“The Power of Positive Thinking” for Procurement – Part 1 of 3

Since it was first published in 1952, The Power of Positive Thinking by Norman Vincent Peale has become an international bestseller, selling over 7 million copies in 15 different languages. Inspirational quotes from Peale are often found on calendars, greeting cards, and bookmarks, but it would be a mistake to dismiss them as platitudes. His philosophy applies to our professional as well as our personal lives. Peale emphasizes the need to find a balance between enjoying our work and having the power within us to face the challenges that arise.

At the end of Chapter 14, Relax for Easy Power, Peale provides a list of “ten rules for taking the hard way out of your job.” In a series of posts, I will consider three of the rules and apply them to the areas where procurement can most benefit from positive thinking.

In this post, we look at rule number two:

“Determine to like your work. Then it will become a pleasure, not drudgery. Perhaps you do not need to change your job. Change yourself and your work will seem different.”

It can hardly be a surprise that people who like their jobs are more effective than those who do not. But the piece of this rule that resonated with me was the idea of executing change from within. We talk a lot about Procurement Transformation and the changes it brings to procurement as a function, as well as the organization as whole: more strategy, better visibility, and improved analytics. But how many transformational efforts take into consideration the attitudes of the people in procurement?

At the risk of sounding naïve, think of the difference it would make if every individual in procurement wanted to be there – and enjoyed his or her work. The performance of each individual would be optimized, as would be the combined output of the team. Its enthusiasm and passion would be contagious, drawing other functions in, rather than building systems of rules that often (albeit inadvertently) push them away.

Taking the idea another step forward, consider how a more positive attitude would change relationships with suppliers. Collaboration would be easier to achieve because even challenging efforts would seem more plausible. An energetic and driven procurement team would quickly position its organization as a customer of choice, getting better account representation and increased insight into supplier operations.

The importance of a positive mental attitude, and the amount of control we have over it, is what I will address in my next post on “The Power of Positive Thinking” for Procurement.

Are you a positive thinker? Do you enjoy your work or is it just a job – “drudgery” as Peale puts it? How would your team’s performance be changed or improved if everyone was satisfied with his or her role?  Share your thoughts by commenting below or tweeting @BuyersMeetPoint.

Still quiet here.sas

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