Author: Gene Dixon, ASEM President
Sometimes I just sit and write random thoughts. Right now, I’m in a hotel room, twelve floors above the beach. It’s a cloudy night. No stars. The balcony doors are open. The sound of the surf brings a feeling of calmness. On the horizon, the lights of the cargo ship are flashing. There is the occasional sound of an F35 cutting through the night sky. It’s the eve of the start of the ASEM 2014 IAC.
Someone asked me to write a few words for the ASEM blog. Write whatever comes to mind. In a few hours, I’ll have a new role in ASEM. Some might call it a leadership role. I think it is more about an experience in service.
Leadership. Sometimes we aspire to it. Sometimes we might be forced into it. Sometimes we might be elected to it. Sometimes we just act our way into in.
If there was a potion for creating leaders, would engineering managers ever use it? Why would they expect a potion to do what only the tempering of experience can do? Experience is the beginning of leadership. Experience is the one true method for leadership development.
Leadership is a process that is composed of leaders, followers and purpose. A system of actions and reactions. A system of interactions. Like sharpening a saw, developing leadership within an organization is an interactive process of leader and follower interacting to achieve a goal, a reason, a purpose. Maybe it involves providing a service to someone, for someone?
ASEM leadership is like that. So many volunteer leaders and followers. Members having a desire to move this society into an international voice for engineering managers everywhere. Members who want to provide a service to practitioners, to students, to faculty. Or for each one of those. Practitioners and academics, students and mentors, theorists and users all coming together to provide value to ASEM, to their employers, to their institution and to themselves. Leadership development through service and experience in a professional society. Service that adds value to present members and members yet to come. Experience that teaches and molds and shapes. Members who have been led by other members. Experience that is shared and gained.
ASEM is a lot of folks from a lot of places with a diversity of interest bound in a commonality called ASEM. ASEM is a place with a common core of knowledge focused on strategic management, leadership and organization, and systems of people. Primarily knowledge workers. Hard workers.
ASEM offers opportunities to gain leadership experience. Be a leader. Be a follower. Bring along someone new. Be ASEM.
The surf. The sound of sea coming to shore. Bringing one side of the world to the other. ASEM brings us together. In service. In experience. In leadership.
Your leadership development can start with ASEM experiences.