leadership techniques and philosophies.Upon entering the program, Candidates undertake a Myers-Briggs assessment as a means forunderstanding their personal traits and attitudes. They then perform an initial assessment of theprime leadership characteristics to target in their development. This diagnostic is repeated later inthe course with additional feedback obtained from their peers and supervisors.Each Engineering Leadership class is supplemented by a Leadership Laboratory that augmentsthe Candidates’ experience and mastery of topics introduced in lectures. By engaging in self-assessments, interactive role-playing exercises, and case studies, Candidates explore topicsthrough practical experience. Leadership Labs allow Candidates to demonstrate, throughperformance oriented behavior, interaction and verbal feedback, mastery of a leadership attributeor skill.The first Leadership Lab reveals a Leadership Framework covering core values, engineeringleadership knowledge, capabilities and attitudes. In this lab, the Candidates learn the distinctionbetween leadership and management.The labs acquaint the Candidates with the tools essential to leading people and teams. Amongthem are creating a common vision, planning a project, organizing and inspiring a team,developing goals, assigning roles, setting expectations, providing feedback, negotiation,decision-making, and conflict resolution. Communication and presentation skills are practiced insimulated workplace scenarios, developing the expertise necessary to influence a team in thesuccessful completion of a project.Finally, the impacts of the business, cultural, and societal environment in which Candidates willlead are explored. The ability to stay situationally aware in complex and dynamic organizationaland business domains, account for cultural differences, maintain sound ethics, manage up anddown, and successfully maneuver throughout the extended enterprise enable Candidates to createthe perspective and context in which they will lead. Labs are performance-based, and Candidatesreceive direct feedback at the end of each session.
Pitts, S., & McGonagle, S., & Klosterman, S. W. (2013, June), Developing Engineering Leaders using Engineering Leadership Capabilities and Leadership Labs Paper presented at 2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Atlanta, Georgia. https://peer.asee.org/19413
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