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Should Control Engineers Become CEOs?

Posted September 11, 2007 1:19 PM by Sharkles

Most CEOs have a tough life — 26% of them get fired in the first year, mostly because they don't improve margins. But control engineers, on the other hand, have the service and information technology tools needed to measure a company's business performance, which gives them deep vision into manufacturing costs. What do you think?

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#1

Re: Should Control Engineers Become CEOs?

09/11/2007 2:20 PM

It comes down to the skills set that the individual has. The tools that the control engineer may have to measure it's performance. But...... thats history.

Its the ability to lead the company into performance that improved from that history.

Which is based off of not only history, but also trends, economics, world news and events.

Isn't that why 26% of them gets fired?

Then you ask does the control engineer have the ability to lead?

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#2
In reply to #1

Re: Should Control Engineers Become CEOs?

09/12/2007 12:48 AM

Kind of like letting the chickens watching the fox den! Stop and think about it you could control your own bottom line all the time . Where is the fun in that!!!

Could be worse, it could be me.

Mayt2u

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#3

Re: Should Control Engineers Become CEOs?

09/12/2007 3:15 AM

The problem with leading a company is not knowing what to do (everyone from the cleaner up is sure they know exactly what to do), but rather being able to get people to actually do it. To be a CEO requires enormous self belief and interpersonal skills and to be a good CEO, it helps if you actually know what you're talking about. I understand why 26% get fired in the first year, they get found out. Jeff

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#4

Re: Should Control Engineers Become CEOs?

09/12/2007 4:51 AM

Any CEO can do with a good automation or control engineer to lean on for business analysis, but control engineers as CEOs, not quite...

A control engineer that happens to have a knack for strategic management can be schooled for the CEO role, I suppose, but I haven't seen that too often.

Jorrie

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#5

Re: Should Control Engineers Become CEOs?

09/12/2007 8:22 AM

Aren't all CEOs control freaks by definition. Guess they didn't get the degree though...

In my experience you can take an engineer and turn that person into a marketing wonk, but there's precious little chance of turning a marketing wonk into an engineer. So I expect that a control engineer could do a decent job as a CEO.

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#6
In reply to #5

Re: Should Control Engineers Become CEOs?

09/12/2007 9:51 AM

"Aren't all CEOs control freaks by definition."

You do need a person in control. CEO's need a personality type, they are aggressive. Along with this know the knowledge on motivation, how they do and implement it varies, encourage, fear, ordering......

Problem, their are people out there think they can become a CEO, by imposing themselves onto others.

I had a seceretary who thought she could run a company by doing this. And her only education (other than high school) on running a business came from watching every episode of "The Apprentise" with Donald Trump.

A CEO needs a combinations of tools. And all of these tools they are not born with.

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#7
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Re: Should Control Engineers Become CEOs?

09/12/2007 11:35 AM

If you work for a large corporation that has rapid turn over in executives, you start to see a trend in the executives. In american business, CEOs tend to have pretty set management strategies. The corporation wants to modify the direction it is going in, it hires a new CEO, he hires all new executives, because he has his vision of the direction for a company, which is generally the same vision everywhere. Most frequently i have seen the turn over as cost cutting executive come in, they say the same things about not affording to match 401k, reducing benefits cost, reducing non-billable overhead (frequently this equates to restructuring support staff), and cutting the business operations they see as dead weight (frequently without a good understanding of the vertical aspects of the business, buy bolts from china they'd be cheaper). Then there are the marketting and sales executives, who believe spend more on marketting and sales to make more (which never seems to get cut back much by the cost cutting executives). In only one position have i ever seen a large engineering corporation that had a former engineer as an executive, and he lasted only about 6 months before the marketting managers finally got him out. He was more of a numbers guy and was cutting back on what he perceived as wasteful marketting expenses by the marketting management (who still expected the engineers to actually get in the trenches and make ths project sales, their jobs were to produce pamphlets and wine and dine people).

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#8
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Re: Should Control Engineers Become CEOs?

09/12/2007 11:43 AM

Hello Guest

" Most frequently i have seen the turn over as cost cutting executive come in, ...."

At one point we called them hatchet men, I can see your point, short term profits.

And as far as CEO's come and going, incompetent or short sightedness some of the severance pay they receive is quite nice, mildly put

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#9
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Re: Should Control Engineers Become CEOs?

09/12/2007 12:34 PM

Every secretary thinks that way. Got one actually went and open the same business. Needless to say she had a very hard time.

Anyone who has leadership skill, know how to motivate employee and able to keep the company goal ahead of trend can be a CEO.

You can't have engineer working as CEO thinking like engineer.

