In this week’s edition of PurchTips entitled “3 Buyer Career Lessons From The Stanley Cup,” I wrote about how Pittsburgh Penguins winger Jake Guentzel has been performing above his pay grade in the Stanley Cup playoffs.  I translated that scenario into a tip for buyers to apply a similar mentality to their procurement careers.

Here is an important point that I didn’t have enough space to include in the article:  When two or more people have the same title, it is easy to compare them and decide who is better.  For example, when Jake Guentzel scores 14 goals in the playoffs, it makes people draw the conclusion that he is doing a better job than the other wingers on the team.

Now, one may make arguments like “Well, Carter Rowney hasn’t gotten the chance to play with Sidney Crosby.”  Or “Carl Hagelin doesn’t get the same amount of ice time.”  Or  “The coach likes Jake better than Scott Wilson.”  Or whatever.

But none of those arguments really matter.  The bottom line is that observers have seen all that they’ve had to see to conclude that Jake Guentzel is a better winger than those others.

Now, think of yourself as a buyer.  You may work in an organization with other buyers.  Who would an observer feel is the best buyer?  You?  Or someone else?

If it is someone else, why do you think that is?  Would you admit that someone else is simply performing better that you?

Or would you make up excuses like those above:  someone else gets better opportunities, the boss likes someone else better, etc.?

You should always try to be your best.  And when you are one of many with your job title, this is especially true.

Now, don’t go thinking of your fellow buyers as your competitors.  As a team player, you don’t want to see others on your team fail just to make yourself look good.

Instead, think of your fellow buyers as inspiration.  If you see another buyer perform well, allow that to inspire you to be better.

Remember:  When two people have the same job title, it is relatively easy for an observer to decide who is better at the job.  Don’t be the one they judge to be the “worst.”  Perform above your pay grade.

Charles Dominick, SPSM, SPSM2, SPSM3

Charles Dominick, SPSM, SPSM2, SPSM3 is the Founder of the Next Level Purchasing Association. Charles is also the Co-Author of "The Procurement Game Plan: Winning Strategies & Techniques For Supply Management Professionals."

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