Summary of How Engineers Become Business Leaders – How Successful Engineers Become Great Business Leaders

Summary of How Engineers Become Business Leaders

Here are the 10 principles that describe how successful engineers become great business leaders:

  1. Business leadership success is determined by talent, luck, and skill. Choose an area that is a natural fit for your talents, where the impact of luck is minimized, and skills can be quickly expanded.
  2. You don’t need to become twice as good to double your results. Use the power laws of location, time, and knowledge to become slightly better in the few things that really matter to massively improve achievement.
  3. Successful engineers are skilled at solving problems. Great business leaders with engineering backgrounds apply these skills to make the boat go faster. They use growth thinking and business development goals as the core of everything they do.
  4. The higher the risk, the higher the reward. Divert part of your time and energy as a business leader from your current job, to more risky activities in the field of business development. At the same time, look for ways to reduce the downside of these activities.
  5. The three building blocks of goal achieving are clarity, focus, and execution.
  6. About clarity:
    1. You will not see how to do it until you see yourself doing it. Be clear on what achieving ambitious growth goals should look like.
    2. Use a spider line to measure progress on your goals.
  7. About focus:
    1. The three universal strengths for engineers are reality-based thinking, process design, and accelerated learning. Focus on expanding these strengths and eliminating adverse behaviors that mask strengths.
    2. Work on your business. Use your engineering strengths to support and drive three business growth activities: marketing, innovation, and strategy.
    3. The bigger the goal, the bigger the obstacles. This truth is called the Valley of Death. Use your engineering strengths to apply triage before committing to a big growth goal. Apply portfolio thinking to overcome obstacles on your way to achieve big goals.
  8. About execution:
    1. You will never get the new results you want from the existing behaviors you like. Use your engineering strengths to create behavioral distinctions. Distinctions build the language, stories, and metaphors to role model the required leadership behaviors for yourself and your organization to achieve big goals.
    2. Doing more is no longer the answer to too much to do. Use your engineering strengths to apply strategic quitting. This action ensures that you maintain momentum by freeing up time, energy, and money to cross the Valley of Death.
    3. Be aware of your thinking biases and use your engineering strengths to notice when your intuitive operator, System One, goes off the rails and your lazy executive, System Two, needs to be activated to improve your judgment.
    4. Be aware of adverse leadership behaviors, which are caused by applying your strengths as engineers under the wrong circumstances.
    5. If you don’t have a process for getting referrals, you are at the mercy of the processes of others for giving referrals. Use your engineering strengths to build a referral engine to get new customers quickly and bring in business easily to support your growth goals.
  9. Adopt a spear tip, not a tidal wave. Use your engineering strengths to design a selective strategy execution blueprint and become an unstoppable goal achiever. Get your most important strategic goals done in the shortest amount of time with the least amount of energy.
  10. Be a trim tab to change an entire organization. The minimum effective behaviors you demonstrate as a business leader are the maximum effective behaviors you can expect from other people.