The nine traits of successful procurement professionals

Gurjit Degun
14 October 2013

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Working extremely hard, being curious and eager to learn and living in the present are just some of the traits of a successful procurement professional.

That’s according to Tom Lovell, group managing director at Reed, who was speaking at the CIPS Annual Conference in London last week.

He said successful people were:

Extremely hard workers. “Successful people work hard,” said Lovell. “They expect a lot from their team, but much more from themselves.” He added a lot of successful people own horses, because they are used to getting up early to clean and groom their horses before work.

Curious and eager to learn. “Many successful people have done well at school but what really sets out a successful person is how they use the learning to impact on their daily lives,” said Lovell.

Networking capabilities. People who will take advice from anywhere. “These are people who will talk to their neighbours, their friends, and most importantly they will listen,” explained Lovell.

Extraordinarily creative. Always try to improve things and do things faster, better and quicker.

Self-reliant and assume responsibility. Lovell said: “If something goes wrong, they don’t complain and point the finger but make decisions and move on.”

Relaxed and able to keep perspective. “They usually have a calm head in stressful situations, they don’t panic, they ask the right questions and then make decisions,” said Lovell.

Successful people live in the present. “They realise that the only thing you can actually impact is the right here and now,” said Lovell.

Able to respond quickly. “They will respond instantly to the big things,” claimed Lovell. “It’s about what’s going on in the market, it’s what your competitors are doing.”

Successful people never quit. They are always looking to improve themselves. “If a business deal goes sour, they will look at it as an opportunity to improve on the next one,” added Lovell.

Lovell also said that having the right mindset is key. “You can then develop the procurement skills,” he added.

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