Mind the strap

23 December 2011
One of the most important lessons a procurement person needs to remember is tied up in this little pre-Christmas tale… I was struggling through London’s evening rush hour on a Hammersmith and City line tube as it pulled into Paddington Station. As usual, the crowd had positioned itself by the doors ready to spring forward like salmon upstream towards the one narrow staircase that separated them from the next stage of their journey home. As the doors opened, I moved to exit the tube – only to find myself flying out of the carriage.  My flying sensation abruptly ended when I hit a cold, hard platform face down. One foot, I realised, was still in slammable distance of the tube doors, wrapped round a bag strap. However, a forest of hands appeared to pick me up and put me back on my feet. I turned back to the carriage, to see the offending bag strap hastily pulled inside. What’s the moral to be drawn from this tale, you ask? I know life can feel like a case of survival of the fittest and what with company objectives to hit and targets to meet, there’s always someone waiting to trip you up. Don’t let them, that’s my advice. With every downside, there can be an upside. There are always a few kind souls who will pick you up and set you back on your journey. I like to think of them as our star-like angels (it being Christmas-time and all), shooting rays of opportunities and positivity our way. So let’s spread a little Christmas cheer ourselves. Why not go that extra mile and do something for your internal stakeholder, purchasing colleague or supplier? Not just because it makes good business sense, but because you can. How about giving a lift to someone you can’t stand? Or just cracking a good joke to lighten the office mood? I leave it to you to come up with something.
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