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Can leaders train leaders?

It is only natural to have reservations when it comes to training others how to do your job. It seems counterintuitive, right? Letting someone in on the trade secrets you’ve worked your whole career for. However, we are now in the generation of sharing, you only have to look to the internet and social media to know that. Besides, studies show that the supply of new project talent joining the industry is not even touching the sides compared to the demand, so chances are your career is safe! There could even be a host of benefits for leaders who train other leaders. Read on to find out more.

The truth about the talent gap

PMI’s Project Management Job Growth and Talent Gap Report revealed that by 2027, employers will need 87.7 million individuals working in project management-oriented roles. That is an increase of nearly 2.2 million new roles each year through to 2027 which businesses will need to fill.

The gap is widening between employer’s need for skilled project managers, and the availability of skilled professionals to fill the positions. Rapidly developing economies have led to a dramatic increase in demand for project talent, at a far higher rate than professionals joining the career.

In the report, PMI states that it is “imperative to encourage more talent to enter the profession and narrow the talent gap.” The increase in jobs available, along with competitive salaries, opens substantial opportunity for project managers, as well as those looking to join the profession.

What can you do?

Chances are that you, the reader, are already working as a project professional. So rather than ‘preaching to the choir’ about what a great career this is to join, and how you make a real difference as a project manager, we thought we would take a look at what part you can play in alleviating the global shortage in the profession. Beyond shouting the perks of the job from the rooftops, a great way to encourage others to the profession is by skill sharing.

The benefits of skill sharing

Sharing your knowledge with your colleagues, your team, and even other managers within your company can be advantageous. Project management skills are not exclusive to the profession. Practices within risk analysis and qualifying projects, right through to agile methodologies can be widely used to benefit other disciplines. Upskilling your colleagues could be as simple as a ‘lunchtime learning’ on the basics of your role. Or perhaps some mentoring sessions on a one- to-one basis with a team leader or colleague showing potential.

As for what’s in it for you, for starters you may learn something along the way. Planning the training will give you the opportunity to reflect on your day to day work, whilst also revisiting the practices you have undergone throughout your career. You will benefit from a more competent team too. Bettering your colleague’s understanding of your role can lead to improved performance as they become more engaged and involved. What’s more, ‘provided leadership training’ will look great on your CV!

Another option is to skill share externally - this could be via visiting SMEs, especially if you work at a large firm. Or by visiting a University to host a seminar or lecture on your profession. The logistics of fitting this into your workload may be challenging, however your company can benefit from you representing them in this way. For one, it is great for corporate social responsibility, but is also an ideal way to get their name known by an aspiring talent pool.

Rounding up

The future looks bright for the project profession. The notable shortage of talent means career prospects are plentiful with competitive salaries too. So now is your chance to make a difference - shoot to inspire the next generation of leaders.

What’s more, skills you share are not exclusive to the profession, and can result in a more proficient workforce. If you think your team could benefit from some further insight into project management, take a look at our PRINCE2 foundation courses, which offer a great starting point.