Tag Archives: procurement influencers

How To “Flip” Fear As A Driver To Greater Influence

Everyone – without exception – lives with fear. But only a few know that fear and anxiety can be turned to your advantage. Influence guru Julie Masters discusses the keys to dealing with fear with former Navy SEAL Brandon Webb.

Whether we’re in critical negotiations with suppliers, asking for a raise at work or presenting in front of our peers, fear is one of those unwanted emotions that we find ourselves encountering all too often.

Like it or not though, fear is something we have to deal with, and the sooner we can make it work for us, the more effective and influential we can be in our own lives.

Recently I was fortunate enough to interview Brandon Webb on the Inside Influence podcast to talk about doing just that.

Webb is a former US Navy SEAL sniper who worked as an experimental aircraft pilot, helicopter Search & Rescue swimmer and an Aviation Warfare Systems Operator.

After completing four deployments to the Middle East, you would be forgiven for assuming that Webb is as close as they come to being fearless.

It’s surprising to learn then, that Webb had to deal with his own fears and anxieties throughout his entire military career, gradually teaching himself how to identify and change the conversation that took place in his head.

Webb has since left the military and has gone on to become a successful entrepreneur and New York Times bestselling author, sharing the journey he has had with fear and the methods he has used to overcome it in his book Mastering Fear.

Webb’s message is applicable to anyone facing fear, no matter the context – whether it’s being involved in a life-or-death situation, or standing up in front of work colleagues to deliver a presentation.

Here are Webb’s five tips on mastering fear to increase your influence.

Redirect the momentum

If you see fear as the enemy, you’ve already lost.

Fear can never be overcome, beaten, or evaded. The feeling of fear is part of our physiology and treating it as an adversary will only set you up for failure.

Rather than treating fear as a wall that you need to break through, Webb suggests using the power of fear as a force to harness and redirect.

Try to observe and acknowledge the feelings that come up – the adrenaline, the nerves, the tension – and use those feelings to propel you to achieve the task that’s in front of you.

It’s the difference between telling yourself “I’m not scared”, versus admitting “I am scared, but I’m going to use these feelings to help me move through this situation.”

Imagine what you could achieve if you stopped fearing fear itself. How many times would you put your hand up to speak? Offer your expertise or ideas? Request that seat at the table – confidently backed up with all the reasons you can add significant value?

Flip the mental switch

We’ve all been told that staying at our peak is more about mindset than it is about our physical state, and mastering fear is no different.

Monitoring, recognising and changing your internal dialogue – the mental chatter in your own head – is a key step in mastering fear.

This often involves taking a step back from the situation that’s brought up those feelings, recognising those feelings for what they are, and making a conscious decision to take a different direction rather than remaining overwhelmed.

Despite what we may think about what it takes to be a Navy SEAL, Webb points out that mastering fear isn’t about being stronger, tougher or more aggressive. It’s simply about being able to change the conversation going on in your head – something anybody can do. 

The most influential people I have ever met – in industries, politics and organisations – all have that ability in spades. The ability to identify the internal story that keeps them – or their idea – on the sidelines. Then shift it to one of empowerment.

As a place to start, ask yourself these questions: What currently stops me from making the highest value contribution I could make to this space / industry / conversation? What would be the first step in letting that story go? How would I feel if I did?

Use the charge

A typical adrenaline rush (a hormonal symptom of fear) can briefly turn us into superhumans – our heart rate increases, our blood pressure spikes, we can take in more air, and our blood is quickly redistributed to our muscles for increased strength.

Webb likens these physical changes to a “static charge” that can be harnessed to electrify rather than paralyse us.

Successful procurement professionals proactively seek out this charge as one of nature’s best tools to sharpen their abilities when they’re under pressure, especially in tough negotiation settings.

Harnessing this energy is a great way to take fear and proactively use it to move forward, rather than remaining paralysed when the going gets tough.

So the next time you feel the charge – stop, feel it – and then consciously decide to channel it as the super human burst of energy it was designed to be.

Use fear in rehearsal

When Webb was working as a search and rescue helicopter pilot, he very nearly lost his life when a mission went wrong.

One of the two pilots he was on a flight with suddenly suffered from vertigo, dropping the helicopter from altitude and plunging its bottom half into the ocean.

The pilot was overwhelmed by fear – unable to act or respond to the crew screaming at him to regain altitude.

The co-pilot, however, was able to calmly lift the helicopter out of the water and back into the air, saving the lives of Webb and the other crew members.

Webb’s theory is that the panicked pilot had, until that point, rarely experienced a level of adversity or stress throughout his life – that would have allowed him to work through the situation in his head. He had effectively ‘frozen up’.

His co-pilot however, had come from a lifetime of adversity. He had been bullied at school when he was younger and had grown up having to mentally work through his fears in order to carry on successfully.

Webb recommends that even people who have led a comparably stress-free life can artificially rehearse the feeling of fear – by role-playing frightening situations and having to move through a level of decision-making to get to an effective outcome.

You might be familiar with role-playing at work – usually practicing ideal scenarios – but how many of us role play difficult scenarios? Where we’re really challenged to make tough decisions and actually work through our fears?

