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Filling the Gaps: What Skills Do Future Project Leaders Need?


In a world that is evolving at a supersonic rate, we are all expected to keep up. From the advancement of technology to the increasing need for an eclectic and wide skillset, you’re required to stay on the ball if you don’t want to be left behind. In this respect, the project management world is no exception.

Of course, achieving good grades at school and graduating from university are still important prerogatives. However, your academic competencies are not always sufficient. Nowadays, employers are constantly looking for an extra something from their workers.

What do you truly need in order to establish yourself in your field? What abilities should would-be engineers and managers possess? With a mixture of hard and soft skills, we list several qualities that future project leaders need in order to shine.

Digital skills
In an increasingly digital world, it is fundamental for future project leaders to know how to benefit from innovative tools.

This doesn’t mean you need to be an expert in computer coding or programming. Nevertheless, it is crucial to understand the significant benefits of modern tech. Project leaders should surround themselves with processes and tools and try to make the most of their endless features.

The best way to acquire this skill is to dive in and give new technology a real go. In the long term, this will help you utilise innovative, useful equipment such as pre-commissioning software and other associated complex completions, operations readiness and project management digital tools.

There is no hiding that showcasing sound management skills is vital. If you are willing to climb the work ladder and take on the role of project leader, you will have to prove that are you capable of managing a team, a budget, potential risks, and time.

Firstly, a project leader must be able to bring several colleagues together, guiding them towards the same objective while also satisfying their personal ambitions. From coaching team members to evaluating their improvement, team management requires great dedication.

Moreover, you should always be able to keep an eye on budgets and finances. What should money be spent on? What changes should be made to control costs? Risks must be considered as well. Therefore project leaders should have the ability and experience to spot what could go wrong and plan alternative strategies.

Finally, time management is crucial too. The clock ticks on, deadlines approach, and several tasks have to be accomplished in a short amount of time. A skilled project leader must be able to devise a solid timeline and ensure that deadlines are hit consistently.

Emotional intelligence
Practical abilities are essential. But the value and need for soft, emotional skills is gradually rising too – and rightly so. From keeping teams engaged to building relationships and showing an interest in colleagues’ well-being, employers are seeking soft skills more than ever before.

Indeed, understanding your team members’ needs and offering them emotional support are key components to the success of a project. Knowing your team on a personal level will help you create an inspiring, trusting, and collaborative environment. Ultimately, it is an outstanding quality for a future project leader to have.

Communication is a fundamental aspect in every business. Project leaders and managers must be able to build bridges between their fellow workers, ensuring that all operations proceed smoothly. Future leaders will need to learn and understand how to communicate clear, concise messages via innovative channels.

With modern technology at your disposal, communicating in a way that grabs your team’s attention will become an artful skill. Not only that, but you will also have to develop effective strategies to listen and pay attention to what is going around you. With solid communication skills, all projects will get off to a flying start – and end even better!

It is fair to say that future project leaders will have to be ready to constantly adapt to change. As technology evolves, artificial intelligence progresses, and our working schedules shift (i.e. remote working), it is crucial for project leaders to be both flexible and open-minded.

One way to strengthen your adaptability skills is to learn new things and push yourself out of your comfort zone. This will allow you to understand how to deal with unfamiliar situations. As a result, when a problem or an unexpected scenario arises in the workplace, you will be both quick to adapt and fast to respond.

As the world of work develops and changes in step with the times, candidates and employees are required to widen their skillsets. From digital predisposition to managing abilities, there are several skills that will make you stand out. We hope this article has offered you an idea of what will be expected from future project leaders.