CADDManager on April 14th, 2015

What Leadership is all about

Leadership Can be Taught

A recent survey on Technology Leadership revealed that 81% of CIO’s felt that Leadership can be taught. If leadership can be taught then CAD Managers need to learn it. Your firm is banking on the fact that you will manage the CAD environment well. This is a given. But they are also longing for someone to take a leadership role in laying out the future of technology use within the firm.

You may be in an environment that has a separate IT and CAD org chart. You may be reporting to the IT Manager. You may be performing management duties with out the title. Any way you look at it, there is an opening for sharp tech savvy folks to make an impact on the companies tech plans.

Leadership will take you farther in your career than your understanding of technology. Knowing CAD software got you to where you are now. Being the internal expert is a great thing. Every company needs one. But as CAD technology matures, there are a lot more people who have an elevated understanding of the tools. What will set you apart is how you look at things and react to change and plan for the next step.

Leadership is based more on who you are and less on what you know. When you move beyond the day to day functions and begin to plan for tomorrow, you will soon be interacting with upper level professionals and senior management. Negotiation skills, tact, perseverance, astute listening skills and more will be needed to make an impact on the Users, Management and company bottom line.

In CAD Leadership Part 4 we discussed the CAD Leaders personal assets. Go back and review these. Not many of them are technology based. They are interpersonal, visionary and personality based.

What Leadership is not… (but it does include these)

Leadership is not a title – titles are “given” to people. Leadership roles are stepped into by the person who sees a need and fills it. Someone who sees an opportunity and goes for it. Someone who plans for tomorrow and then works to see it unfold. You can have the Title and not be a leader.

Leadership is not management – management is getting the most productivity, effectiveness and efficiency from the existing environment. Leadership is seeing past today and pioneering change for the betterment of people, companies, clients and more.

Leadership is not salesmanship – Salesmen see commodities. They cajole, suggest, convince, and sometimes coerce people into doing what needs to be done. Leaders inspire, and influence people into doing what they agree should be done.

Leadership is not how much you know – That would be your Tech Savvy. You are expected to have that. That is what got you where you are. It is critical to keep on top of your tool set, but you need to go beyond just the tech-know-how. There are a lot of high tech sharp folks out there who no one would follow.

What leadership is…

Leadership is influencing people to get things done. That is the bottom line. That is the simplest definition I can think of. Dwight Eisenhower described leadership as “The act of getting somebody else to do what you want done because he wants to do it.”

An old leadership proverb states “He who thinks he leads, but has no followers, is simply taking a walk”. James George of the Par training corporation puts it this way, “Leadership is the ability to obtain followers.”

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