A | THE ANSWER TO “WHEN” RANGES FROM OVERNIGHT TO NEVER. Some scientist entrepreneurs start companies and title themselves CEO while others spend their professional life without ever being offered a C-suite opportunity. Yet for most scientists who transition, timing is not a determinant variable but linked to the following critical factors.
- Beyond the glamour of a title, it is a life-changing commitment, and fully understanding “what it is” and “what it takes” requires passion and is of paramount importance.
- Acquiring the competencies to be eligible. While building the technical know-how is an obvious objective, a business degree or an operational business role is often key to admittance to the C-suite club.
- Finding the people who believe enough to offer you the opportunity, and you being confident enough not to disappoint.
When you can say “now” to all three, the timing is right, so go for it!
FRANCOIS NADER is chairman of Acceleron Pharma. The former CEO of NPS Pharma (acquired by Shire for $5.2 billion) now serves on several other corporate and philanthropy boards.