Tuning into so many captivating conversations from leading professionals in the pharma and biotech industry has provided a wealth of valuable career and leadership tips, alongside inspirational advice that translates across so many personal and professional lives.
It is no coincidence that inspiring leaders share several key traits. At Molecule to Market we have listened back to some of the most memorable podcast episodes and compiled a rundown of leadership traits from the best of the best.
Enjoy our top 5 rundown and recap recommendations!
Top 5 Leadership Traits
1. Being brave
Across our back catalogue of podcast episodes almost all the leaders interviewed talked about the importance of taking risks, being prepared to fail, learning lessons from failure, and remaining open minded.
A great example of bravery can be heard in Episode 46, ‘The unique general’ where Andrew Moore from Pfizer CentreOne discusses the lifelong leadership lessons he developed during his time serving in the U.S. Army and the importance of pushing yourself outside of your comfort zone.
What we’ve learned is that bravery doesn’t come cheap. It’s coupled with uncertainty, risk and pressure from those around you. The rewards definitely outweigh the risks though, something the leaders in this sector have taught us. In the end, you’ll stand out and grow personally and professionally.
2. Getting comfortable with being uncomfortable
Transitioning from the shopfloor or lab and going from scientist to leader, or sales to CEO is not uncommon in life sciences. Our leaders do not always follow an obvious career path with most seeking to stretch themselves outside their comfort zones to grow and be better. Pushing themselves (and others) out of their natural skillset and getting comfortable with being uncomfortable often leads to interesting, enjoyable, and successful careers.
Jarlath Keating from ABL inc. talks about ‘leaning into risk and backing yourself through belief and hard work.’ In Episode 37, ‘From Teesside Uni to global leader’. Hear him talk about 25 years of global life science industry experience and the importance of leaders building knowledge across the whole business.
What have we learned? That pushing yourself out of your comfort zone will ultimately lead to growth, as painful as it may seem at the time. For us, it’s a key contributor of the successful leaders we have had the pleasure of speaking with.
3. Building a better team around you
So many of our episodes feature leaders talking about hiring people who compliment their weaknesses. Great leaders are unafraid of admitting weaknesses and openly acknowledge what they are not good at in order to address issues, overcome them and surround themselves with talent. Being humble and self-reflective goes hand-in-hand with this approach and many successful leaders have demonstrated success by building better teams around them.
Listen to Episode 41, ‘Creating a healthy culture’ where you will hear Jeff Dill at Vynamic talking about his approach to servant leadership philosophy and the drive and transparency needed to create a more diverse and inclusive workforce. Or, catch Episode 29, ‘The CDMO disrupter’ and hear Tia Lyles-Williams from LucasPye Bio speaking about ‘creating a new breed of CDMOs that are highly digital, leaner, faster, cheaper, and more transparent with a social conscience….’
Our key takeaway? It is okay not to be good at everything. We’re all human and it is natural that we are stronger at certain skills than others. What do the ones that stand out in a crowded market do? Admit those wonderful flaws and find people that can fill those gaps, leaving you to do what you’re brilliant at – leading.
4. Embracing change
Our A-Z of episodes teaches us that leaders embrace change. Whether it’s changes in the market, in their team or the industry, most made bold moves and were eager to accept change, to test different methods and to adapt quickly.
Hear from Megan Greth and Tadgh Prendeville at ARx LLC in Episode 38, ‘Expanding drug dosage possibilities’ where they discuss the ‘career ride’ and learning to not sweat the small stuff and to ride out any storms.
The pharma and biotech industry is changing now more than ever before. So, be ready to embrace change and look for new ways to adapt your business to suit.
5. Finding passion inside & outside your profession
Leaders are passionate people, and our interviews take you outside the professional persona and into personal lives to discover what makes leaders tick. From a love of wine and cigars, to travel, family time and fitness – our leaders often enjoy the goods things in life, with most citing family and friends as their key driver. Enjoying your job and remaining focussed on your purpose appears fundamental, with the majority of leaders prioritising having fun and enjoying all aspects of your life.
Listen to Marco Chiado’ Piat at Terumo Pharmaceutical Solutions in Episode 32, ‘Marathons. Wine. And 30 years in healthcare’, where he reflects on the importance of passion and liking what you do as important pillars for serving your purpose. He also explains how running marathons and ultra-marathons have helped to train his body for resistance and his mind for resilience.
The takeaway? It’s okay to have both a personal and professional life and often, it’s healthier to have a balance.
And there you have it folks, the take-away leadership traits our interviewees all demonstrated – all valuable lessons for leaders and future leaders whether you work inside or outside pharma and biotech. We hope you enjoyed the summary and that you’ll make some time to tune in to our recommended episodes. Don’t forget you can re-listen to our full A-Z of episodes here.
Until next time – be brave, embrace change and have fun inside and outside the outsourcing sector.