If you are just joining this series of posts on “The Power of Positive Thinking” for Procurement, you can read Parts 1 and 2 here and here. We have looked at the need to make meaningful change from within procurement professionals, and the importance of mindset discipline in the face of demanding stakeholders.
In this post, we will conclude our series regarding Norman Vincent Peale’s inspirational bestseller The Power of Positive Thinking with rule number six from his “ten rules for taking the hard way out of your job”:
“Become efficient in your work. ‘Knowledge is power’ (over your job). It is always easier to do a thing right.”
Procurement’s customers don’t go away after a project is completed. Internal stakeholders, executive leaders, and supplier representatives will reappear if we have not completed work to their satisfaction. Getting a task done right the first time, even if it ends up taking more time and resources than we anticipated, is more efficient than doing substandard work and having to retrace our steps to fix a problem.
Part of what is challenging about this rule is the notion of what is ‘right.’ Procurement and each of our customer groups may all have a differing definition for when work is done right. Communication is critical for understanding expectations, but even with the clearest picture of what must be accomplished, we are selling ourselves short if we plan to just meet expectations. Value is created when procurement goes above and beyond expectations in a way that is meaningful to our customers. Often, we are the only ones with the visibility into an opportunity to create value. The drive to “do a thing right” should give us the conviction and energy required to take on more work, even when we could get by on less.
When we combine the three rules we have discussed in this series, we know we need to enjoy our work, maintain a positive mindset, and be willing to push ourselves to perform to our fullest potential – not just what others ask of us. None of these things are easy, and their combination only compounds the challenge. Finding ways to renew our enthusiasm is an absolute must, and colleagues are a great source of inspiration. Whether we reach out through social media, attend industry conferences, or attend webinars to get new ideas, procurement must stay energized to meet the expectations of others and to keep our own expectations high.
How do you find ways to go above and beyond expectations? Have you ever realized, in retrospect, that you missed an opportunity to create value because you were overly focused on meeting expectations rather than establishing your own? Share your thoughts by commenting below or tweeting @BuyersMeetPoint.