Last week I was interviewed by Scott Luton, host of the Supply Chain Now podcast, for their ‘Full Access’ series. (You can listen to the podcast here.) Scott and I go ‘way back’ so it was easy to find things to talk about, but he also asked me some great questions about how I reached this point in my career and what advice I would give to people just getting started.
We have sort of an interesting event dynamic this week – three events, all on Thursday between 8am and 1pm ET. Of the three, I think there is one standout event, detailed below. Looking at the current calendar, clearly webinar organizers are expecting the bulk of summer vacations to be over by the week of August 28th, and September is already starting to take shape. Click on the title of each webinar below to view the full description and register.
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Leadership is a rare and valuable attribute that will separate a good professional from a great one. A leader will possess a unique vision and the ability to transform this into a tangible reality. Most importantly, a leader should inspire others to do the same.
A united, forward-looking outlook is the best way to continue to propel the logistics industry forward. As a fast-growing sector affected by globalisation and advancements in technology, innovators must be a driving force. Having access to new ideas will play a fundamental role in building each leader’s influence and unique impact on the organization.
Check out these five key signs of a logistics leaders to enhance your own professional standing.
I had a unique opportunity yesterday to serve as the Q&A facilitator for ISM-New York’s annual meeting. What is so unique about that? I did it from Central Massachusetts! Through the magic of Google Hangouts (and with a little help from an eight hour phone call) I saw, heard, and interacted with the speakers and attendees in a meeting room overlooking Times Square.
Kudos to ISM-New York President Nancy Murray, Executive Director Julienne Ryan, and former Vice President Jim Martin for their adventurous, virtual approach to collaboration and networking.
As our children grew, we gave them chores that were appropriate for their age and capabilities. As toddlers, they could put clothes in the hamper and their toys in the toy box or closet. As the years passed, they could take on dish duty, mowing the lawn, laundry and so on. The big projects, such a painting the house, was a full court press for everyone.
“By 2020, procurement’s role will have become even more important for sustaining constant supply, best cost, reduced volatility, faster and improved innovation, and clean corporate-brand image.” (p. 179)
Procurement 20/20: Supply Entrepreneurship in a Changing World is a team effort by four members of McKinsey’s Global Purchasing and Supply Management Practice: Peter Spiller, Nicolas Reinecke, Drew Ungerman, and Henrique Teixeira. If you were at the Institute for Supply Management’s conference in Las Vegas this May, you might have even picked up a copy for free. (Thanks to Cottrill Research’s Jeanette Jones for grabbing my copy!)
“Great procurement professionals are not born, they are bred…"
- Dawn Evans, President and CEO, Sourcing Interests Group, July 2014 'Letter from the President'
I place a great deal of value in the fact that I have been able to work well and productively with all of the professional associations in our space. Each one is a little different and meets a specific need for a particular subset of the procurement professional community. I am not an active member of any professional association – including Sourcing Interests Group (SIG). My comments here have less to do with advocating for them in particular than being concerned about the resources available to the procurement community as a whole. I would have made the same argument on behalf of Spend Matters PRO or Procurement Leaders if they were the subject of some budgetary misclassification.
We have all had the experience when we asked someone for something or a call back and it did not happen. It always is a surprise and feels good when a person actually does follow through on what they said they were going to do. We certainly set that expectation on others so if you turn that around to yourself, how do YOU do with the follow through?
Just joining us? Last week we looked at performance reviews from a procurement manager’s perspective. This week we are looking at the same topic from the perspective of the person being reviewed.
You will likely have a performance review coming early in the New Year. Some people see performance reviews as “facing the music” while others see them as an opportunity to “toot their horn”. For the sake of your own career, I recommend thinking in terms of the latter.
Review time is an opportunity to display your accomplishments, demonstrate your capabilities, and discuss potential opportunities with your manager. At a higher level, this is also a good time for introspection to honestly access your future with the organization.
This week’s featured webinar notes are from a September 26th Sourcing Interests Group event presented by A.T. Kearney Procurement and Analytic Solutions. If you are a SIG member, both the slides and the event recording are available on-demand at SIG.org.
I know when I get back to work after a vacation, I have a tough time getting up and running again. There is a backlog of work to catch up on. I miss the carefree schedule of the vacation and being with friends and family.
People are very nervous when giving presentations. As procurement professionals, we hear many presentations from suppliers. There are some that hit it out of the park and others that are a snooze fest. Internally, we are often in the spot light for sharing information to a large group.
