It has been said, “Teaching is the best form of learning.” When was the last time you put on your teaching hat to help someone else? When you take time to help others, you not only do them a favor but you also improve your own skills in the process of helping them with theirs.
Part of being a good project manager is using your project management skills and talents to give back to the community. Ask yourself this question: “How can I help someone else reach his goals and dreams?”
Helping others is an often-overlooked avenue to achieving success, and yet it’s perhaps one of the best ways to become successful. Each and every one of us has the ability to help someone else in a significant way. We all have unique, innate talents and strengths that can serve others. What we do with these talents defines who we are, professionally and personally.
One of the best ways to help others is by starting or joining a Mastermind group. Don’t know what that is? Neither did I when a friend asked me to lead a gathering of her small-business friends in Simsbury, Connecticut. What I learned is that a Mastermind group is a collection of people who agree to get together periodically with the sole purpose of expanding their opportunities. My friend got the idea after reading Napoleon Hill’s book, Think and Grow Rich (Ballantine Books, 1987). She assembled 22 people for our first get-together. We agreed to meet every two to three weeks throughout the year.
The experience I had leading my friend’s group was nothing short of amazing. People brought business problems they couldn’t seem to solve, and after a few months they came out with stronger businesses and more confidence in themselves.
The key behind the Mastermind philosophy is that you are putting people of various strengths into one room. You may have a problem that seems insurmountable, but for someone else it may be a routine snag they have already overcome.
When joining a Mastermind group, take a minute to evaluate your strengths and to realize the assets that you can bring to the table. The more people you help, the more you will learn, and the stronger you’ll become as a project manager.
Recently Cheetah Learning donated a one-day course, Project Management Project Accelerator, to a nonprofit organization to help it prosper. We picked a foster care and adoption agency because we saw the great work it was doing for children and adolescents in its town, and we knew how important it was for the nonprofit to do well for the sake of its community. During this one-day course, we taught what we knew best: How to run fast and effective projects. We didn’t really expect to learn much that day because, hey, we were the teachers! But we forgot the golden rule, “Teaching is the best form of learning.”
During the process of teaching this organization how to manage projects, we had to answer hard questions about how to apply standardized project management practices and techniques to the very volatile world of foster care. We learned more about what it was like to manage projects in the nonprofit human-service sector, which is very different from our typical corporate clients.
The point is, the more you can get out and help people of different backgrounds, the greater your skill sets will be.
So what are you waiting for? Get out there and help others grow their dreams today, and don’t be surprised when your own dreams grow in the process.