Sure, technological advances, industry knowledge and collaboration all play an important role in achieving this goal, but it's the talent we develop within our organizations that will take us to the promised land of exceptional supply chain excellence. Successful logistics leaders are focusing on talent management, as they realize this is critical for delivering long-term value to their companies. We, as leaders, need to continually coach, nurture and provide continuity to the future stars of the profession.
A very important point to remember is that there's no substitute for interpersonal skills. These skills are becoming increasingly important in today's global marketplace. Much of what is accomplished in businesses today is done within task forces and cross-functional teams. The ability to create and sustain collaborative relationships inside your company, as well as with key external supply chain participants, is extremely crucial to your career as a leader and the value you bring to your company.
Rick Blasgen, Senior vice president of integrated logistics, ConAgra Foods Inc., Omaha, NE Experience: Began his career with Nabisco and moved through the ranks to become vice president of supply chain in 1998. He became vice president of supply chain for Kraft Foods in 2002 and joined ConAgra Foods in 2003.