My aging parents receive in-home care.  And I just got word today that one of their aides will not be returning as she is no longer an employee of the agency that provided her.

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I breathed a sigh of relief.  I have witnessed very few people who were as bad at their jobs as this woman was.

The interesting part of her job is that there is another aide serving them currently, there is another aide that fills in when one of the primary aides call off, and they had a superstar of an aide previously.  It is very easy to compare the recently-departed aide’s work against that of her peers.  And she was clearly the worst.

On most days, she was too lazy to complete her list of responsibilities.  And the tasks she did complete, she didn’t do very well.

Oddly, this woman has big career goals.  She wants to be a neonatal nurse practitioner.  That’s a pretty important job requiring some really ambitious academic work.

Prediction:  She’ll never make it.

Perhaps with goals like hers, she couldn’t get excited about giving showers to seniors and cleaning their restrooms.  But, still, if you suck at a lower-level job, no one will want you for a top-level job.

Of course, with my mind, all roads of thought lead back to procurement.

So, I thought of today’s buyers.  Many of them probably have dreams of being CEO’s.

And some may get there.  But not by being mediocre buyers.

Sure, negotiating small value deals and dealing with the headaches associated with supplier performance failures may feel “beneath” someone who knows in his heart that he is CEO material.  But if buyers don’t do a good job at basic buying, they’ll never have the opportunity to showcase their skills that will give powers-that-be the confidence necessary to award them with upward mobility.

The moral is this:  Strive to be great at your job, even if it is a stepping stone to bigger things.  Because if you are anything less than a stellar buyer, you won’t be perceived as having what it takes to rise through the management ranks.

Charles Dominick, SPSM, SPSM2, SPSM3

Charles Dominick, SPSM, SPSM2, SPSM3 is an internationally-recognized business expert, legendary procurement thought leader, award-winning entrepreneur, and provocative blogger. Charles founded the Next Level Purchasing Association in 2000, oversaw its incredible growth, and successfully led the organization to its acquisition by the Certitrek Group in 2016. He continues to blog and provide advisory services for the NLPA on a part-time basis as he incubates his upcoming business innovations. Charles is also the co-author of the wildly popular, groundbreaking book, "The Procurement Game Plan: Winning Strategies & Techniques For Supply Management Professionals."

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