By Michelle LaBrosse, PMP®, Chief Cheetah and Founder of Cheetah Learning, and Kristen LaBrosse, CAPM®, Co-Author


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 PM skills and talents to give back to the community. Ask yourself this question: “How can I help someone else reach his or her goals and dreams?”

Helping others is an often-overlooked avenue to achieve success and, yet, is perhaps one of the best ways to do so. Each and every one of us has the ability to help someone else in a significant and impactful 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.

Become a Mastermind! One of the best ways to help others is by starting or joining a Mastermind Group. Don’t know what that is? Don’t worry, neither did I when a friend of mine 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.” 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. (Everyone has his or her own unique set of strengths—yes even you!) The more people you help, the more you will learn, and the stronger PM you’ll become.

Donate Your Time and Resources. Recently Cheetah Learning donated a one-day course, Project Management Project Accelerator, to a non-profit organization in order to help them prosper. We picked a foster and adoption agency because we saw the great work they were doing for children and adolescence in their town, and knew how important it was for them to do well for the sake of their 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 PM practices and techniques to the very volatile world of foster care. We learned more about what it was like to manage projects in the non-profit 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.

About the Author

Michelle LaBrosse, PMP, is an entrepreneurial powerhouse with a penchant for making success easy, fun, and fast. She is the founder of Cheetah Learning, the author of the Cheetah Success Series, and a prolific blogger whose mission is to bring Project Management to the masses.

Cheetah Learning is a virtual company with 100 employees, contractors, and licensees worldwide. To date, more than 30,000 people have become “Cheetahs” using Cheetah Learning’s innovative Project Management and accelerated learning techniques.  

Recently honored by the Project Management Institute (PMI®), Cheetah Learning was named Professional Development Provider of the Year at the 2008 PMI® Global Congress. A dynamic keynote speaker and industry thought leader, Michelle was previously recognized by PMI as one of the 25 Most Influential Women in Project Management in the world.

Michelle’s articles have appeared in more than 100 publications and websites around the world. Her monthly column, the Know How Network, is carried by over 400 publications, and her monthly newsletter goes out to more than 50,000 people. 

She is a graduate of the Harvard Business School’s Owner President Manager’s (OPM) program and also holds engineering degrees from Syracuse University and the University of Dayton. 

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