Last night the San Francisco / Silicon Valley IEEE Technology Management Council met to examine the question: “What makes an engineering manager great?” Nearly 30 people participated. Over 40 good ideas were presented and considered. In the end the group ranked the following skills, attributes, and behaviors most important.
It is interesting to compare these results with those that two other groups generated here. Also interesting is how similar these results are to those generated by a group considering the most important things a technical manager can do to retain key contributors, which can be found here. While there are common themes that run through each group’s responses, the results are far from identical. This makes sense to me. Each group is unique, and has different values and needs. There is no ‘One True Way‘ to be a great manager. Certainly there are core skills and knowledge, but to rise to the level of greatness requires really understanding the group to be led, and giving them what they need.
Enthusiastic & inspiring
Praise & reward
Ask questions rather than give orders
Have a vision
Respect staff input
Appreciates the service of others
Know each staff member’s strengths and weaknesses
Recognize individuals, share blame
Big picture knowledge
Focus on fixing, not on blame
Ability to prioritize
To learn more about the San Francisco / Silicon Valley IEEE Technology Management Council