Jul 15, 2020
by Jon Dweck

7 Most Important Behaviours to Have as a Supply Chain Leader

Being a Supply Chain leader requires many different set of behaviours and skills. Every organisation is different and have different requirements from their leaders, however these seven tend to be the most valued amongst employers:

  1. Leadership       

Shows integrity which drives the right action in the best interests of the organisation        

Displays emotional intelligence to understand self and others

Builds a compelling vision and sharing it with clarity

Can build the right organisational structures around them to deliver their vision, delegating effective decision making and activities to others

Brings the best out of people

Manages upwards, capable of influencing business direction when needed


  1. Stakeholder management

Builds and fosters critical relationships with peers, internally and externally

Able to flex communication style

Recognises drivers and goals of other business areas

Approaches business issues as one leadership team – no them and us

Reverts back to business goals and data when unsure of right path

Able to flex to different regional cultural preferences



  1. Commercial thinking

Shows a clear focus on an organisation’s customers and a desire to understand their needs

Maintains a clear understanding of market and business dynamics

Understands the clear link between supply chain success and business success

Builds supply chain strategy aligned to business need

Comfortable with budgeting processes

Speaks in terms of the value that their supply chain has brought to their organisation,showing evidence that they seek to maximise that value

Maintains a knowledge of supply chain trends and innovation that could add value to their supply chain


  1. Analytical skills

Understands how to convert supply chain priorities and goals into metrics that drive thosr priorities and goals

Shows evidence of a “flexible toolkit” of metrics that can be applied to any supply chain

Provides evidence that their supply chain is data driven

Displays the ability to interpret data and other inputs into sound business decisions


  1. Problem-solving

Recognises that their role requires problem solving as well as big-picture strategic thinking.

Spots issues before they become bigger problems, whether it is a challenge they have experienced before or not

Builds remedial action plans and ensures they are followed through

Knows when and how to take personal action when required


  1. Change management

Able to build a business case for or against a certain change program within supply chain

Builds action plans that convert top level goals into tangible elements

Shows the ability to build relevant project teams

Mitigates against and plans for operational disruption associated to change

Understands the impact of change on different people and enables cultural acceptance of change

Maintains communication of change across relevant groups

  1. Continuous improvement mindset

A growth mindset to their own personal development

Champions continuous improvements mindset across their teams to enable continuous improvement ideas to come from grass roots upwards

Displays natural inquisition that gets to the root cause of an issue

Constantly interested in understanding why and how things are done

Can apply prior experience and knowledge to new situations that lead to improvements

Shows creativity and innovation to allow new ways of looking at things

​Did we miss any important skills? Email us on: hello@pod-talent.com