How open are you to change? One CPO’s unique journey from finance to HR to purchasing by Roz Usheroff

Posted on June 18, 2013


Editor’s Note: The following post originally appeared in Roz Usheroff’s The Remarkable Leader blog under the title Dubai Travel Journal (Part 2): Adaptable Brilliance . . . Denise’s Story.

As far as I am concerned, one of the best examples of being open to trying something new is reflected in the following excerpt from my new book The Future of You! Creating Your Enduring Brand.

While the story of Denise talks about being your own best PR person, the underlining message is that a willingness to embrace change and try something new – in Denise’s case this meant accepting a position for which she had little prior experience – will almost always open the door to opportunities that you might have otherwise missed.

Like Mikey . . . are you willing to try something new?

Like Mikey . . . are you willing to try something new?

Denise is the Chief Procurement Officer with a major corporation.  Founded by one of the world’s leading entrepreneurs, whose enterprises have included professional sports teams and international retail chains, the company with whom she works is a recognized brand the world over.

Over the past 16 years Denise has had many different bosses.  Despite these changes at the top, Denise has been successful because she has been open to leveraging her Unique Ability to assume the leadership role within different areas of her company including finance, HR, and now purchasing.

To me she exemplifies the importance of volunteering for important projects, building an effective rapport with her bosses, and being willing to mentor and coach those with whom she works.

Having had the opportunity to share a cab with her to the airport from a speaking engagement in which she was in attendance, I was moved by her calm and certain demeanor that seemed to accentuate the very adaptability that has led to her enduring success.

Now you might ask yourself what Denise’s story has to do with how you can become your own best PR person. Similar to those executives about whom I talked in my Personal Reflection earlier in this chapter, Denise recognized that while changes at the top can and obviously do happen, her success in promoting her brand value was based on a solid understanding of the organization’s inner workings. When confronted with a change in management and company goals, Denise looked for ways in which she could become a champion of that change, even if doing so meant that she had to move outside of her apparent comfort zone.

In short, Denise realized that the new skills that were needed to play a different role in her company’s success could be acquired through listening and building a rapport with both existing as well as new team members. It is through this rapport and relationship-building process that Denise did her best PR work. And by adopting this attitude of service as opposed to being defined by a particular position, Denise established her reputation as a go-to person who could be counted on to take on the tough jobs and deliver the results.

There are of course many examples similar to Denise’s to which I could refer. I can remember the story of a very successful sales executive taking a management position in his company’s service department. When asked why he had volunteered to pursue this seemingly “new” career path his response said it all; “this new challenge will give me the opportunity to demonstrate to my company that I can play multiple roles in the organization’s success. I believe that this will increase my value to the team, while making me a better overall employee.”

What opportunities do you have, to move outside of the familiar to embrace something new and in the process advance both your career as well as your personal brand’s perceived value?