How To Develop Buyers' Leadership Skills

PurchTips edition #244


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Are You Preparing Your Buyers To Become Leaders?

Unconfident managers consider developing the leadership skills of their subordinates to be a threat to their jobs. Confident leaders know that developing the leadership skills of their subordinates has the opposite effect: it demonstrates the leader's expertise and qualifies the leader for even higher leadership positions. So, how can you develop the leadership skills of your buyers? We suggest four ways:

  1. Give Buyers The Opportunity To Delegate - Great leaders don't spend their day doing hands-on work, they delegate. Unfortunately, most buyer positions are set up to do hands-on work without any subordinates to whom to delegate. If left at that, buyers will never develop delegation skills. However, as a leader, you can create projects, put a certain buyer in charge, and ask other buyers to support the "leading buyer" by doing the work delegated to them.
  2. Encourage Buyers To Have A Vision For Their Jobs - A true leader has a vision and motivates his/her team to make that vision a reality. But many buyer positions aren't set up to allow employees to implement their visions. However, buyers should always think about how their work processes can be improved. Ask buyers to have a vision for what their jobs could be like if they had the authority to improve their work processes. If a vision is consistent with organizational goals, allow the buyer to work towards that vision.
  3. Progressively Increase The Complexity of Decision-Making Situations - Great decision-making is a hallmark of great leadership. While buyers may make decisions within the realm of their job responsibilities, look for opportunities to have them make - or at least provide their input into - more complex decisions that are beyond the realm of their typical responsibilities.

For the fourth way to develop buyers' leadership skills, visit our blog at

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