Speaking Topic: Five Myths

“Five Myths of Engineering Management Selection”©

by Steven Cerri, B.S. Aeronautical Engineering, M.S. Geophysics, Masters of Business Administration

Dear Event Planner,

Sooner or later, nearly every engineer confronts the question of whether to move into management, and every manager is faced with selecting a new manager from the ranks of the engineering staff. By most accounts, this selection process is at best hit-and-miss, with as many new engineering managers succeeding as failing.

The professional world is filled with myths about what it takes for an engineer to make the transition successfully to manager. Some say that being able to conduct a performance review, or prepare a budget, or develop a schedule, or use Microsoft Project is sufficient skill to qualify for the title of manager. Some say that being able to do your technical work well is sufficient for promotion to manager of a team doing similar work. Some say that being able to inspire others is sufficient. Some say you should get an MBA. There is no shortage of ideas regarding the skills necessary to become a successful technical manager.

But there are five myths that seem to rise constantly and consistently to the top of the list. They are used over and over again to justify the selection of new managers, and over and over again they don’t deliver.

In this one-hour presentation, Steven Cerri will present these five myths of new manager selection, discuss why they each fail, and provide several better process for selection of the new management candidate. The approaches Steven suggests have a high probability of ensuring that the new managers will succeed grow substantially into good managers.