The role of a project manager is ultimately the role of a leader. Across industries, these are the professionals who provide substantial impact to the growth of businesses as they drive innovation and encourage continuous evolution — one successful project at a time.
It’s these individuals who are usually the best candidates to ultimately fill the role of CEO — and rightfully so. After all, it’s the work of a project manager to merge several aspects such as theory, reality, vision and process with finances, values, politics and human nature to create the most successful outcomes possible.
Early in his career, former CEO of global electronics and industrial conglomerate Siemens Klaus Kleinfeld established and led the Siemens Management Consulting Group to develop and oversee a corporate revitalisation and business improvement programme. His leadership transformed the group from a small corporate cost centre to a highly profitable and widely respected consulting business that spearheaded cutting-edge practices in benchmarking, project management, business re-engineering and innovation. Later, he progressed to become the chief operating officer of Siemens US based in New York City. Then, in 2002, he was elected president and chief executive officer of Siemens Corporation.
Stories like Kleinfeld’s show how leading projects make things happen and being good at execution is the golden ticket to success. History proves this further with McKinsey’s reach all over the world. By its own 2015 numbers, McKinsey had around 450 of its alumni running billion-dollar-plus organisations across the globe. An earlier analysis from around a decade ago found that more than 70 past and present CEOs of Fortune 500 companies were former McKinsey executives. The company’s consultants are project managers by nature and their core business is essentially to execute projects for their customers.
In the league of leadership today we have innovators such as Reed Hastings of Netflix, Sheryl Sandberg of Facebook, Larry Page of Google, Mark Parker of Nike and more. Their names may not be the first you think of when these companies are mentioned in conversation, partially due to the fact that it is natural for us to idolise founders first. Ideating and establishing a company are important steps — however, managing and maintaining its success is just as important. This is the crux of what project managers and leaders do.
Charles Sturt University Study Centres in Australia offers the knowledge and skills for you to progress into a more senior stage in your career. The brand new Master of Project Management and Leadership, launching next March, is designed for those who have gained professional experience in an engineering or technical role.
The programme combines the management of people and complex projects. In this course, students take the wheel with the opportunity to tailor the course in accordance to their chosen career paths. Students are able to do this by choosing electives, with the option to specialise in subjects like human resources, data engineering and corporate finance.
This postgraduate programme takes two years to complete and consists of 12 management and leadership subjects — eight core subjects and an additional four elective subjects. Each and every topic serves a crucial purpose of its own, carefully selected to prepare students for fulfilling careers centred around designing and delivering project solutions while responsibly managing a range of individuals and teams.
Upon completion, the possibilities are many and varied. Students are nurtured to graduate with the knowledge and expertise needed to serve as seniors in a range of industries such as accounting, engineering, finance, human resource management, information technology, international management, retail, commerce and consultancy.
This programme is offered at two Charles Sturt University Study Centres and having to choose between Melbourne and Sydney is in no way a bad dilemma to have. Both cities are powerhouses in their own right. Whatever your decision, either choice is sure to provide you with surroundings that inspire success. Click here to learn more about beginning your journey to leadership today.