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Choosing A Life Partner, More Or Less

By Art van Bodegraven | 10/12/2011 | 1:24 PM

The seven-year old put it into high gear this week. Asked what qualities were important in a girlfriend, he named, without hesitation: 1) the ability to recite the Pledge of Allegiance; 2) willingness to break the rules; 3) being a good listener; 4) getting good grades; and, 5) intelligence.

Asked about beauty, he scoffed that the pretty ones were those who chased the boys around and gave them a hard time. Disclosure: second grade wasn't nearly that exciting when I was wearing short pants. But, he has once again hit upon deeper meanings.

His criteria seem to have direct parallels in what we ought to be looking for in supply chain partners, whether service providers or other links in the farm-to-fork, mine-to-manufacture chain.

To take his points in sequence, we should prize: 1) loyalty and commitment; 2) thoughtful risk-taking; 3) strong and empathetic communications; 4) results and achievement orientation, hitting performance targets; and, 5) being smart enough to be both analytic and creative. And, by the way, if all the partner has to offer is superficial attractiveness, get your red flags out of storage - the deal won't last beyond the first blush of infatuation.

Think about it. A little kid with a half-formed brain and missing a few teeth has condensed a book's worth of instruction into six simple points. I've got to stay close to him; he's going to be a force in this supply chain world once he gets beyond grammar school.

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About Art van Bodegraven

Art van Bodegraven

Art van Bodegraven (1939 - 2017) was Managing Principal of the van Bodegraven Associates consultancy and Founding Principal of Discovery Executive Services, which develops and delivers supply chain educational programs. He was formerly Chair of the Supply Chain Group AG, Partner at The Progress Group LLC, Development Executive at CSCMP, Practice Leader with S4 Consulting, and a Managing Director in Coopers & Lybrand's consulting practice. Concentrating in supply chain management and logistics for over 20 years in his 50+ year business career, he has led ground-breaking strategic, operational, and educational projects for leading US and global clients. Art was principal co-author of DC Velocity's Basic Training monthly column for a decade, and was the principal co-author, with Ken Ackerman, of Fundamentals of Supply Chain Management, the definitive primer in the field. His popular blog, The Art of Art, has been a staple of DC Velocity's web site since its inception.


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