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SOAR Story #14 - Standing Ground

Back in August 2020, I posted a blog about SOAR stories. SOAR stories are a fantastic way to reflect on Situations that seemed challenging at the time because of certain Obstacles. In order to succeed, you took Action and the Result was something you can be proud of, and which contributed to who you are today. It built character.

You many think that these stories mean nothing. After all, they are just stories. However, ALL stories have a meaning; ALL stories disclose something about the characters in them. The character-traits are what keep people interested and yearning for more.

The story is only one part of what makes doing this exercise valuable. The more important part is rediscovering who you are at your core and what attributes distinguish you from others when faced with challenges.

I'd like to continue sharing some of my personal SOAR stories and the characteristics that they exhibit.

What are some of your SOAR stories? If you can't see your inner #basass, we can work together to rediscover it! I'd love to hear them and publish them on this blog!


I was tasked with finding ways to save money and drive compliancy when engaging with 3rd party suppliers of engineering services. The CVP requested that I partner with Legal, Compliance and Global Procurement to create a solution. Together with the procurement organization, we created a Global Service Center (GSC) program. This program would limit the number of vendors who could be used for engineering services. An RFI was conducted with over 40 suppliers and a deep analysis was conducted to choose only six vendors who had the quality, competency and rates to achieve our goal. Legal helped us draft the contracts and the procurement organization and I conducted the negotiations and vetting of suppliers.

If a project owner chose to work with one of the six suppliers, no additional scrutiny was required. If he chose to work with a vendor outside of the chosen GSC supplier, he would need to submit a written justification and get VP approval.

One of my stakeholders was conducting an RFP for a particular project. He narrowed it down to three suppliers, one of which was not GSC. This stakeholder had a personal relationship with the President of one of non-GSC supplier gave the President verbal confirmation that they would be winning the deal. This supplier went so far as to hire new resources in time to onboard.

The problem was that the stakeholders who were responsible for delivery of services were still vetting the different suppliers; and a verbal commitment was against company policy, and against the sourcing process which was documented a year earlier.

Ultimately, one of the GSC suppliers was awarded the business, based on merit, competency, cost and working history.

The President of the defeated company threatened to sue since he had already hired resources for this engagement.

I decided to deal with the issue directly and took two corrective actions:

  1. I sent an email to the President of the defeated company to remind him of the Vendor Guidelines that he agreed to in the Master Agreement, and

  2. I had a discussion with the stakeholder who tried to go outside the process and followed up with his GM in case the issue was escalated.

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