By: Adam Earle, P.E., PMP, ENV SP
Project Manager | Traffic & Transportation
Throughout my career, I have worked for, and alongside, many amazing and talented people. My experience also includes working with and for people who did not place a high value on their employees’ growth and morale. This exposure to different management styles has provided me with a great appreciation for the importance of building a strong team of colleagues and the impact a leader’s attitude as well as how they treat others can have on an organization and its employees.
During my last year of college while graduating from the University of Houston, I began an internship that would teach me not only how to apply what I had learned in school in the workplace, but also the characteristics and qualities of a good leader. For the next eight years, I had the opportunity to work with an outstanding mentor who provided guidance on my career path and helped me develop the skills necessary to be a successful engineer. But the most important lesson I learned was the impact a good mentor can have on employee development and morale.
A company’s most valuable asset is its employees. Keeping employees engaged improves workplace morale and encourages employees’ buy-in of the firm’s goals. Motivating employees also improves productivity – employees who are engaged understand their role, where they fit in the organization, and how their actions contribute to its success. Firms rely on their leaders to achieve this employee engagement and motivation. A successful leader must demonstrate a positive attitude and act as a positive role model, provide constructive feedback, and possess excellent communication skills. When a leader has a positive outlook on their life and career, this attitude tends to influence their colleagues and people reporting to them in the same way.
As my career progressed, I went on to manage projects, people, processes, and client relationships. My roles and responsibilities grew over time, yet I continued to prioritize personal development while inspiring others to set a course for future success. My mentor passed the baton to me; his mentoring skills and my experiences along the way have allowed me the opportunity to discover the qualities of effective leaders. Continuing that tradition, I work hard to motivate fellow team members, and empower colleagues to constantly learn and grow, both personally and professionally.