What Does it Take to Move from Technical Contributor to Technical Leader?

As an engineer on the technical trail, you need to develop skills and behaviors that support the growth of the four attributes of your technical career stool. Beyond traveling the attribute paths of Technical, Business Acumen, Leadership, and Growing Others you need to determine your path in moving from technical contributor to technical leader. These requires developing supporting skills which complement the four attributes.

Keeping with the image viewing your career growth as a stool.  This map of skills for the transition from individual to leader can be viewed as a web of support of that stool.  The stronger the web the more stable that stool.  Some people call these “soft skills” I prefer to think of these as human skills that impact your ability to work with others and to generate ideas. Furthermore I view these trails as ones that support your success in large organizations.

“85% of your financial success is due to your personality and ability to communicate, negotiate, and lead.  Shockingly, only 15% is due to technical knowledge”

          -Carnegie Institute of Technology

Let us map these out as four regions to explore.  They each have multiple trailheads to start out on. In addition, rivers and valleys connect these regions and overflowing waterfalls can connect them as well. The overlap or connections between these regions makes perfect sense and reiterates that these skills form a web that strengthens your growth.


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