Magazine Article | January 13, 2012

No Guts, No Glory

Source: Life Science Leader
Rob Wright author page

By Rob Wright, Chief Editor, Life Science Leader
Follow Me On Twitter @RfwrightLSL

In November I had a wonderful opportunity to participate in two end user groups as a moderator for roundtable discussions. Both were inaugural events. The first event was the Sentrx End User Group in Orlando, FL, the brainchild of Sentrx CEO Michael O’Gorman. The second was the CryoPort Frozen Shipping Summit in San Diego, hosted by Larry Stambaugh, CEO of CryoPort. Sentrx is in the business of pharmacovigilance, while CryoPort focuses on cold chain shipping. What I learned by participating and attending these events is how the attendees and sponsors are truly focused on patient safety. Both companies play key roles in the process. What really impressed me about both events is how these CEOs made the decision, in just a few short months, to put on these programs. No, they didn’t wait until next year to get the ball rolling. They didn’t put off until tomorrow something they could start today. I admire their gumption to begin the process of building a foundation for future events. It seems in business we often get in the habit of procrastinating on making a decision. Sometimes we allow ourselves to be trapped by the data, waiting for enough information to feel we can make a foolproof decision. Guess what, folks — there’s no such thing.

I recall hearing a speech by Colin Powell, retired United States Army General and former Secretary of State. He had several pearls of wisdom. The first was to gather enough information to be beyond 50% confident you are making a good decision. The second was to sleep on big decisions as things always look different in the morning. The last suggestion was to trust your gut. Both of these CEOs must have heard the same speech, because they both seemed to be following his advice.

In “An Unlikely Path To The Pharma C-Suite” (p. 14), I had the opportunity to interview Santosh Vetticaden, chief medical officer for Cubist. Vetticaden made a variety of decisions that, on the surface, might have seemed unwise. For example, he quit a job without having another one lined up, and he started medical school at an age when most other doctors have finished and begun to practice. In the article, “Bringing a Billion-Dollar Drug to Market” by Cindy Dubin, on page 32, Gene Haley, CEO and founder of Wilmington Pharmaceuticals, states, “Bringing a drug to market is not an exercise in imagination.” I sense a theme here among all of these leaders — no guts, no glory. I expect big things from all of these executives and am humbled they were willing to share their stories and events with Life Science Leader magazine.

The first half of 2012 looks to be busy, as I am planning on attending 11 different shows. You may find it interesting that nearly all of the executives I had the opportunity to write about this past year, I met attending shows. Unfortunately, I cannot attend each and every show. So, if you have a story to tell or know someone who does, don’t be afraid to reach out to me via an email or a phone call. Some of these electronic introductions have led to some great editorial as well, such as articles in previous issues with John LaMattina and Francis Collins. Keep your ideas coming so we can continue to provide relevant, best practice, and actionable editorial you have come to expect in Life Science Leader.