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The Effective Contractor

Published: 4 years ago

“Becoming a reliable resource is one of my key goals,” says Michael Lorenti, highlighting one of the main objectives in his 100 day plan.  Recently accepting a Contract Commercial Manager role with AMP, Michael shares his perspective on how contractors can effectively implement a plan to stay motivated in a new role.

After working in government procurement for 5 years, Michael decided to embark on a new challenge transferring his skills into a private sector. “I am really excited about joining AMP and being part of an innovative Australian procurement team,” shared Michael.

We caught up with Michael to find out more about how he stays motivated in a contract role, what has contributed to his success so far, and what he perceives to be the most important aspect of a strong procurement team.

The first 100 days with a new employer are the key to a long and successful career. Commencing in a contract role, how do you implement a plan that will keep you motivated, particularly for a short term contract?
My approach has always been to be a motivated and valued team member regardless if it’s a short term or permanent role. Essentially, people will make judgements on first impressions and therefore, this is a great opportunity to set a high standard.

My focus is to have high energy and dedication that is channelled in the right way. I believe it is necessary to demonstrate early that you are approachable and that you are comfortable with open communication, that you are a good listener and are willing to work hard to learn and provide value.

Becoming a reliable resource is one of my key goals and this will only come from consistently being approachable, provide timely and high quality work, be willing to help out anyone in the team regardless of the task, and take advantage of opportunities when they arise. I’ve found that people who are more valued look for opportunities and don’t wait for them.

Do you have a mentor who provides you with career advice? If so, what valuable advice have they given you and how has it contributed to the success of your career?
My mentor is my first Assistant Director who provides me with great support and really challenges me professionally and personally. I contact him regularly to discuss how we are both progressing and it’s always refreshing to hear an independent opinion.
The key advice I’ve been given is:

  • Listen and communicate; in that order.
  • Consider your target audience; understand people’s drivers –  what’s in it for them?
  • Don’t assume that people are aware of or understand issues.
  • Be prepared and organised so you can be more reliable and flexible to support people.
  • Always offer recommendations and options.

The most recent advice I’ve been given is to ensure that I consider what the key milestones are that I have achieved and what value they have provided to my stakeholders. This will ensure I continue to focus on being a reliable and valued resource.

What do you perceive to be the most important aspect of a strong procurement team in today’s cut throat world?
Communication is central to a high functioning team. A strong team must be able to support each other, be aware of who needs help and can help. This allows timeframes to be met and a team culture to be formed.

To achieve this consistently, I believe team members need a clear strategy that they can work towards, align with and buy into. Once the strategy has been established, communication and being approachable needs to be encouraged so that the team can build trust and discuss issues and tasks with each other.