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Procurement Perspectives: During this pandemic, there is no substitute for hard work

Stephen Bauld
Procurement Perspectives: During this pandemic, there is no substitute for hard work

As we all manoeuvre through these difficult times, it requires ingenuity, creativity and hard work to keep companies and other organizations moving forward until the vaccine is widely distributed.

I have seen some very creative new ideas implemented in procurement to stabilize case flow, while at the same time creating new cost saving initiatives.

Many people spend their entire life searching for the secret of life and never discover the obvious answer, it is simply hard work. Life is the only thing of value that people get for nothing. Everything else worth having takes hard work or as I mentioned in a previous column, incredible luck.

Unfortunately, it is sometimes hard to come by. For most people, it is necessary to rely on their own efforts.

The willingness to put in extraordinary effort during COVID-19 to keep your organization afloat is the most important characteristic we can all bring to the table. Talking to my procurement colleagues we are constantly collaborating on new concepts that will have a profound impact on getting our respective organizations through this pandemic.

This extra effort should shore up all the negative influences that have hit everyone during this period in history.

This philosophy should be replicated throughout all levels of management within your organization.

Failure has often been described as the path of lease persistence. If so, hard work is the corrective.

There are many more highly talented people in this world than there are great success stories. Just about everyone can rhyme off a list of names of people who they knew in school, who played on the same sports team, or who started with the company at the same time, who once showed great promise and who nevertheless got nowhere.

As a general rule, it takes little effort to show promise of outstanding performance; it can take a great deal of effort to live up to that promise.

Unless it is backed up by actual effort, the appearance of ability is often no more than a false promise.

It would be unfair to say that all, or perhaps even the vast majority, of the talented people who fall by the wayside do so because of a lack of hard work. But there are certainly a good number of failures who do fail for this reason.

During this pandemic and the repercussions of this last incredibly difficult year, it would be easy to get discouraged and give up.

On the other hand, this is the time to step up and shine. I talk to so many people every week that have been devastated as a result of COVID, both on a personal and a professional level. When I was young, my father would say to me during difficult times “this too shall pass.” Even though he has been gone for many years, I am counting on that advice as we move into 2021.

For maximum benefit, hard work must be steady and sustained from the beginning of a task to its completion.

No matter how far ahead in a game, a wise coach continues to push it as if there is still a serious chance of losing.

Those who prefer the easier path in life generally only succeed in making things harder for themselves in the long run.

Hard work does not guarantee success, but becoming a success without a great deal of hard work is exceedingly difficult. Furthermore, even the lucky few who manage to succeed despite their own lack of sustained effort, would almost always have been even more successful if they put in just a little more effort.

The ability to work in an industrious manner is an essential precondition to sustained success. It also helps if you are working in a job that you love to do every day.

Stephen Bauld is a government procurement expert and can be reached at Some of his columns may contain excerpts from The Municipal Procurement Handbook published by Butterworths.

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