So what now?

While we’re all undoubtedly going to experience fear throughout our lives – especially in the quest to become more influential. The tools that we have on hand to deal with that experience can make all the difference when it comes to cracking under pressure or rallying successfully.

So as a first step – start recognising fear as an energy source that can be harnessed, that we can make work for us in incredible and unlimited ways. If you can master that – you will have truly ‘flipped’ the power of fear to your advantage.


Like what you’re reading? As a procurement or supply chain professional, we truly value your opinion. And that’s why we want you to tell us what you want (what you really, really want) to see on Procurious. Click here to take our ten-minute survey and help us, help you!

7 Procurious Influencers Who Are Smashing Modern Slavery

Not all heroes wear capes! But surely there are few people more deserving of a superhero’s recognition than the procurement pros fighting against modern slavery day in, day out….?

Last week, a heavy-hitting list of 100 modern-day abolitionists was splashed across social media following the 2018 Annual UK Top 100 Corporate Modern Slavery Influencers’ Index Recognition Dinner in London – and the team at Procurious was delighted to see at least seven Procurious members featured in the Index.

Developed by BRE and Sustain Worldwide, the #Top100Index recognises individuals from all business sectors, media and academia who are influential leaders in raising awareness to end modern slavery and labour exploitation; those who advocate for robust ethical sourcing and human rights recognition and practices in UK direct business operations and global supply chains.

The Index was based on a combination of influence on social media (as measured by Klout scores) and advocacy – policy impact, speaking and media engagements – in public life, aggregated via a proprietary algorithm and verified by an independent panel.

Influence is the key word here. While only a few of the Top 100 would be physically involved in busting modern-day slavery at the coalface, this group is arguably making a greater impact through addressing the source of the problem by raising public awareness and getting cut-through with he decision-makers in government and business who can really make a difference.

Procurement and supply management is well-represented in the Top 100, even though the scope of the award went well beyond this profession. This proves, once again, that any efforts to eradicate modern slavery must involve – and often be spearheaded by – procurement and supply professionals.   

Who are the Procurious members in the #Top100Index?

Congratulations to the following members of our online community. Connect with these highly influential professionals here on Procurious by following the links below.

  1. Andrew Wallis OBE of UnSeenUK
  2. Andy Davies of Greater London Authority (GLA) Group
  3. Dax Lovegrove of Swarovski
  4. Katie Jacobs of Supply Management
  5. Professor Jacqueline Glass of Loughborough University
  6. Rob Knott of Virtualstock
  7. Olinga Ta’eed, Entrepreneur

More from Olinga Ta’eed on Procurious:

In other news this week:

Deadline Passes with no renegotiated NAFTA

  • Parties to the NAFTA renegotiations have failed to reach a deal before the Congressional deadline of May 17 passed last week.
  • The deadline was in place due to the upcoming Mexican presidential election, which may introduce a new set of variables depending on the winner’s stance on trade.
  • US House Speaker Paul Ryan has said Congress is willing to vote on a deal within a few weeks, but commentators predict the negotiations are likely to drag on into next year.

Read more: https://www.supplychaindive.com/news/NAFTA-May-17-deadline-talks-extend/523811/

Gig economy in the spotlight

  • New research has revealed the explosive growth of the gig economy in the UK since 2010, with ‘non-employer businesses’ (businesses that only hire on a gig-by-gig basis) growing by 8,431% in the transportation and storage sector, and 1,464% in the accommodation and food service sector.
  • The number of self-employed people in the UK has risen by 41% since 2001, with 15% of the UK labour force classed as self-employed last year. The private sector has seen a 25% increase in non-employer businesses since 2010.
  • Recommendations from the Taylor Review of the gig economy include ensuring a balance between worker’s rights and those that are self-employed, sectoral strategies to ensure people do not face insecurity, and stronger incentives for firms to treat “dependent contractors” fairly.

Read more: https://www.premierline.co.uk/knowledge-centre/the-gig-economy.html

US-China Trade War “On Hold”

  • China and the US have agreed to drop tariff threats while working on a wider trade agreement, according to US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.
  • Washington has demanded that China narrows the $US335 billion annual US goods and services trade deficit and has proposed tariffs of $US50 billion on Chinese goods. China responded with its own measures targeting US agriculture.
  • The two economies have reportedly agreed to set up a framework for addressing trade imbalances in the future.

Read more: Washington Post

Who Are Procurement’s Most Influential Thinkers?

The Big Ideas Summit 2016 brings together some of procurement’s most influential thinkers to discuss the future of the profession.

Influential Thinkers

The Big Ideas Summit 2016 will take place in London on the 21st of April. Procurious have invited around 50 the most influential thinkers from the world of procurement, supply chain, media and technology to discuss the future of the profession.

Just in case you’ve missed all the announcements (where have you been?!), you can catch up on all the details you need here.

Our influential thinkers and thought leaders will be tackling a number of Big Ideas, including unthinkable events, social and sustainable procurement, technological megatrends, and many more, during a packed day full of interviews, debates and panel sessions. 

