Written By Paulette Hamilton


On February 26, 2020 the PMI Atlanta Governance Forum was pleased to host Karen Crumpton White as she spoke on the topic of “Developing Project Managers.” Ms. White shared the details of how she and her peers transform new college graduate interns into project management leaders via the COX LEAD program.

Ms. White spoke about how project managers are expected to be leaders, but few get the opportunity to build and develop their leadership potential in the early stages of their career. As one of the mentors in the COX LEAD program, Ms. White guides college interns as they participate in two months of intense training before they are placed into a rotation where they assume responsibility for projects with budgets from $8,000 to $5M. In the early stages the interns are evaluated and chosen based on certain key characteristics including critical thinking, communications and life-learner attitude. In developing the interns into strong project management leaders, Ms. White stressed that the role of the mentor is crucial.

She spoke about necessary and required mentorship skills stressing that the mentor must invest time into really getting to know the mentee and providing support and clear communications in a trusting environment. Deep listening and finding the driver that is the key to motivating each person are also vital.

Ms. White presented ideas in a very personable way inviting the audience to participate in a discussion rather than listening to a speech. There were some interesting interactive discussions and  questions during and after the talk which underlined the relevance of this topic to governance. Developing project management leaders in the early stages of their career can bring innovative ideas to project governance.


• Building project management leadership qualities early in a PMs career can be of great benefit to both the PM and the organization.
• Excellent mentors give clear communications about what is expected from the mentee.
• When you invest the time to develop the leadership potential of new PMs you strengthen the entire project management team.

Next Event

Join us at the next PMI Atlanta Governance forum on May 27, 2020

Register at www.pmiatlanta.org/events/event-calendar

About PMI

Atlanta Chapter serves Project Management Community in Metro Atlanta, and we're an active resource to corporations, community and government agencies throughout north Georgia. With over 5,000 members, PMI Atlanta is among the top 5 chapters in the world. Our professional expertise span across industries; we’re the professionals building healthcare information technology systems, the engineers developing smarter public transportation, and the planners growing our communities more efficiently.