Do you have bodily vigor? How good are you at playing the business game? Do you maintain a well-groomed appearance?
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The February 1922 issue ofProfessional Engineerhad a column on the leadership challenges that executive engineers faced. The article proposed a list of 14 “Essential Qualities” that an ideal executive should possess.
The Essential Qualities, reproduced from a facsimile of the newsletter are:
- Judgment– Reasoning ability, accuracy in conclusions, ability to profit by experience.
- Initiative– Alertness, imagination, originality, independence in thinking.
- Integrity– Truthfulness, honesty, sincerity.
- Organizing Ability– Systematizing, classifying according to functions, planning and delegating
- Health– Bodily vigor, good sight, hearing, etc., included.
- Perseverance– Industry, ambition, concentration.
- Aggressiveness– Energy, courage, domination of will.
- Open-Mindedness– Reasonableness, teachableness, openness to new ideas.
- Co-Operativeness– Unselfishness, kindness, cheerfulness, tact, loyalty.
- Competitiveness– Interest in playing the business game.
- Control of Emotions– Freedom from outbursts of anger or touchiness.
- Refinement– Courtesy, manners, general culture.
- Appearance– Well-groomed appearance, good carriage, pleasing facial expressions, etc.
- Sense of Humor
Reflecting on these, I realize that I do have to watch my posture from time to time (Quality #13) and on a day to day basis, I still try to navigate corporate politics to the best of my ability (Quality #10). I strive to resist people who push my buttons (Quality #10) and still believe that there’s no better work than hard work (Quality #6).
While so much of the technological landscape has changed, I am grateful that as a contemporary profession, engineering still upholds many key characteristics today as it did in the early 20th century (even if you do wear contact lenses like me—Quality #5). All these decades later, I remain inspired to strive toward these qualities and couldn’t be more proud to be immersed in a profession that endeavors to do the same.
And now if you’ll excuse me, it’s time to get busy.
I need to start working on my domination of will.
Published March 21, 2013 by Austin Lin