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What are Procurement’s Four Most Desirable Character Traits?

What is the difference between a good procurement professional and a great one? What are procurement’s most desirable character traits? We’ve talked about soft skills in the past and thought further research was necessary.

Based on an industry-wide poll sponsored by Procurement Foundry and Sourcing Solved, this brief identifies top procurement professionals’ four common and most valued traits and why they are valued as high as they are.

A snippet from the report:

Defining Procurement’s Most Desirable Character Traits

Before we can analyze and understand the results, a quick primer on the meaning of each character trait is in order. 

In order of poll response priority, here is a breakdown of each trait meaning:


In its simplest form, proactivity or being proactive is taking the initiative to recognize and solve a problem before action is needed. In short, it is solving a problem before it is a problem. 

Later in the report it said:

Out of 1,291 votes cast in the poll, “proactivity” received the greatest number of votes, yet was talked about the least. There was a total of 160 comments, Of those, only three referred to proactivity or the importance of being proactive.

One person suggested that “Proactivity is a culmination of all the other traits,” while another wondered, “How can you be proactive without being resilient or creative?”

A third respondent suggests that while all four traits are interconnected – one feeding off the other, “the one which nay drive the most efficient result remains  for me to be proactive.”


Perhaps it is self-explanatory, but we will define it anyway – a strong desire to learn something.

Curious about the rest of the character traits in the poll report? Some of the results are surprising. To discover procurement’s most desirable character traits, get the thought provoking paper. 

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