Buyers must become leaders, not managers

8 October 2008
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09 October 2008 | Jake Kanter

Heads of procurement have been "trading" on technical management skills and must become leaders to move the profession forward, according to an expert.

Addressing the CIPS Premier Conference in London yesterday, business speaker and author René Carayol said purchasers rely on management techniques to get them to the top of the profession - but argued these skills are no longer enough. He added procurement has been waiting for a "long time" for good leadership. "Management is a commodity. Leadership is what makes you special. It is how you energise people towards your vision. I would score procurement lowly - I don't see vision, I don't see passion, I don't see leadership," he said.

He advised buyers to adopt two techniques of good leadership. He said purchasers should surround themselves with highly skilled staff and inspire their teams to share and work towards a vision for the future. "Three things separate the winning organisations from the losing ones. Leadership, culture and collaboration."


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