Call for Leadership Skills in Procurement

Procurement is a rapidly growing profession with annual salary rises exceeding other professions yet I hear about the lack of credible procurement professionals, a shortage of skills and lack of women in top procurement roles.

Self-improvement and progression mean one must learn from a leader and eventually become a leader. I ask myself what does it mean to be a leader? Influenced by an article in HBR titled crucibles of leadership the analogy of crucibles as a vessel withstanding high heat to turn base metals into gold is used to call the experiences that shapes leaders as crucibles.

How many of you have experienced a crucible event or know someone who has had this experience that shaped their leadership skills? Have you ever had an experience that tested you to look deep within and critically assess who you are and what matters to you? Where an event has an adverse effect on your enjoyment in the office and subsequent knock on effect of home life outside of the office, what is your reaction in dealing with difficult matters?

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Being a leader requires us to examine our values, how we intend to react to certain situations to emerge stronger and more self-assured.
Leaders complain about the lack of successors but they have a role in developing the talent pipeline and they must exhibit true leadership qualities. Change can only happen if an effort is made to nurture potential future leaders. People are not born leaders, they become leaders from experiences that shape them, and they examine their values and principles for self-reflection to ask whether if they are being true to themselves.
Ask yourself as a leader do you exhibit the following characteristics:
• Confidence
• Transparency
• Integrity
• Inspiration
• Passion
• Innovation
• Patience

As an aspiring leader do you take actions to improve your potential? Are you waiting for a crucible experience to happen before your transformation begins? There is a theory that those who don’t have to work for something won’t be willing to go the extra mile. There are many stories on great leadership but I have yet to see a clear steer on procurement leadership. Instead of observing a situation perhaps we need some leaders to help transform a captive audience of potential leaders to show them the way and demonstrate leadership in procurement.