I hope that you have enjoyed the article “Is Your Procurement Job At Risk?

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In the article, I introduced you to three things you should do to ensure that a new procurement leader doesn’t kick you to the curb in favor of a more energetic, younger – though less experienced – replacement.  In this post, I’d like to elaborate more on the third tip:  Show that you are likeable.

Now, we ALL think that we are likeable.  Most of us have someone in our lives that likes us.

But that doesn’t make us likeable in the broad business sense.

Ask yourself these questions:

  • Do I greet everyone with (a) a warm smile, or (b) a not-so-enthusiastic facial expression?
  • Do I present myself (a) professionally in appropriate dress and grooming, or (b) find myself looking less professional than others I work with?
  • Do I (a) walk, talk, and carry myself with energy that others can notice, or (b) appear tired and slow to others?
  • Do I often (a) offer to figure out a way to make things work, or (b) find myself telling people why things won’t work?
  • Do I (a) ask internal customers about what they want to accomplish, or (b) only talk about what I can or can’t do for them?
  • Do I (a) know when “if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything” is appropriate advice, or (b) find myself being critical of others, either to them or behind their backs?
  • Do I (a) demonstrate calmness in the face of adversity, or (b) lose my temper in front of others and appear as a “loose cannon?”
  • Do I (a) show that I care by talking about “the big picture” of my employer’s success, or (b) only talk about my job and appear to care only for myself?

If you’ve answered (b) more than (a), I hate to say this, but…you’re probably a little unlikeable to some people!

And that could spell procurement career trouble for you.

“Must be likable” is rarely found on a procurement job description.  But it is required for every modern procurement job.

Though the leaders I discussed in the article cited behaviors, attitudes, historical performance, and the like as the reason why some of their former subordinates became dispensable, really what they were saying was “I just didn’t like the person.”

Being a procurement professional is a job.  When you have a job, that means you may not have the freedom to totally be yourself.

So, you may have to act a little.  You may have to study the foregoing bullet points and adopt some of the (a) behaviors.

But you have to be likeable as much as you have to be competent in today’s business environment.

To Your Career,
Charles Dominick, SPSM, SPSM2
President & Chief Procurement Officer – Next Level Purchasing Association
Author – The Procurement Game Plan
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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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