Leading science and technology-based businesses requires a different kind of leadership, one where technical managers and executives are capable of bridging the gap between a science and business culture. Despite significant advances in the field of learning and development, management training for technical leaders is still in relatively uncharted territory with a poor track record of success. How then should leadership experts work with these organizations to transform top scientists and engineers into managerial leaders of tomorrow? It requires innovative management training models specifically designed for emerging technical leaders in a language and culture in which they work, understand and appreciate.
I have developed a general framework and textbook (Leading Science and Technology Organizations: Mastering the Fundamentals of Personal, Managerial, and Executive Leadership) which I have labeled The Performance Trilogy® that includes the three dimensions of leadership and the processes they involve. In training technical staff, these three dimensions listed below need to be reinforced with leadership examples and anecdotes from real technical situations in a language in which they feel comfortable. This includes the critical teamwork skills such as writing compelling proposals, managing technically complex projects, and supervising technical staff on project work. Nowhere in a scientist’s or engineer’s education or training are these processes learned.
A strategic leader disrupts the status quo and initiates positive change by creating and communicating a new vision of the future and a strategy on how to achieve it. This is the traditional view of a leader. Strategic leaders generate ideas that change things.
A performance leader translates strategy into execution and turns ideas into results. This is the traditional view of a manager. Performance leaders get things done.
A servant leader helps people responsible for execution to learn and grow. This is the traditional view of a coach. Servant leaders support people and help them grow.
For a more in-depth discussion of this topic, read Leading Science and Technology Organizations: Mastering the Fundamentals of Personal, Managerial, and Executive Leadership.
Stay tuned for my new E-book coming out next month, On Becoming a Three-Dimensional Leader.