Pharmaceutical Executive Europe - April 2007 - (Page 8)

The Cycle of Success Succeeding at the most senior levels of our industry requires an astute understanding of the changing seasons of a pharma career, writes Dan White. W hat makes for leadership success in pharma? I get asked this a lot, but there is no easy answer. I am lucky enough to work with people at all levels in Big Pharma, and what makes for success changes as people progress through their career. This article looks at two things: first, the key phases in a successful pharma career, and what development matters at these different phases; second, those things that stay the same — what is crucial from the first day to the last. I like to think of a career in pharma as having four key seasons: winter, spring, summer and autumn. chemistry and an ability to translate the science into application for your customers. Focus on your consulting skills — read David Maister’s The Trusted Advisor, a valuable guide to trust-based selling.1 Spring Time to get ready for change and growth — and it’s going to be rapid. Suddenly there is a new success factor to worry about; namely, your ability to manage a business. In the spring you are promoted to sales manager, or an equivalent role. Your success in the field has led you to manage a team all in the ‘winter’ preparation ground of their careers. Your technical know-how is still vital, as they will look to you for support. What now becomes more important is your ability to transfer your understanding to others. Financial management also comes to the fore: performance management, account management, strategic planning and so on. You are now running a small business with a degree of autonomy, and your company will be looking for a superb business manager that can be given a stretching target, and not only hit it, but exceed it. To be really successful, your whole team needs to be effective, pulling and working together. And just when you get to grips with doing that, it all changes again… Winter Any good gardener will tell you that winter, far from being a dormant season, is the ‘getting ready’ season. Now is when you prepare the ground and put down the foundations for future success. The early part of a successful pharma career often starts on the road, as a sales rep, or as a medical expert. You are in charge of yourself, a glorious team of one, and your success is measured in terms of your own personal performance. Your technical know-how and your ability to dazzle prospective buyers with your understanding of your product and how it beats the competition will secure your success. Your focus is on your buyers’ interests and you link your product to what they want to do. So to begin with, it’s a case of what you know, your technical expertise and your personal credibility that will define your success. But this won’t always be enough. Development tips for spring Get to grips with the key management tools: budgeting, forecasting, delegating, coaching, performance management and motivation. Attend a ‘fundamentals of management’ course or similar and gather feedback on your style and impact as a manager. APRIL 2007 CONTINUING PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT Development tips for winter Get as close as possible to the R&D function: you will need more than a basic understanding of the 8

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Pharmaceutical Executive Europe - April 2007

From the Editor
The Cycle of Success
Survival Tactics
Career Connections
Bringing Out the Best
Learning the Fast Way
Business Class
Simulation Training

Pharmaceutical Executive Europe - April 2007