Finding potential leaders among supply chain employees begins with treating everyone fairly, not equally, says Gough Grubbs, senior vice president of Stage Stores. Not everyone has the desire or drive for leadership and recognizing those who do is the first step toward success, he says.
Knowing which employees merit an investment in training and mentoring is a critical skill of leadership, says Grubbs. “You should treat everyone fairly, but not equally. You need to find the people who really have the desire to respond to training and then give them projects that will develop their abilities and keep them interested.”
Personal relationships play a big role in the process, he says. “Relationships are a one-on-one proposition and they take work, so you need to select people you can work well with,” he says. “I’ve always subscribed to the old adage that people leave bosses, not jobs.”
Supply chain leaders also need to learn to invite themselves into other people’s silos, says Grubbs. “It is not enough to have people in every silo doing their jobs well,” he says. “We have to understand what other silos do and educate them on what we do, if we are to take advantage of potential synergies.” People working in silos need to see the big picture and to feel they are part of the team, he says. Encouraging interaction “makes everyone more effective,” says Grubbs.