BlessingWhite Study Warns a 'Perfect Storm' May Be Brewing for Leaders of Technical Professionals

Share Article

The latest workplace survey by global consulting firm BlessingWhite indicates that leaders of today’s most highly skilled employees may be in danger of not delivering the results their employers need.

Many of these leaders succeeded in the past because of their technical expertise, not their people skills. Today it’s essential for them to move out of their comfort zone and have the critical conversations and leadership interactions that will help them achieve results through others.

The latest workplace survey by global consulting firm BlessingWhite indicates that leaders of today’s most highly skilled employees may be in danger of not delivering the results their employers need.

“Our findings suggest that there is tremendous pressure on leaders of technical professionals to achieve results with fewer resources, yet these leaders give themselves poor marks for their leadership effectiveness. To make matters worse, the highly skilled employees they rely on to accomplish the organization’s goals have unique needs that require advanced leadership maneuvers. As in a perfect storm, each of these challenges on its own may not be devastating. When taken together, however, they can amount to a business disaster. Organizations depend on their technical workforce to innovate and support complicated infrastructures that keep their business running a step ahead of their competitors,” explains Christopher Rice, BlessingWhite’s President and CEO.

According to the report, leaders of technical professionals (which include IT professionals, engineers, scientists, analysts, and other employees with specialized expertise) recognize that they are less effective than they need to be in critical leadership skills such as encouraging risk-taking and innovation, giving specific, relevant feedback, coaching and developing their team members, and communicating effectively throughout the organization.

Rice observes, “These leaders know what they should be doing, as the vast majority of them rated 8 of 9 key leadership actions as extremely or very important to their success. Yet it appears that they are being pulled away from their role as leader. 56% described the need to balance their team’s coaching needs with their own project responsibilities as extremely or very challenging.”

The report suggests four actions that leaders of technical professionals can take to help ensure their success: Be leaders of people not managers of projects, understand what makes technical professionals tick, be just enough of an expert to lead not do, and increase their influence throughout their organization.

According to Rice, “Many of these leaders succeeded in the past because of their technical expertise, not their people skills. Today it’s essential for them to move out of their comfort zone and have the critical conversations and leadership interactions that will help them achieve results through others.”

About the Study

898 leaders of technical professionals participated in an online survey over a six-month period in 2005 and 2006. Survey respondents represent more than 30 organizations in a wide range of industries and more than 10 functional areas in which technical professionals work. 79% reside in North America, 11% in Asia-Pacific, and 9% in Europe. For the full Leading Technical Professionals Report, contact Deb Ackles at Dackles at Bwinc.com or call 908-904-1000 X8171.

About BlessingWhite

BlessingWhite is a global consulting firm dedicated to creating sustainable high-performance organizations. Based in Princeton, NJ, with locations in London, Chicago, San Francisco, and Melbourne, the company has worked with almost three million professionals in thousands of organizations since its founding in 1973. BlessingWhite’s consulting services, tools, and training create high-performance cultures, develop leaders who get results and inspire, equip leaders to coach more strategically and efficiently, and align individual self-interest and talents at all levels of the organization with business-critical business goals.

Media Contact: Deb Ackles at Dackles at bwinc.com or call 908-904-1000 X8171.

This press release was distributed through eMediawire by Human Resources Marketer (HR Marketer: http://www.HRmarketer.com) on behalf of the company listed above.

# # #

Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

Deb Ackles
Visit website