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Build the ARCH to Reach Your Career Goals

ISM's 93rd Annual International Supply Management Conference

St. Louis, MO
May 2008


Lori Sisk, C.P.M.

Michelle Keith, MBA, CPCM

Where do I want to be in 10 years? It's a big question for many Conference attendees — and one which many supply management professionals can already answer. To help them fast-track their progress, presenters Lori Sisk, C.P.M., supply chain strategist for EDS, and Michelle Keith, C.P.M., entrepreneur and founder of Flat Earth Solutions, taught attendees how to build their own roadmaps in an effort to "direct their destinies."

Sisk and Keith focused especially on defining one's motivation, values and mission, the lattermost of which is comprised of seven motivational needs: achievement — the most important for many professionals, affiliation, autonomy, power, esteem, safety and security, and equity. "Once you really understand your motivators, your personal plan begins to take shape," Keith says.

They also zeroed in on:

  • Creating a vision statement — a guide to implementing strategy;
  • Developing and setting goals using active words and realistic timeframes;
  • Calculating a personal goal achievement factor, which is done using a simple, math-based equation;
  • Self-assessing competencies — determining if you have the skills, or competencies, you will need to achieve your goals; and
  • Evaluating whether or not your personal and professional networks can be leveraged or need to be expanded.

"My whole career has been network-based," Sisk said. "I challenge all of you to make those connections. You're only a few people away from someone who might be able to help you."

Wrapping up, the presenters stressed the importance of ultimately giving back through mentoring, either informally or formally — something they say is essential to developing a "pay-it-forward" methodology. "Giving back to the industry, profession and community is very self-rewarding and helps you build a powerful legacy," Sisk and Keith explained. "Mentoring is just one way of paying it forward."

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