The world isn’t changing. The world has already changed – as evidenced by the great recent changes and disruptions in the job market, including in the leadership of organizations.

Let’s recall the most significant ones: onsite work gave way to home office, companies started to adopt technological processes, and remote leadership became a major challenge.

To go through moments of crisis, businesses had to let go outdated models of traditional leadership, which tend to focus decisions on a single voice.

The professionals got closer to each other eventually, seeking to join forces with a single goal: to keep their businesses competitive, even in the midst of uncertain and adverse scenarios.

All these transformations, which impacted many sectors and diverse activities, are changing the ideal profile of leadership and its teams.

The future of work is collaborative.

To have a successful team, the procurement leader of the future  must be prepared for a new market phase: the era of collaboration.

In corporate leadership, everyone can contribute to teamwork, in order to reach the company’s goals.

The greater the diversity, plurality of ideas and participation of people in processes, the greater the chances of expanding creative potential and innovation.

With an eye on this market trend, let’s clarify the difference between traditional and collaborative leadership, and how the concept can be applied to your procurement team.

Keep on reading!

Traditional vs. collaborative leadership

There are different profiles of leaders and different ways of exercising leadership. However, some types aren’t much adapted to this period of the world.

See below the key differences between traditional and collaborative leadership.

Traditional leadership Collaborative leadership
Decision making is centered on a single person, who decides alone what is best. Decision making is carried out with the participation of the team. Everyone contributes to it.
There is a loss of self-reliance, as people become more apprehensive and take less initiative. There is a gain in self-reliance. The members of the team feel more comfortable talking about possible improvements.
The work environment isn’t very encouraging, and people tend to feel unmotivated. People feel motivated most of the time, when they belong to a collaborative team.
People perform tasks out of obligation, as they are more focused on volume than on results. The members of the team are prone to assume responsibility for deliverables, goals and results to be achieved.
There is little harmony and more conflict between people on the same team and with other teams. The work environment is harmonious, as everyone feels free to express opinions and ideas.
The focus lies only on overall performance and team performance. The focus lies on people’s potential and development.
The traditional leader has little knowledge of people’s work. He/she doesn’t have time. The collaborative leader is aware of the team’s work. He/she knows what activities are carried out.
Most of the time, the leader isn’t not open to criticism. He/she evaluates team members but isn’t evaluated. The leader is open to criticism, heeds to feedback, and is evaluated by the team periodically.
Traditional leaders tend to measure team performance only by quantitative indicators. Collaborative leaders consider both quantitative and qualitative indicators to measure their team’s performance.
People stay in the company motivated by salary and benefits only. People stay with the company because they feel as part of a strong team.

How to be a collaborative procurement leader

See below some tips we’ve selected, to help you exercise collaborative leadership with your procurement team:

1. Try to assemble a diverse team

The procurement area is very dynamic and requires diverse people, with different profiles working together. Thus, with different skills, all of them can contribute to the achievement of results.

2. Know the people of your team in depth

The procurement leader must know each member of his/her team, to understand how each one can contribute to the growth of the business.

3. Be open to a constant learning

Don’t hesitate to ask your team what you don’t know. Besides, you must understand that risks will always exist, and that there are no exact answers to every question.

4. Share your experiences

Whenever possible, share your experiences with the team, your trajectory in the area, your history with the job. It’s a way to inspire your team.

5. Develop your behavioral skills

Behavioral skills make a procurement leader more prepared for the area’s profile. After all, an industry dominated by technical skills only is a thing of the past.

6. Listen to what people have to say

Active listening is key to exercise collaborative leadership. It’s a way of showing interest and developing empathy.

7. Provide people with self-reliance

A good leader knows how to delegate tasks and share responsibilities. Trust in your team will increase productivity and, eventually, results.

In this article, we delved into one of the most important topics for anyone who works with procurement leadership or wants to become a leader. Share your opinion and experiences in the comments field.

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