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CAD Leadership - Part 4 - A Leaders Personal Assets

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There are several attributes of leadership that have been evident in great leaders over the years.  I have picked these up over the years from many books that I have read and from watching those I consider to be good leaders.  This is not an exhaustive list, but  a good start.  We could work on these for a life time.

  • Focus dedication, commitment, passion.  Call it what you will, Leaders keep the goal in mind.  The long range goal.  You need to have an overarching plan for your CAD environment.  Think beyond the tyranny of today's problems.  Think about where you want to be in one, two or five years down the road.  Keep an up to date Technology plan on hand, so if someone asks you what the next step should be with CAD, you will know.
  • Insight Leaders see through the cloudy waters to get to the root of the problem. They  see over the top of the next hill.  You need to think deeply about the impact of CAD on your company.  How it fits in to the business goals.  How it can align with the business processes.  Don't make "off the cuff" modifications without thinking through how the change may help and hurt your users or the firms productivity.
     
  • Charisma people want to be around leaders.  They are not caustic or abusive in nature.  They compliment others, not demean them.  Leaders make people feel good about themselves.
     
  • Talent Leaders have some natural skills that they capitalize on.  You must obviously have technical skills, I am not talking about those.  I am speaking of talents like team building, project management, budgeting, etc.  Things outside of CAD use, but things that are required for management.
     
  • Ability Leaders make things happen and get things done.  You need to be a "completer".  Pushing toward the finish line.  Keep making progress even when things get tough.  Never give up.
     
  • Communication Skills Leaders can share the vision and goals in clear and understandable ways.  Break it down into small palatable chunks.  These will differ based on the audience.  Management needs information it can understand, not techno jargon.  Users need small understandable steps to learn.  Clients need direct, honest communication about CAD.
     
  • Character A scout is trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean and reverent I still remember these things. Leaders have character. Character can be developed.  Look inside yourself and see where you shine and what you need to work on.  Pay attention to what others say about you.  Listen to what is being said behind the gentle "ribbing" at your expense that makes the group laugh.  Is there some area of your character that could use some polish?  Start working on it.

If you start watching those around you that are leaders, you may recognize some of these traits in them.  Start looking, you will see it.  And remember, others are looking at you.

Mark W. Kiker
www.caddmanager.com

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