There is a vast amount of literature addressing leadership issues from multiple points of view, including philosophical, psychological, and emotional considerations (Yukl 2013).
Characteristics that result in effective leadership of systems engineering activities include behavioral attributes, leadership style, and communication style.
Behavioral attributes are habitual patterns of behavior, thought, and emotion that remain stable over time (Yukl 2013). Initiative - This is exhibited by enthusiastically starting and following through on every leadership activity. Enthusiasm - This is exhibited by expressing and communicating a positive, yet realistic attitude concerning the project, product, and stakeholders.
Communication Skills - These are exhibited by expressing concepts, thoughts, and ideas in a clear and concise manner, in oral and written forms, while interacting with colleagues, team members, managers, project stakeholders, and others.
Team Participation - This is exhibited by working enthusiastically with team members and others when collaborating on shared work activities. Negotiation - This is the ability to reconcile differing points of view and achieve consensus decisions that are satisfactory to the involved stakeholders. Goal Orientation – This involves setting challenging but not impossible goals for oneself, team members, and teams.
Trustworthiness - This is demonstrated over time by exhibiting ethical behavior, honesty, integrity, and dependability in taking actions and making decisions that affect others. Weakness, on the other hand, is one example of a behavioral attribute that may limit the effectiveness of a systems engineering team leader. The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), developed by Katherine Briggs and her daughter Isabel Myers, includes Jung’s three continuums, plus a forth continuum of judging-perceiving.
MBTI profiles are widely used by job counselors to match an individual’s personality type to job categories in which the individual would be "most comfortable and effective”. There is a vast amount of literature pertaining to leadership styles and there are many models of leadership.
Driver leadership style - This is exhibited when a leader focuses on the work to be accomplished and on specifying how others must do their jobs. Analytical-style leadership - This emphasizes collecting, analyzing, and sharing data and information. Amiable leadership style – This is characterized by emphasis on personal interactions and on asking others for their opinions and recommendations.
Expressive leadership style – Like the amiable style, this also focuses on personal relationships, but an expressive leader tells others rather than asking for opinions and recommendations.
By focusing too intently on the work, "drivers" can provide too much or too little guidance and direction. Analytical leaders may provide too much information or may fail to provide information that is obvious to them, but not their team members. While these characterizations are gross oversimplifications, they serve to illustrate leadership styles that may be exhibited by systems engineering team leaders.
An additional characterization of the Wilson model is the preferred style of communication for different leadership styles, which is illustrated by the dimensions of assertiveness and responsiveness. Task-oriented assertiveness is exhibited in a communication style that emphasizes the work to be done rather than on the people who will do the work, while the people-oriented communication style addresses personnel issues first and tasks secondly. An individual’s communication style may fall anywhere within the continuums of assertiveness and responsiveness, from extremes to more moderate styles and may vary considering the situation.


Driver communication style exhibits task-oriented responsiveness and tell-oriented assertiveness. Expressive communication style shares tell-oriented assertiveness with the driver style, but favors people-oriented responsiveness.
Amiable communication style involves asking rather than telling (as does the analytical style) and emphasizes people relationships over task orientation (as does the expressive style). Analytical communication style exhibits task-oriented responsiveness and ask-oriented assertiveness. The most comfortable communication occurs when individuals share the same communication styles or share adjacent quadrants in Figure 1. Leading a systems engineering team involves communicating, coordinating, providing guidance, and maintaining progress and morale.
Good engineering managers are not necessarily good technical leaders and good technical leaders are not necessarily good engineering managers; the expression of different personality traits and skill sets is required. Relationships between systems engineering and project management are addressed in the Part 6 Knowledge Area (KA) of the SEBoK, Systems Engineering and Project Management. The System Engineering Plan (SEP) is, or should be, the highest-level plan for managing the Systems Engineering effort and the technical aspects of a project or program. In United States DoD acquisition programs, the System Engineering Plan (SEP) is a Government produced document which assists in the development, communication, and management of the overall systems engineering (SE) approach that guides all technical activities of the program. SEP templates are often tailored to meet the needs of individual projects or programs by adding needed elements and modifying or deleting other elements.
If you would like to provide edits on this article, recommend new content, or make comments on the SEBoK as a whole, please see the SEBoK Sandbox. How do you habitually communicate with your kids, your work colleagues, your partner, your friends? Not only does this break the pattern, allowing both of you to access a better state to intelligently communicate your feelings and desires, but it also sends the child the message that the challenge is not with them as a person but with their behaviour – something that can be changed.
The key in any of these situations is to be able to break your pattern; otherwise, in your unresourceful state, you may say things you’ll regret later. We’ve got to be precise in the words we use because they carry meaning not only to ourselves about our own experience but also to others. There are times we need to get ourselves into an angry state in order to create enough leverage to make a change. Your ability as a team member to do your job and succeed is dependent upon others doing their jobs. Do you know your preferred communication style?  Perhaps you and your team members can share with one another how you prefer to communicate so you can accommodate one another in service to your team’s goals.
What People Are SayingCarol's helped me reframe challenges in a way that solutions could be identified and implemented.
This article is concerned with the pragmatic aspects of the leading team members involved in a systems engineering project. Positive behavioral attributes enable a systems engineering leader to communicate effectively and to make sound decisions, while also taking into consideration the concerns of all stakeholders. These four dimensions characterize 16 personality styles for individuals designated by letters, such as ISTP (Introverted, Sensing, Thinking, and Perceiving).
Too little guidance occurs when the individual is preoccupied with her or his personal work, while too much guidance results in micromanagement, which limits the personal discretion for team members.


They do not like to discuss things they already know or that are irrelevant to the task at hand. It defines how a project will be organized and conducted in terms of both performing and controlling the Systems Engineering activities needed to address a project's system requirements and technical content.
This can be the foundation for more powerful and positive communication between two people. If you don’t like the results you’re getting in your communication with others, take a closer look at the words you’re using and become more selective. Becoming aware of the words you use, the impact they have on you and the impact they have on those around you. She helps people to take control easily and effortlessly and to understand what is important in their lives.
Like driver-style leaders, they may be insensitive to interpersonal relationships with other individuals. It can have a number of secondary technical plans that provide details on specific technical areas and supporting processes, procedures, tools.
The developer uses the SEP as guidance for producing the System Engineering Management Plan (SEMP), which is a separate document and usually a contract deliverable that aligns with the SEP.
Children, as well as adults, tend to take things personally, and we need to be sensitised to the possible ramifications of thoughtless remarks.
In a state of anger, we may say things that hurt somebody’s feelings and make them want to retaliate, or in a worse case say something that hurts them that they don’t want to open up to us ever again. However, we want to make certain that we do not access our most negative and intense states to start with.
Her passion is working with business owners and their teams so they develop professionally and personally to achieve more and create a better life.
Also, see the Planning article in Part 3, which includes a section on Systems Engineering Planning Process Overview. Arlington, VA: Office Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense (ODASD) Systems Engineering (SE) Division. Simply type your comment in the text field below and DISQUS will guide you through the login or registration steps.
So please don’t misinterpret me; I’m not asking you to live a life where you don’t have any negative sensations or emotions. Become aware of what you are saying, the words that you use and the effects or impact of those words. Being aware of the words you use is one of the single most simple and powerful steps toward that goal. Later comments are addressed and changes are summarized in the Letter from the Editor and Acknowledgements and Release History.



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