Here’s some food for thought for those you of reading this who are at the early or mid stage of your career and have aspirations to become a senior executive within the Supply Chain & Logistics sector in the future.
If all goes to plan then in few years time you will be leaders in the Global Supply Chain holding a position such as CEO, Director, VP and possibly with Global, Regional or Country wide responsibilities.
Whether that’s working in Aviation, Shipping, Contract Logistics, or indeed managing Supply Chain functions in Retail, Manufacturing or Distribution etc (the list goes on) there is going to be one common factor which will be a priority for you all… you are going to need people.
The current Supply Chain and Logistics industry leaders are already struggling to bring fresh talent into the sector and this is an issue around the world. The fact that its a global problem was further reinforced to me over the last two weeks as I attended two separate conferences in Asia and Europe. The week before last I was at the Logisym Supply Chain conference in Singapore and just last week the IATA World Cargo Symposium in Berlin.
It was the first time in a very long time that I have attended any Supply Chain & Logistics related events outside of the Middle East yet the same issues around attracting and retaining people in the sector that are discussed regularly across the MEA Region also featured heavily at both of these events. I am sure if I went to similar events in North or South America I would hear exactly the same.
As you are reading this you might well be wondering why I am specifically addressing people in their early or mid-career stage, surely I should be aiming this towards the current leaders, not the future leaders?
Well here’s the reason.
When you become the next CEO or Global Supply Chain Director you are going to need a ready supply of people just as todays leaders need this right now. The difference is the current leaders have left it far too late and now we are constantly talking about how to make the sector more attractive as there is a huge shortage of new blood.
Those discussions should have already been happening years ago, the current situation is that we are struggling to attract talent to the Supply Chain today but for those of you in your early or mid careers it’s a perfect time too start talking up the sector and getting fresh talent interested because you are going to need those people when its your turn in the driving seat.
In short its essential that you start getting used to being an ambassador for the Supply Chain sector right now! Do everything in your power to gain the interest of school leavers, fresh graduates, and also anyone else you can think of who may be open to a career change because these people are going to be your talent pool in years to come.
Everyone complains about the challenges in finding new people for the sector right now and its a real problem, but lets face it we have all dropped the ball in the past.
Lets not make the same mistake again as there’s no time like the present to give a boost to the Supply Chain & Logistics brand!
Heres a great Chinese proverb which sums this up perfectly.
“The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.”
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