Monday, October 26, 2009

Building Leaders: 6 Skills to Develop (or Have)

Can an engineering school also build leaders? A Boston Globe article relays the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) has added leadership training to its undergraduate engineering curriculum - to help its students with superior technical skills succeed in the workplace environment.

MIT takes engineering students who may be introverted and/or acutely aware of their analytical/technical excellence - and teaches them leadership and management skills aren't "silly", time-wasting or out of reach.

MIT's engineering leadership program identifies the following skills, among others, to develop:

"* Ability to assess risk and take initiative.
* Willingness to make decisions in the face of uncertainty.
* Urgency and the will to deliver objectives on time in the face of constraints or obstacles.
* Resourcefulness and flexibility.
* Trust and loyalty in a team setting.
* Relating to others."

I believe these are the same skills needed for association leaders (volunteers and staff). MIT got it right. Even for non-engineers.

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