Engineering Leadership: Empowering Strategies for Success and Growth – Podcast interview with Margie Oleson

Engineering Leadership: Empowering Strategies for Success and Growth – Podcast interview with Margie Oleson

“When you apply the strategies of effective leadership and teamwork, barriers between departments decrease naturally, leading to improved overall organization performance” – Margie Oleson, Ed.D.

In this episode, I interviewed Margie Oleson, Ed.D., change consultant at Oleson Consulting LLC and OCM Lead at Lockheed Martin and we talked about unique challenges faced by CEOs and C-suite executives. She also shares some great advice for navigating turbulent times in companies, building effective engineering leadership teams, fostering cohesion, and ensuring long-term improvements.

Here Are Some of the Key Points Discussed About Engineering Leadership and Empowering Strategies for Success and Growth:

  • Leaders in large organizations grapple with team dynamics and habits. Managing teams isn’t like handling machines — it’s about understanding human behavior and cultivating effective habits. Quick fixes won’t work; leaders must commit to long-term changes based on neuroscience and human behavior to build resilient, high-performing teams that can adapt to future challenges.
  • Effective leaders understand they can’t directly control their team’s mindset but can establish the right structure and openness to encourage positive attitudes. Self-awareness, clarity, and open communication build trust and naturally develop over time, enabling leaders to address underlying issues and transform struggling employees into high performers.
  • Creating an open and transparent work environment isn’t just a luxury — it’s strategic. It sets you apart from competitors, improves client service, and attracts and retains top talent. When leaders encourage openness and provide ongoing clarity on expectations and performance, employees feel empowered to excel, making for the best performance management system possible.
  • Success in any team starts with clear goals and alignment. Leaders ensure everyone understands their role in achieving these goals. Open communication minimizes gossip and promotes cohesion. Effective meetings and metrics track progress, reducing crisis management and enabling innovation. This creates a happier, more productive work environment prepared for future challenges.
  • Imagine a leader evolving with structured systems over time, sharpening skills for adaptability, especially in scenarios like mergers. By over-communicating goals and maintaining clarity, leaders prevent silos and promote inclusive cultures. Effective leadership engineers high performance through deliberate habits, driving meaningful change.
  • To enhance team performance, prioritize a few key metrics that drive outcomes and behaviors. Avoid overwhelming dashboards with too many metrics. Choose around five to 10 critical metrics reflecting important outcomes and team processes. Use metrics to evaluate specific behaviors like meeting effectiveness, supporting skill development, and teamwork. Regularly refine metrics to ensure alignment and embed high performance into daily operations, achieving goals systematically over time.
  • Leadership is learned, not innate. Focus on clear communication and over-communicate when needed. Increase self-awareness by understanding company goals and team roles. Engage in activities like therapy or meditation to develop emotional intelligence for effective leadership.

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