Leadership Lessons

Leadership Lessons is a monthly column from executives and thought leaders regarding best practices they use at their organizations to develop managers and leaders at all levels of the organization.

  • How Innovative Organizations Think: Why Rules Matter
    How Innovative Organizations Think: Why Rules Matter

    Innovation and rules may seem like an odd couple. Aren’t innovators rule breakers, people who are willing — even eager — to challenge the status quo? For the most part, they are. Yet innovations rarely result from a genius having a single flash of insight. Instead, they emerge from a collaborative process of individuals with diverse perspectives generating a portfolio of ideas, testing and refining them, and finally, choosing a solution — most often one that combines seemingly competing ideas.

  • Disrupt Yourself Before Somebody Or Something Else Does
    Disrupt Yourself Before Somebody Or Something Else Does

    John, an exemplary employee, was promoted into a key management position. He wanted to address the team he would now be leading and gathered the group together in a training room. The new leader’s boss was part of the assembled group.

  • “Sociopath-Proof” Your Organization: 5 Questions To Ask Today
    “Sociopath-Proof” Your Organization: 5 Questions To Ask Today

    After being expelled from Harvard for a computer hack that altered his transcript, Ajay Thomas changed his name, scored a Wall Street job, and then insider-traded shares of two public life science companies to the tune of $275 million. Typical interview questions about ethics won’t weed out these types of low character individuals.

  • How To Attract & Lead Top Talent
    How To Attract & Lead Top Talent

    Recently I did a study of more than 10,000 high-potential employees at leading companies around the world. The people I interviewed were the best of the best, the sort of employees that any organization would love to have on their team. I call this type of person a “voluntary employee,” because they are so good at what they do that if they quit their job at 9 in the morning they would have a job at the competition by noon. Which means they work at a certain company because they want to, not because they have to.

  • The Power of Small Wins — And How to Keep Them Going
    The Power of Small Wins — And How to Keep Them Going

    Because drug R&D is likely to remain difficult even as technology advances, the challenge for you, as a leader, is this: How do you maintain the motivation of talented researchers, young and old, when progress is slow?

  • Lessons In Leadership: “SKILL”
    Lessons In Leadership: “SKILL”

    There are those who would have you believe that leadership is a set of skills, a specific recipe that one can follow and apply to inspire others to achieve greatness. Yet this magic formula that is considered the holy grail of productivity, management, and motivation seems consistently elusive. Yet multiple statistics indicate that training and human capital development does considerably and positively affect an organization’s bottom line.

  • How To Diagnose And Treat Team Conflict
    How To Diagnose And Treat Team Conflict

    When many highly educated people work together in a culture heavily focused on logic and science, the relationship realm, with its underbelly of subtle emotions, is often brushed aside. This can lead to systemic difficulties that derail productivity and limit success.

  • Leading Courageously Through Unclear Times
    Leading Courageously Through Unclear Times

    Over the past year, the pace of change in the life sciences industry has accelerated more than ever before, and 2017 shows no sign of slowing. From the shift to outcomes-based care and the rapid influx of new health technologies to growing pressure on cost controls and the ever-changing world of healthcare regulations, this year will bring even more change and uncertainty.

  • Getting Great = Confidence + Willingness
    Getting Great = Confidence + Willingness

    All of us want to perform at a higher level than we are currently at. However, we let daily distractions, fear of trying something new, the fear of making a mistake, and unsolicited feedback from others get in the way of our efforts to “get great.” We put ourselves in a “stuck-in-the-mud” position and lose sight of what we should do first.

  • The Best Way To Set Goals In The New Year
    The Best Way To Set Goals In The New Year

    It’s no secret that all good performance starts with clear goals — and the beginning of the year is a great time to set those goals. But how many of you take the time to create clear, motivating goals with your staff?

  • How Resilient Are You? Machiavelli’s Advice
    How Resilient Are You? Machiavelli’s Advice

    Machiavelli is known as the high priest of sleaze. His big idea was supposedly that the ends justify the means — and any means are OK. But ask yourself a question. Would we even know Machiavelli’s name today if all he said was you can get ahead by being sleazy?

  • Management Is Dead. Stop Managing And Start Coaching!
    Management Is Dead. Stop Managing And Start Coaching!

    Finally we have realized you can’t manage people, you can only manage things. Behaviors are manageable, and people certainly are not, so we need to stop trying to manage people. We must start to learn skills to coach people to success.

  • Hiring Millennials: A Balancing Act
    Hiring Millennials: A Balancing Act

    The millennial generation (Generation Y, ages 19-39) has been stereotyped as narcissistic, selfie-obsessed, self-promoters. But they are the largest, most diverse demographic cohort in American history, and their potential to make myriad unimagined strides in our country’s progress can’t be understated.

  • How To Be A Three-Box Leader
    How To Be A Three-Box Leader

    In a nutshell, the Three-Box Solution describes the framework for managing a business’s responsibility to take action in three time horizons at once: executing the present core business at peak efficiency (Box 1); taking steps to avoid the inhibiting traps of past success (Box 2); and innovating a future built on nonlinear ideas (Box 3). Leaders must understand the distinctive skills each box requires, how the boxes interrelate, and what it takes to balance them.

More From Leadership Lessons


  • Daniel Skovronsky – From Grad Student, To CEO, To Big Pharma

    Daniel Skovronsky, M.D., Ph.D., is the SVP of clinical and product development at Eli Lilly and Company. But prior to taking on this role, he held the title of CEO of Avid Radiopharmaceuticals — a company he founded in Philadelphia while still a graduate student at the University of Pennsylvania. This article explores some of the differences between this executives past and present roles, and is a good prequel to the upcoming article that explores how he went about building a $300 million company.

  • Does The Biopharmaceutical Industry Need To Broaden Its Horizons?

    When I interviewed Axovant Sciences CEO David Hung, one of the questions posed was sparked by our discussion of his experience at Pro-Duct Health and his invention of a microcatheter for early detection of ductal breast cancer in women. As he explained his medical device invention, Hung commented, “I don’t want to be just medicines, or just devices, or anything like that.”

  • What Might Be The Best Predictor Of Future Performance At Axovant Sciences?

    Chief Editor Rob Wright recently conducted an in-person interview with David Hung, formerly of Medivation and current  CEO of Axovant Sciences. Though many may credit the FDA’s approval of Medivation’s Xtandi (enzalutamide) as being the primary driver behind Hung’s rise, Wright argues that there are a number of other predictors that should be evaluated when anticipating future success.

More From Beyond The Printed Page


  • Why <em>Every</em> Company Needs A Bio Strategy
    Why Every Company Needs A Bio Strategy

    Today we stand on the precipice overlooking a new frontier — the century of biology, and businesses of all kinds need to be prepared to not only embrace what is coming, but have a strategy for how to leverage biology for the betterment of their businesses and the good of the planet.

  • What Is BIO Hoping To See Among Session Submissions For 2018?
    What Is BIO Hoping To See Among Session Submissions For 2018?

    Life Science Leader Chief Editor Rob Wright is cochairing the 2018 BIO educational program planning committee. In this blog he talks about why this was the earliest the planning committee has ever met and what you can do to submit interesting and novel session proposals that will get the attention of the committee.

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