For the young civil engineer, leadership is not something remote to be encountered later when your career is well advanced. As soon as you are given responsibility to look after more than one person, as soon as you must think ahead and plan, your career as a manager and leader has started.
During the early phase, the managerial content of your work is easily absorbed because you are dealing with people like yourself. A more difficult stage arises when further promotion brings responsibility not only for engineers, but also non-engineers, and may include other professions and functions, departments, business units and companies. Whether your ultimate choice of career is with clients, contractors, or consultants or as a designer, researcher, or in construction, the same considerations apply. Promotion inevitably entails the leadership of others.
Leadership can be hard to define and it means different things to different people. Leadership has nothing to do with power, position, or office, birth, class, or status. Leaders can emerge from anywhere. Leaders set direction and help themselves and others to do the right thing to move forward.
Engineers have the qualities to make good leaders. They build and fix complex things. They demonstrate attention to detail, and strong skills in problem solving, the ability to pick top talent and work in teams, they understand technology, they take responsibility, and they persevere.
The presentation follows one man’s professional and leadership journey at home and abroad and the Welsh connection in this achievement. His journey started on the dumb end of a tape measure!
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