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Topics: Career Development, Leadership, Talent Management
Leadership Training for Project Managers
Network:48


Hi, everyone!

Having served in project management roles for 10 years, I have found that most PM training is focused more on managing a project rather than helping to develop project managers' leadership skills. Most leadership development programs are designed for traditional "people leaders" and many project managers don't have direct reports.

As a consultant and professor, I'm curious as to whether this is an industry wide gap or opportunity. Looking for other perspectives.
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Network:67585



There are some good leadership programs amd workshops overseas and I was part of those trainings back in 2010 so it really depends, sometimes it can be an opportunity, othertimes its a gap.
Network:4577



I think PM's are "people leaders"; their team as a direct example through motivating, inspiring and developing members who may become leaders themselves. Then displaying other leadership skills to the wider project stakeholder community such as influence, negotiation, communicating a vision (the project charter?). PM's as leaders need to display integrity, ethics and emotional intelligence, just a few examples of the leadership skills that set managing PM's apart from leadership PM's. But to your point, within the PMI structure, I think more emphasis on leadership skills as a key process in the literature and training could be beneficial.
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1 reply by Micah Schrom
Jul 12, 2017 7:41 PM
Micah Schrom
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I agree they are people leaders in that they do manage people even though they aren't direct reports in many cases. Because of that, I think there is nuance is being a leader in a PM role and a leader in a functional role.
Network:630



I'm not sure it could be considered either. I want to call PM training a niche, but it's a very large niche. There are several companies that offer both PM training and leadership training, and the leadership training applies to more than just PMs.

What you may be seeing is that a lot of companies are trying to get in on the PDU action. I haven't checked numbers recently, but it seems like the number of certification boot camp providers is increasing.

While I can't say that PMI is trying to specifically address this, changes to requirements to maintain the PMP credential encourage/require that PMPs get more leadership training.

As long as the demand for PMPs grows, you will likely see more prep classes than maintenance classes, but I expect that to change as supply and demand for PMPs comes closer to balancing out.
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1 reply by Micah Schrom
Jul 12, 2017 7:40 PM
Micah Schrom
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Yes, there is definitely a "PDU mill" out there and much training I've seeing isn't really great and in my opinion bootcamp style trainings are designed simply to pass an exam, not to retain knowledge.
Network:8623



At least in Europe, there are hundreds of companies that offer team building activities not only as ice-breaker also to improve the collaboration and leadership for different roles and or levels of managerial positions.
Network:366



Leadership skills are vital to Program management for sure. There are some trainings but the issue is even if one attends those, using the skills taught is something not all are following and hence the overall situation remains the same. I am definitely interested in gaining some skills by attending trainings in that area and not all companies offer or encourage us to attend those. The need is definitely there.
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1 reply by Micah Schrom
Jul 12, 2017 7:39 PM
Micah Schrom
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Thanks so much! Yes, definitely the training is the easy part, the hard part is applying it. In my experience offering training along with a coaching solution helps to reinforce and make the training "sticky".
Network:74157



I believe you can find Leadership and other PM related skills in any large city area. I'm sure you can even have them at you location if needed. Excellent if training a large group in the organisation.
What kind of difference you see in training People Leader and Project Leader?
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1 reply by Micah Schrom
Jul 12, 2017 7:38 PM
Micah Schrom
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When I say people manager, I mean someone who manages direct reports whereas many project managers are managing cross functional teams and those that don't report to them directly. What I find is that while there are project management trainings and leadership development trainings, there are few programs focused on helping project managers become better leaders within the context of a project management role.
Network:661



In my yearts of managing projects, and programs, I found that, aside from some 'basic' overview programs, it was better to move forward, experience the problems, and look for short training programs which might answer questions close to my experiences. I love www.lynda.com for that reason, and highly suggest its use for those modules that are meaningful to your education.
Network:48


Jul 12, 2017 1:56 PM
Replying to Vincent Guerard
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I believe you can find Leadership and other PM related skills in any large city area. I'm sure you can even have them at you location if needed. Excellent if training a large group in the organisation.
What kind of difference you see in training People Leader and Project Leader?
When I say people manager, I mean someone who manages direct reports whereas many project managers are managing cross functional teams and those that don't report to them directly. What I find is that while there are project management trainings and leadership development trainings, there are few programs focused on helping project managers become better leaders within the context of a project management role.
Network:48


Jul 11, 2017 10:34 PM
Replying to Deepa Kalangi
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Leadership skills are vital to Program management for sure. There are some trainings but the issue is even if one attends those, using the skills taught is something not all are following and hence the overall situation remains the same. I am definitely interested in gaining some skills by attending trainings in that area and not all companies offer or encourage us to attend those. The need is definitely there.
Thanks so much! Yes, definitely the training is the easy part, the hard part is applying it. In my experience offering training along with a coaching solution helps to reinforce and make the training "sticky".
Network:48


Jul 11, 2017 11:36 AM
Replying to Aaron Porter
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I'm not sure it could be considered either. I want to call PM training a niche, but it's a very large niche. There are several companies that offer both PM training and leadership training, and the leadership training applies to more than just PMs.

What you may be seeing is that a lot of companies are trying to get in on the PDU action. I haven't checked numbers recently, but it seems like the number of certification boot camp providers is increasing.

While I can't say that PMI is trying to specifically address this, changes to requirements to maintain the PMP credential encourage/require that PMPs get more leadership training.

As long as the demand for PMPs grows, you will likely see more prep classes than maintenance classes, but I expect that to change as supply and demand for PMPs comes closer to balancing out.
Yes, there is definitely a "PDU mill" out there and much training I've seeing isn't really great and in my opinion bootcamp style trainings are designed simply to pass an exam, not to retain knowledge.
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