The Importance of an Understanding of Engineering Leadership

Published: 2021-06-17 08:15:04
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Category: Electrical Engineering

Type of paper: Essay

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The case in question is about an electrical engineering laboratory assignment during one of the previous semesters where we had to work in pairs to program a circuit board to achieve several assessment criteria. Although the questions were given two weeks ahead of the assessment date to provide us enough time to work on our project, we procrastinated and rushed the project the night before the assessment date. Expectedly, the inaccurate and unsophisticated last-minute work did not do us any good and we struggled to even complete the project in time. Both of us were stumbled and speechless upon many questions during the assessment as we were severely unprepared. There is definitely room for improvement for our case. The question to ponder is: How might an understanding of engineering leadership could help us better prepare and deliver the project for the assessment? By the understanding of engineering leadership, self-leadership with self-awareness and collaborative optimization are two of the few qualities that would definitely help us during preparation of the project. A major failure in engineering leadership in our case is the lack of self-leadership between us which leads to procrastination.
“Leadership is a process that begins with self and inspires and empowers others, teams and organizations to effect positive change.” Engineering leadership, being a subset of general leadership, should not be an exception. Reeve, Evans and their associates (2015) also suggested that self-awareness being the key to effective leadership and that leadership is indeed a shared responsibility in their article. The implication of self-leadership for our case is that we should not wait for each other to take action. Instead, we should be pro-active and understand that it is a shared responsibility to prepare and deliver the project in time. We, being the one knows ourselves the best, should be aware of certain bad habits we have, such as procrastination. This is where we need to exercise self-awareness and overcome personal difficulties to step up and take action. This means that there is no need for us to wait for each other to be the leader of the team. We should take initiative and contribute whatever we can rather than procrastinate. Anyone can be a leader and everyone have their weakness and strength. That being said, it brings up the next point I will be addressing, collaborative optimization. Collaborative optimization suggests that no individual, regardless of his/her competency, would be able to deliver a large project alone. It implies the need for teamwork in any group setting. As for our case, we should understand each other’s strength more and do areas that we can perform the best first and collaborate on those unfamiliar ones together to maximize efficiency. Colcleugh’s point on “do everything possible to deliver” agreed on my opinion as well. This, in some degree, involves self-awareness, too. As one needs to understand his/her strength to claim his/her field of expertise to work on during any collaborative work.Though a thorough self-understanding with individual initiative, any team project can be tackled easily, or have a good start at the very least. Through a reflection on my past experience, I understand that everyone can be a leader, especially under engineering context, and that knowing teammates strength and limitation helps in gluing an efficient team. In addition, self-awareness is the foundation to self-leadership and collaborative optimization, a key driving factor that everyone in the team should process to achieve success.

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