My experience has been that if I practice OUT LOUD several times and really know the topic, the rest falls in place. I do that even if it is presentation that I have given many times before. It gives me confidence and freshens it up in my mind.
I enjoyed the SmartBlog on Leadership post on 'Simple Steps to Successful Presentations'. It affirmed some of the tricks I use but gave me some more ideas as well.
1.Start with a bang. This year I had a short presentation for about 100 people. I started with a great story about my son that had just happened the night before. It had some humor, got people laughing and helped me to get started. Once you are going, the nerves calm down.
2.Get focused. Plan your message and stay on topic. We all have heard people who ramble and it gets confusing and frustrating.
3.Know your audience. I have witnessed presentations where they have missed the mark. I was in one last week and the supplier lost the audience and probably the business.
4.Know your stuff. This is a must and has been such a help for me. I do the homework and I practice. It is ok to say you don’t know but you will find out. However, overall you should know the materials.
5.Weave in examples. Your audience will remember your presentation and your message with examples
6.Don’t read. If you are prepared, you won’t have to read. You can tell the story behind the words. I have found that when someone is nervous or not prepared, they default and read the slides. Don’t. Period.
7.Have a Plan B. Things do go wrong so try to anticipate what that might be and prepare for it. Even if it doesn’t happen, you will be more confident overall.
Do any of these hints sound familiar to you? Have you any others that either you use or you have noticed others using?
As we celebrate Mother’s Day this weekend, there are many learnings that are gained in childhood that carry us through to our adult lives – both personal and professional.
This book is Life’s Lessons from Mom by Patrick Flaherty. Looking at this through the eyes of a career for procurement, there are several that hit home for sure.
You’re never too busy or too old to have fun.
- We spend a great deal of time at the office. Are you too busy or do you see humor and laugh? How do you enjoy those you work with?
Never fear your competition.
- Your competition makes you stronger and better. Playing against someone faster or better than you makes you improve your skills too. Also, there will always be someone better, faster, richer than you. The competition is against yourself and to improve YOU.
Take care of your equipment.
- As a child, we were told to put our bikes in the garage at the end of the day. So easy to just leave them out on the grass or in the driveway. Well, we did put them away and they lasted longer and had a better resale value as we outgrew them. Same thing applies with your equipment and tools at the office. It will make a big difference with your effectiveness.
Make your bed and clean your room
- Everyone has heard this one many, many times. Perhaps you have now had the opportunity to use it on YOUR children. It is amazing that we can hear our parent’s words coming out of our mouths about very similar issues. Well, this one is for order and discipline. As you learn those skills, it helps with application in your professional life as well. So much time can be lost looking for the appropriate document or misplacing that phone number. So go ahead and “make your bed and clean your room”!!
There are so many other good reflections. What did you learned that has helped you going forward? Any words of wisdom from Mom to share on this special weekend? If not, how about:
If someone told you that Harrison Ford was not hired for a movie role he wanted, you would find it hard to believe. If that is the case, what hope do the rest of us have?
Definitions of excellence are constantly changing. A friend of mine is in rehab, gaining strength and learning to walk again. A few years ago, hiking, swimming and running was no big deal. Now it is excellent for them to walk down the hallway without resting.
No matter how many years it has been since you graduated from school, the 'back to school' time period brings a renewal and a fresh start to the coming year. So much to do and to learn and people to meet - it is all quite exciting.
The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, first published in 1989, is a self-help book written by Stephen R. Covey. It has sold more than 25 million copies in 38 languages worldwide, and the audio version has sold 1.5 million copies, and remains one of the best selling nonfiction business books.
The approach continues to be pertinent in every day life at work and at home. Buyers Meeting Point will be reviewing each of the Seven Habits over the next few months.
When I read this blog, I found a lot of correlation to raising children. Don't promise if you can't deliver and don't threaten if you won't carry through. I know my son was a fussy eater. One day he was given a choice to either eat the supper or go to bed. It was only 5PM and he choose to go to bed. Needless to say, we would have been the losers in that battle so out came the peanut butter.
As procurement professionals, we are in constant negotiation. These tactics from sales associates often include various types of strong arming.
As I mentioned in this week’s PI Window Blog Talk Radio update, I don’t usually feature previous events, but last week’s Gartner event deserves to be an exception. “Looking for Talented Leaders to Take Sourcing & Procurement to the Next Level!” was an informative half hour event that is pertinent to all career supply management professionals. The event and slides are both available on demand on Gartner’s site.