August 7, 2017

6 Takeaways from the BioOhio Women in Bioscience Workshop

The lobby was buzzing at Rev1 Ventures – a hip space for entrepreneurs in Columbus, Ohio, that opened its doors for BioOhio's latest Women in Bioscience Leadership Series on July 28. About 50 bioscience professionals, who would soon fill every seat in a nearby room reserved for a panel of speakers, were discussing their career paths over coffee and breakfast. How do you make the leap from an academic setting to a company? How do you find networking groups or join a happy hour? Where do you look for mentors?

They couldn't have been in a better place. The four panel members – Falon Donohue, CEO of VentureOhio; Sumithra Jagannath, President of ZED Digital; Snigdha Mishra, Divisional VP of Scientific & Medical Affairs at Abbot; and TSP's own KC McAllister, Executive VP of Consulting and Strategy – discussed their experiences with leadership, mentorship, personal branding, and learning from mistakes in a segment called "Redefining Leadership: The Core Behaviors of Successful Leaders."

Their advice was universal for professionals in any stage of a career. Here are some highlights:

  • Find many mentors, and be strategic in your choices. Mentors will guide your thought process and help you see the big picture. The best ones can also offer invaluable insight to your own strengths and weaknesses. Look at your bosses, peers, and even parents – whose perspective would be valuable for where you're at right now?
  • Your personal brand is what you project, not who you are. The reality is everyone has a personal brand without trying. It's your job to look at yourself in the mirror – or to ask a friend or mentor for their opinion – and determine if the way you interact with others matches your true, authentic self.
  • Pick teammates with attitude, aptitude, and passion. Building a team is about getting the right people into the right seats. Sometimes, a leader needs to take a chance on someone based on their potential, not just their technical skills.
  • Recognize the true wholeness of your team. Of course, the people around you are brilliant and have unlimited potential to be productive for your company. But don't forget that they're human. If you forget it, you miss out on the passions and interests that make your team unique.
  • Work to galvanize your team, not yourself. It takes maturity, wisdom and selflessness to create an agenda that puts your company's goals over your own. Being a leader is about inspiring your team to meet the right objectives and giving them the space to do it.
  • Love what you do. You can't fake passion. By developing your own core strengths, acting deliberately, and leaning into your own passion, your team will recognize you as a leader that they want to follow. The potential there is limitless.

These takeaways resonated with me as a young person at the start of her career, who has just started seeking out mentors, examining my personal brand, and building on my passions. It was gratifying to hear from leaders of the industry who once faced these same obstacles and learn what strategies helped them succeed.

The discussion also resonated with me as a member of the TSP family. Our four core values are to be in tune, get it done, be a leader, and most importantly, love what you do. It's important to TSP that every person on the team feels empowered to step up as a leader in their own right, no matter their title. That passion is evident in all that we do.

Congrats to BioOhio for putting on a successful, thought-provoking event! 

Tags: culture, employee engagement

Nikki Lanka

Nikki worked for three years in a communications office after graduating from the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism at Ohio University with a bachelor's in journalism. She takes painting and drawing classes in her spare time. Nikki lives in Seattle, Washington and desperately wants to get a dog.

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