The good news for all of our Procurious members is that we’ll be capturing all of the day’s events on video. This means you’ll be able to watch all the discussions as they unfolded on the day, and make sure that you don’t miss a single minute.

Taking Part

The Big Ideas Summit is open to all Procurious members. It doesn’t matter where you are in the world, we want you to help shape the agenda. Register your attendance in our Procurious Big Ideas 2016 Group.

On Twitter? You can also submit your questions by tweeting us @procurious_ using the hashtag: #BigIdeas2016

For more information about the day head on over to our bespoke event site at www.bigideassummit.com.

Who are some of the 2016 Influential Thinkers?

Tom Derry – Institute for Supply Management

Tom DerryTom Derry is CEO of the Institute for Supply Management (ISM) in Arizona. Prior to this, he spent nine years as COO with the Association for Financial Professionals (AFP), a US$23 million professional association serving 17,000 corporate treasury and finance professionals.

Tom is chairman and president of ISM Services, the for-profit consulting arm of ISM, a member of the Dean’s Council for the W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University, and is a member of the board of directors of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM).

Chris Sawchuk – The Hackett Group

Chris SawchukChris Sawchuk is Principal & Global Procurement Advisory Practice Leader at The Hackett Group. He has nearly 20 years of experience in supply management, working directly with Fortune 500 and mid-sized companies around the globe and in a variety of industries to improve all aspects of procurement, including process redesign, technology enablement, operations strategy planning, organisational change and strategic sourcing.

Gabe Perez – Coupa

Gabe PerezGabe Perez is Vice President of Strategy and Market Development at Coupa. He is responsible for emerging market development and analyst relations, and evangelising for Coupa across the globe. Prior to his five years at Coupa,  he worked at Ariba where he participated in many global rollouts of their software.

Lucy Siegle – The Observer

Lucy Siegle - True CostLucy Siegle is a journalist and broadcaster. In her written work she specialises in environmental and social justice issues and ethical consumerism, and is devoted to widening their appeal. She joined The Observer in 2000 and created the Observer Ethical Awards (OEAs), dubbed the Green Oscars. Now in their eighth year, Lucy chairs and presents the final awards.

Lucy was also Executive Producer on The True Cost, a film highlighting the major in sustainability and worker rights issues in the global fashion supply chain.

Peter Holbrook – Social Enterprise

Peter HolbrookPeter Holbrook is chief executive of Social Enterprise UK, the national body for social enterprise and a membership organisation supporting social enterprise advocacy and development within the UK and across the world. Under Peter’s leadership SEUK was a critical proposer, supporter and advocate of the Public Services (Social Value) Act, a private members bill which was entered onto statute in 2012.

Peter was recognised for services to social enterprise with a CBE in the 2015 New Year honours list.

Dapo Ajayi – AstraZeneca

Dapo AjayiDapo has enjoyed a long career with AstraZeneca, holding a variety of senior Operations and Commercial roles. In April 2014 Dapo assumed the role of AZ Chief Procurement Officer accountable for the company’s external spend and supplier base across the end to end value chain. She has a pharmacy degree and is a member of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain.

Martin Chilcott – 2degrees

Martin ChilcottMartin is the founder and CEO of 2degrees – the world’s leading collaboration platform and service. He helps business leaders in major global brands including Unilever, Asda Walmart, GSK and the Royal Bank of Scotland, to think differently about how to adopt the principles of sustainable business and use collaboration to transform the resilience, profitability and competitiveness of their operations and whole value chain.

Lucy Harding – Odgers Berndston

Lucy HardingLucy Harding is a Partner and Head of the Global Procurement & Supply Chain Practice at Odgers Berndtson based in London. Lucy has significant experience operating in the procurement and supply chain search environment following 10 years operating in a leading boutique firm. Lucy is also a member of the Advisory Board for the Supply Chain Faculty at Cranfield University.

Elizabeth Linder – Facebook EMEA

Elizabeth LinderElizabeth Linder is Facebook’s Politics & Government Specialist and brand ambassador for the Europe, Middle East & Africa region. As the founder and head of her division in EMEA, Elizabeth trains and advises politicians, government officials, civil society leaders, and diplomats on using Facebook to effectively communicate with citizens.

Tania Seary – Procurious

Tania SearyTania is the Founding Chairman of three companies specialising in the development of the procurement profession – The Faculty, The Source and Procurious.

Four years ago, Tania founded The Source, a specialist recruitment firm for the procurement profession. In 2013 she moved to London and founded Procurious, the world’s first online community for procurement professionals to connect, share and learn. Since it’s launch in May 2014, Procurious has already attracted more than 12,500 members from 140+ countries worldwide.

These are just a selection of the influential thinkers from the world of procurement and supply chain who will be appearing at Big Ideas 2016.

If you’re interested in finding out more, visit www.bigideassummit.com, join our Procurious group, and Tweet your thoughts and Big Ideas to us using #BigIdeas2016.

Don’t miss out on this truly excellent event and the chance to participate in discussions that will shape the future of the procurement profession. Get Involved, register today.