“Suppliers are only as good as you are. Don’t hide behind your suppliers hoping that they will produce the magic. They won’t. You are the magic.”
It’s Not How Good You Are, It’s How Good You Want To Be. by Paul Arden, page 84
One thing I have learned with over 40 years of travel experience under my belt is that suppliers are people. And people, due to their human nature, exhibit various levels of proficiency. This is my way of implying that there are many smart, hard working, honest, caring suppliers to choose from. I am just as quick to remind you that there are also plenty of suppliers (made up of people) who don’t know “3rd base from the dugout.” You may be more familiar with the term “not knowing their ass from their elbow.” (In both cases, the inference is exactly the same.)
I have always been puzzled at how many suppliers call themselves “partners” and then do just about everything possible to display the exact opposite. There are certain obligations and responsibilities that come with the term “partner,” and it appears that this may come as a shock to many.
Message #1: If you happen across a good supplier, treat them like gold. Meet with them regularly to see how a mutual collaboration can benefit the eating habits of everyone concerned.
Message #2: Don’t rely on suppliers to butter your bread. They will, and can, do much to support your efforts, but the fact remains it will be your efforts that spell success.
You are the secret formula. You represent the combination to the safe. You hold the magic beans. You call the plays. You are the driver of your bus. (Are you getting the idea?)
You can’t do it without a bevy of proven suppliers just like a quarterback can’t win a football game without 21 other players. But it is you who peruses the defense. It is you who decides whether to run or pass. It is you who elects to keep the ball or give it to somebody more skilled than you are at running. Kick? Run or pass? You decide. (I’m having fun reliving my past. See note below.)
Your business is truly a team sport, but it is you will coordinate the efforts of all involved and ensure that it all works properly and in sync. But here is the unfortunate truth: If you win, it will be you taking the bows. But if you lose, it will also be you taking the blame. (Oh, the price of leadership.)
Note: I was a QB at the University of Massachusetts a thousand years ago.
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