You can't have CEO working as engineer thinking like CEO either.


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#11
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Re: Should Control Engineers Become CEOs?

09/12/2007 1:06 PM

Something simuliar was stated on this blog about designers and managers recently.

http://cr4.globalspec.com/thread/11801?frmtrk=cr4sd#newcomments

I am not putting down secretaries, the replacement I had was valuable to me.

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#18
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Re: Should Control Engineers Become CEOs?

09/28/2007 2:39 PM

marketing & engineering are different sections , you can convert engineer to marketing , marketing guy to engineering one in rare case, but CEO is above them to coordinate & control other departments as well , professionally engineer cannot be promoted to CEO post , it is ability , work management skills etc etc .

but above all it is (corporate)"POLITICS"

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#19
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Re: Should Control Engineers Become CEOs?

09/28/2007 3:03 PM

someones earlier post said it best, the brain is wired differently and it is.

Does not matter how smart you are or think you are. You get in a different occupation and you have to look at it in that perspective.

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#10

Re: Should Control Engineers Become CEOs?

09/12/2007 12:36 PM

Manufacturing has a problem set that once identified and focused on become a control set. After that the CEO becomes disposable like the employees being replaced by robots.

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#12
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Re: Should Control Engineers Become CEOs?

09/12/2007 1:14 PM

Greatings dadw5boys,

This is true, I keep this to myself but I always looked as people as a resource. as cold as that may seem.

The business of business is business, emotions have no part in it.

(thats not entirely true) I have keeped fabricators which I trusted and they gave me 100% and left fabricators that had a better skillset because they were detrimental to the operations to the business. " attitude or held back their skills "

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#13

Re: Should Control Engineers Become CEOs?

09/12/2007 4:21 PM

I agree with Jorrie; it is rare. That is not surprising, for the most part it takes different brain wiring. I have seen quite a few technical people put into management positions, and they either don't do well, or they hate the job. The times when it has worked, it semms to be someone who (in my opinion) was marginal on the technical side (they could understand the material, but not design). This is actually a good fit.

The instances that have worked well are ones like HP. Both had engineering degrees, but one was an engineering major, while the other was a business major with a minor in engineering. When that happens it's as close as business-engineering gets to sex.

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#14
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Re: Should Control Engineers Become CEOs?

09/12/2007 4:54 PM

"(they could understand the material, but not design)"

that is so correct, basically the knowledge of what is going on to "weed out" the long term detrimental aspects to the company, with out having to know the in depth nuts and bolts of the techical side,

But the CEO has to have a mind set of long term goals of the company.

Off on another subject.

Which brings up another question, What is stressed at colleges that are producing these CEO's Long term, or Short term goals strategy?

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#15

Re: Should Control Engineers Become CEOs?

09/12/2007 8:15 PM

Wish GWB was a trained and practising Control Systems Engineer--even Sensors specialist---

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#16

Re: Should Control Engineers Become CEOs?

09/12/2007 9:25 PM

Its an interesting question. I thnk control engineer can do the same job as ceo on some way, but they cannt do as good as special ceo on other ways.

control engineer has more knowlege than general special ceo, they know how to manage his project. they can apply control system knowledge to the job. distribute resources reseaonable, reduce work time and human power so that he can save expensive and get more benefit.

not every ceo has as the same management power as control engineers. though they have to study some control knowledge(math). Especially in our china. lots of ceo I know even dont know math. they are only middle school level at very most .

but on other hand, they are familiar with man and man relationship. most of control engineers cannt compare with them at this spot.

thats why an enprise still needs a ceo. they can find task for his factoryor corporation, they can deal with people from all of conners they can unit all of his staffs around him. they have very good relationship with goverment.

sontrol engineers can be a good vice ceo, they can plan and arrange and design project and creat benifit for his corporation and factory.

ceo is active in sociel communication.

For my part, I could be a good vice ceo, maybe not a good ceo.

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#17

Re: Should Control Engineers Become CEOs?

09/12/2007 9:34 PM

From this I get "even if the engineer develops a better fix for the Co. the chance that he has the people/managerial skills is improbable.

26% of them get fired in the first year...

hem, let see:

3 months data collection for root cause analysis.

1-2 months goal setting and analysing resources. Where we are and where we should be.

2-9 months planning change implementation culture and retraining.

1-2 years to full implementation.

6 months to 5 years to total beneficial results. (to cover retooling and training costs)

Or so one year to skim the company for short term profit. But killer severance pay.

Seen some good companies fail from greed. Seen mediocre companies do well on service, PR, and good management.

As the leaders so the people.

Brad

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