Welcome to The Leadership Imperative

March 17, 2014

Engineer 2020. Vision 2025. 5XME.

Many engineers wouldn’t recognize the above shorthand as the titles of reports about the future of the engineering profession. Most may never read one, and fewer still will read them all. Yet, the future of the profession we’ve chosen will be shaped by our choices to adopt—or ignore—the recommendations championed by these authors, and others.

I’ve heard a surprising degree of agreement among engineering thought leaders from all backgrounds that for engineering to retain—or regain—its role as a highly valued profession, change is needed. Not surprisingly, opinions on the nature of the needed change, the consequences of failing to evolve, and the urgency with which change must occur vary widely. (We are, after all, only a decade or less away from the “future” we envision.)

The Leadership Imperative blog seeks to share some of the most insightful, provocative and actionable perspectives on the future of engineering leadership. Our goal is to inform and inspire readers to join in the discussion and become active players in shaping the future of our profession.

We begin with a post called “Leadership for Dreamers” contributed by Arcadis’ Michael MacPhee.

I hope to hear from you in the comments section following each post, or send me your thoughts via email.

  • I am looking forward to more on this blog. It has been a bit over a month since the first post. I am curious to know what is next.

    The future will be there, ready to be shaped by those who have a vision along with the tools to do so. Similarly change will occur, as it has always occurred in the past. Will the future change occur as our vision sees it? My thinking cap is on and my tool belt is fastened, sign me up.

    A real challenge is forging forward as the leader when there is not consensus or even when there is opposition, both internally and externally.

  • I agree with Jim. For too long we have been on the sidelines letting others (non-engineers) dictate our future. We need to be more engaged and vocal about the direction of our profession. The documents the he references help to provide the framework for affecting (effecting? I never get that right) the necessary change. We need to start with the realization that “this is not your father’s civil engineering anymore”. I can speak about the firsthand as my father is a civil engineer. He has told me many times how much the industry has changed and responsibilities of the engineer have grown. It’s time that we started acting like the upper level profession that we aspire to be.

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