This isn’t the first time we’ve talked about leadership on Molecule to Market, but as great leaders are always learning, we felt it was important to revisit the topic with some fresh perspectives.
The road to leadership
The general consensus is that the road to leadership is rarely short and without hurdles. While many leadership traits are innate, the reality is that leadership is not arrived at easily, requiring aspiring leaders to roll up their sleeves, put in a lot of time, and make plenty of sacrifices along the way.
Alexa… ‘how do I lead?’
You won’t have to search far for a plethora of textbooks and how-to guides on leadership. Much of the knowledge leaders acquire is gleaned through lessons derived through experience rather than instruction. There are few if any shortcuts and most leaders will tell you a Google search or assist from Alexa won’t get you there faster.
Great leaders have the humility to recognize that their ascent to leadership was not achieved within a vacuum. Most are keen to reflect on the invaluable personal and professional guidance and mentorship that has contributed to their development and influenced their leadership philosophy.
But what makes leadership so crucial?
According to a recent survey, developing the next generation of leaders is the top challenge for 55% of CEOs. So it’s lucky that our host Raman and his guests know a bit about this firsthand!
The life science and drug development space is multifaceted and ever-changing, with new complexities and challenges presented constantly. So, how does a great leader emerge?
Everyone has a fresh perspective on what makes a great leader and there are no right or wrong answers – but there are a few recurring themes that are worth mentioning.
Any leader will tell you that you need to inspire people, which requires empathy and an understanding of their motivations – you need to get to the root of what makes people tick.
Reinforcing shared commitments and ambition builds genuine connections with the people around you and earns respect. But that’s not all. A successful business leader also exhibits accountability and courage in the face of adversity. A leader is a trusted advisor who communicates with clarity and transparency. They are adaptable and unafraid to try something different; recognizing that often there is value in exploring new solutions to problems.
The ultimate goal for a leader is not centered on affirming their position at the top of an organization’s hierarchy. A great leader takes pride in developing those around them, identifying and maximizing their strengths, passing on transferable skills, and building an engaged and motivated team. Longevity in leadership means knowing we all rise by lifting others.
Live as a leader
Our host Raman knows a thing or two about leadership. His passion and knowledge of the outsourcing sector took him from being a freelancer to establishing ramarketing from his own bedroom. Today he runs a £multi-million global agency and in doing so has become a respected leader boasting a worldwide following. Read more about Raman’s leadership journey here.
In episode 43 Steve Ferguson, Chief Executive Officer at Medix Biochemica gives great leadership advice as he speaks about what it means to be a humble leader, and how his grounded upbringing gave him an early respect for the strength of women and gender equality, as well as the importance of having fun, enjoying yourself, and making a difference at work.
One final note
While there are many common characteristics among successful leaders, we know that each leader’s path and experience is quite unique. We predict that what our guests have shared will resonate with you to some degree as you navigate your own leadership journey.