As upcoming engineers, raised in an academic environment, we’re taught how to quantify things.
It affects our way of seeing the world and when given the choice, we tend to choose paths to which we can add numbers.
We feel at ease when we can look at data and derive the best option simply by pointing at a nice combination of digits.
However, I would argue that the quality of the engineering work we do is not primarily a function of physical laws.
Nor is the result determined by the financial constraints on the project in which we participate.
By now, you might be outraged, confused or maybe you just got back up from the floor after falling of the chair in laughter.
Therefore I’ll offer a simple warning right away. The content below will require approximately 4 hours for you to get through.
After that, you might be e a bit startled, but hopefully it will inspire you to make a real impact on the people around you!
Now, just to be clear, I’m not here to say that physical laws or financial constraints don’t matter.
They are indeed the framework for all technical development and we’d be fools to ignore them.
However, I would argue that the determining factor for the quality of our work is the environment in which we operate.
Does it feel like my efforts are appreciated? Am I a part of this team because I have to, or because I want to?
Do we share a mutual understanding of what we are trying to accomplish together? Why is this goal important?
Ensuring that the environment is such that the people in it feel valued is the primary task of the leader.
In essence, it’s about giving people a reason to follow you and to be a part of the organisation.
A natural starting point for a leader is therefore to acquire followers. Without them, you’ll have no one to lead.
To ensure that the team grows stronger, you need to start understanding the individuals in your team.
What motivates them, what scares them and what are their unique strengths?
Good leaders manage to extract every bit of unique potential in each team member.
Great leaders are the ones who extract more out of their people than what they themselves knew they were capable of.
Getting this right can be a difficult thing, but once you see the results, it really is worth every effort.
To help make the journey towards becoming a better leader an easier one, I’ve gathered a set of great talks on this topic.
They are from some of the best leadership coaches in the world and listening what they have to say is truly inspiring.
I hope they can offer you guidelines in the same way that they’ve helped me.
Let Caster be the place where you hone your skills as a leader and I wish you all the best in your endeavors!
The world needs great leaders and you could be one of them.
Håkan Richardson, Founder of Caster
Understanding the game we’re playing
The art of conscious leadership
Start with why
Lessons in conscious business
What it takes to be a great leader
If you don’t understand people, you don’t understand business
Why leaders eat last