Conversations With Leaders: Wes Davis

Different industries require subtle differences in style and how leaders impact their teams and results.

As part of our occasional series chatting with industry leaders, we recently spoke with engineer and senior leader, Wes Davis.

His story is an interesting one, with Wes focusing much of his time and development on the topic of leadership within engineering, rather than simply learning and applying the technical aspects.

As a result, he is a standout in the sector.

Wes is an experienced engineering professional with over 17 years of experience in engineering, infrastructure delivery and leadership in the local government and private sectors. His reputation is one of a broad and adaptable skillset across technical, business, asset management and people domains.

He is a registered professional engineer with significant achievements in leading, planning and managing engineering activities. One of the key differences is Wes’s focus on leadership, as mentioned, combining his engineering, people and project management experience with skills in mentoring, learning and development. Wes has led multi-disciplinary, cross functional teams. His outcomes and influence are achieved through practiced skills and demonstration of empathy, intercultural communication and leveraging people’s differences and strengths.

Career goals include leading within a well-established, progressive organisation which offers new challenges, responsibility, ongoing development and the opportunity for advancement. Wes believes that we are at our best when employed by organisations that recognise achievements and provide job satisfaction by utilising people’s skills and experience to exceed customer expectations.

Ultimately, he has already achieved his goal to lead a professional team that makes a measurable contribution towards positive community objectives. But, there’s is always more to aim towards and an attitude of ongoing development for himself and his team assures that improvement is a focus.

However, Wes is much more than his credentials and history. Success is measured differently by people depending on their values, motivations, background and similar. It is interesting to me how many managers and leaders understand the what they should do and mostly why it matters. Understanding how to lead effectively is both assumed and ignored too often.

It takes focus, effort and constant practice amongst many other traits and actions. The title means little without the capability and skills in both the technical and people spaces. Wes sees the opportunities a little differently than many in engineering, stating, “My focus is seeing in what ways can we develop our engineers to not only be competent technical people, but also become effective leaders”?

In Wes’s case, there are few better example of leadership achieved through and with others – that is his success. He is as effective a leader as I have met or worked with in my capacities as a leader and coach…let’s hear a little about how and why!