Don’t be like Mike…Be Like Steve (Jobs) – Part I of II

July 25th, 2013

What can you learn from one of the most successful CEOs ever?”

Today’s post is by Mark Davis; Sr. Vice President and COO at SafeSourcing.

Recently Fortune magazine had an article about the future of Apple without their visionary leader and whether they can continue to dominate and command the respect of the world.  The verdict of this article concluded with a “let’s wait and see” feeling; however it prompted a much deeper thought of why one person can have such an impact not only on a company but on the entire world.  The deeper thought still is, as procurement professionals, how do accomplish the same thing?

Over the next two days we will be taking some of the reasons why Steve Jobs was so successful, viewing them through the lens of procurement so that we can learn how we can begin to achieve the greatness that he did while he was alive, and leaving a legacy that will last for generations to come.

Plan for the future– Earlier this week a blog was posted about managing risk and one how of the crucial steps to doing this is by planning for what could lie ahead.   Much of this is understanding how long a particular type of project actually takes to run.  Once this is understood the future becomes a much easier landscape to navigate and timelines and milestones become clearer and more real.  Successful managers are the ones with the knack of seeing their projects honestly, planning realistically, adjusting where necessary and having the flexibility to do so, and accurately forecasting when something will happen by delivering on time.

Pursue Perfection– If one were too closely examine the lives of the world’s most successful people they would share many common threads including the pursuit of perfection in everything they do.  In Steve Jobs’ case it may have been noticing the “O” in the Google icon on the iPhone did not have a yellow gradient; leading many to mistake his passion for micro-managing or his attention to detail as craziness.  The fact is that all managers should be seeking that attention to detail, that perfection in every aspect of the sourcing project we conduct.  They should be going through our strategy and documents and communication with the effort of making them as close to perfect as they can without taking 6 months to finalize a Terms and Conditions documents.  In the world today it may not be possible to BE perfect but managers should care enough to want to try and be bothered enough when they don’t.

Don’t stop; keeping moving ahead– I have seen many perfectly good managers submit to the status quo of the sourcing process when faced with the initial fallout or mistakes and wrong decisions.  They get frustrated by what they were not able to achieve and focus on returning to a safe place going through the motions quietly; not wanting to rock the boat further.  The fact is, mistakes will be made, wrong decisions will happen, projects will get off track.  The key to delivering the results in spite of this is to keep moving forward.  To understand the situation, adjust and correct, own the issue and learn from it for the next time.  Good planning and smart time management can also go a long way to helping this process but the attitude of moving ahead in these situations is the ultimate determining factor for where the projects end up.

At SafeSourcing our team is constantly looking for ways to improve our services and our support of our customers.  Our strategies and plan for customer projects take different approaches than ones many companies continue to follow without question.  Part of a successful process begins with planning, pursuing perfection and moving forward and tomorrow we will conclude with the other pieces of how we do what we do.  For more information on how we can help with your projects or on our “Risk Free” trial program, please contact a SafeSourcing Customer Service Representative.  We have an entire customer services team waiting to assist you today.

We look forward to your comments.

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