CE Roundtable: What COVID-19 has revealed about leadership

By Ben Walpole

THE ASCE NEWS Civil Engineering Roundtable showcases insights from a cross section of ASCE members on a variety of industry topics.

This issue’s roundtable draws from a recent ASCE Thursdays@3 webinar conversation discussing the different ways the COVID-19 pandemic has revealed the importance of civil engineering leadership skills.

QUESTION: Why are leadership skills more important than ever during the COVID-19 pandemic?

andrea dumont

Andrea DuMont, P.E., M.ASCE Water resources engineer, Jacobs; industry blogger

“When we talk about COVID, it’s not just this health crisis which obviously it is. But we’re also seeing the effects of this economic recession and what’s happening in response to the recession and all the civil unrest and protesting. So for me, I think being a leader during this time is being able to understand that people have very different experiences, and that they’re experiencing this pandemic very differently, and trying to work toward inclusivity with all our people.”

Marc Hoit Ph.D., F.SEI, F.ASCE Vice-chancellor for information technology, North Carolina State University

marc hoit

“Everyone has their view of what [leadership] means; crisis is where it’s really tested. Crisis is where your preparation and your planning and your education and your experiences all come together, and you get that opportunity to see if you can handle that crisis.”

Elyssa Dixon, P.E., M.ASCE Owner, fleece-and-forests LLC; member of ASCE’s Committee on Younger Members

elyssa dixon

“I view leaders as people who connect people, who motivate people, and that’s something that’s harder to do when you’re not physically in the same space as somebody.”

brent darnell

Brent Darnell Owner, Brent Darnell International

“Human-to-human connection drives everything we do.”

LEARN MORE: go.asce.org/Thursdays@3

This CE Roundtable first appeared in the Oct. 2020 issue of Civil Engineering.

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