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42 The PCB Design Magazine • October 2016 LEADERSHIP AND...YOU As a general breakdown, the recurring themes were team building, growing people, and clarity of vision, with a small but respect- able number feeling things haven't improved much at all. However, several insightful com- ments are worth passing along: • "The good leaders have to focus on identi- fying subordinates who have the ability to clearly understand the company goals and how to achieve them and then give them the responsibility and freedom to achieve them." • "I think great leaders will have to contin- ue to provide positive and timely commu- nication to their employees." • "Fundamentally, leadership never chang- es. Having the clarity of vision and the courage to strive for that vision along with inspiring people to join in on the adventure is a constant. The changing elements are the current means needed to get there, whether that be product tech- nology or market savvy, and the technical tools to deliver the message." • "Not sure if the question means 'evolv- ing' within the individual or 'evolving' in general. If the latter: Leadership skills will continue to be tested as pressure for short term performance clashes with long term stability and growth." • "Management experts have been talking for 20+ years on the importance of pres- ence, positive feedback and delegated responsibility. This is continuing and, especially with new generations entering the managerial bodies, less people will accept a workplace with instructive lead- ership." • "The principles of leadership remain unchanged. The challenges arise due to changing societal norms that amplify personal, generational and cultural differ- ences." QUESTION 3: What do you see as the three most important challenges in leading a team? Leading a team is perhaps one of the most difficult leadership skills to master. This was another fill-in-the-blanks or short-answer ques- tion, so answers varied. There was familiar theme throughout the responses that show most people want to be valued and empowered; however, they also want a clear focus for their company's direction. Let us do our jobs! QUESTION 4: What do you see as the most important impact of great leadership in a company? The takeaway here: Great leadership leads to happy employees. Indeed, several comments fur- ther emphasized the importance of one's employ- ees: "When you have long term, happy employees, much of the other [choices] happen naturally." And, "Without good and happy employees the rest becomes so much more difficult to achieve." And, "A good workforce will generally generate a good profit margin through excellent product quality and minimum scrap/rectification costs." Are you surprised by these results and re- sponses? QUESTION 5: Do you feel empowered to make decisions at your job? Not being empowered can be a miserable feeling… But the good news is that more than

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