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CAD Leadership - Part 6 - A Leaders Corporate Assets

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I read an article in CIO Magazine in the not to distant past that outlined what they thought an executive level CIO should have in relation to talents in the corporate arena.  I have adapted them for the CAD environment.

Researching: The ability to quickly gather information from a broad variety of sources, analyze it, and synthesize a method or model that solves a problem, or various problems, in a creative or innovative manner.  This means digging into what the next level of software might be for your firm.  Check competitive products if you are a unified shop.  Keep your ears open.  Stay in touch with other firms and what they are doing.  Talk to vendors.

Interviewing: The ability to formulate questions used in conversation to elicit facts or statements from another individual, and a willingness to listen to what the individual has to say.  Getting to the core of the matter takes ability in formulating questions.  Ask open ended questions, not Yes and No interrogations.  Often you need to let others just explain their position before you make a judgment on the next step.  Dr. Stephen Covey calls it "seek to understand first, then to be understood".

Engineering: The ability to apply principles of logic, science, and mathematics to the understanding of systems and processes to improve them.    Your CAD skills need to include developing spreadsheets for calcing ROI, TCO and more.  Most of us need to develop and use our abilities such as Systems Analysis tools.  A logical systematic approach to solving problems. 

Lecturing: The ability to expound on an important subject delivered before audience members to inform and instruct them, as well as convince or persuade them to further action.  Most of the time we need to be involved in instructing others at several levels.   We most likely got to the level of Manager by helping others in a one on one manner.  We must also develop presentation skills, teaching methods, and more.  Read information on how people assimilate knowledge and how to present in differing environments. Watch other instructors and get tips.   Never forget to improve your negotiating skills.  This is needed for working with vendors and resellers.  Nurture your sales skills.  You are always trying to "sell" technology to others and upper management.

Arbitrating: The ability to reconcile the differences in components of networked resources or assets to achieve a common objective.   Trade-offs are always part of the CAD Managers forte.  You will not get everything you need to get the job done.  Software budgets, training budgets, migration budgets are always slashed or refused.  You need to be nimble and able to pull out a "MacGyver" solution with the existing tools you have.  Can you you complete a CAD Drawing with duct tape and a ball point pin?

Coaching: The ability and willingness to transfer knowledge about a subject to individuals, enabling them to succeed at a given task, and (if necessary) identify their weaknesses and aid them in correcting those weaknesses.  Sounds like working with most CAD Users. You need to motivate and include folks on your team.  Keep them focused and energized when pushing forward with technology.

Organizing: The ability to put things together in an orderly, functioning, and structured whole.  This might be your main focus.  CAD Standards, procedures and processes.  The larger the organization the greater the need to get it organized and get in on paper (or your intranet).