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Bristol-Myers Squibb Leadership Paper

Essay by   •  June 16, 2019  •  Term Paper  •  3,483 Words (14 Pages)  •  610 Views

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Part A: Analyze some key qualities of the leader of the company/organization represented by each member of your team, drawing on examples and evidence from your observations or experience.


During my time at Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS), I had the opportunity to work for Scott Reading for a couple of years. He had a Ph.D. and over 15 years of experience in downstream purification of biologics. Since he was going to actively work on a molecule that I had been previously supporting, I brought him up to speed with various on-going projects. Scott was reassigned as my manager a couple of months later.

The first quality that stood out about him was his humble attitude. Although he was an expert in the area of purification and had a lot more experience than me, he let me lead the knowledge transfer sessions without trying to exert his expert power on the subject. A couple of weeks later, after we got to know each other better, these sessions were eventually transformed into brainstorming sessions where we discussed issues that needed immediate attention and coming up with an actionable plan. Under his leadership, we successfully delivered four high visibility projects which put us on senior leadership’s radar. As a group, our work was highly appreciated by them, and as individuals, it helped me and my colleague build credibility to get promoted. Kouzes & Posner Model can analyze Scott's successful leadership style. He set an example of how he wanted us to handle the on-going investigations. He made it clear that we shouldn’t come to him with the problem and expect an answer. He wanted us to state the problem, come up with a set of proposed solutions and then we could have a productive discussion on what would be the best path forward. Having an extensive background in process development, he believed that lab-scale data and developing small-scale models could help troubleshoot issues at commercial manufacturing scale. He had the vision to transform the group that was primarily responsible for generating data to an advisory and consulting group. He empowered everybody in the group by encouraging us to present our data which helped boost our confidence. He would let us drive the meeting for the most part and take a back seat in the room (literally). We were expected to answer questions and defend our analysis in front of the senior management. This happened to be the most significant ‘on-the-job’ learning experience for my peers and me. We started discussing our data internally and rely on each other to critically challenge our analysis fostering collaboration and trust.


Being a co-founder of a startup in an unusual immature industry at the age of 25, I had a lot to learn about how to effectively establish and build a sustainable business. After decided to pursue a license from the Department of Public Health (DPH) to operate a vertically integrated Registered Marijuana Dispensary (RMD) a wealth of emotional intelligence was required to begin pursuit of not only building a successful license application but actually then building the company and operation once licensed. An essential factor of my success was self-awareness. Although I was able to build the roadmap to achieve the desired outcome, I was woefully lacking in the various areas of expertise required to execute the roadmap. Having the awareness to recognize my shortcomings was extremely valuable. A key component of both a successful application and organization as a whole was a well-qualified diverse Board of Directors (BOD). Recruiting such a BOD required an immense amount of social skill. I was tasked with recruiting qualified professionals from a variety of sectors to participate on a volunteer basis in a newly formed entity in an industry which at the time held an overwhelmingly negative associated stigma. I requested meetings with countless professionals from healthcare, law enforcement, public policy, local government, to finance, agriculture, and pharmaceuticals. Most meetings ended with “good luck kid” but eventually using social skills I was able to succeed in my recruitment efforts. Most glaring of the characteristics of emotional intelligence would be motivation. Being a co-founder of a mission focused non-profit organization, my willingness and dedication was and still is the foundation of my success. Throughout my tenure in the organization I always am looking for ways to improve both operationally and administratively. To this end I pushed an initiative to reduce the carbon footprint of our manufacturing facility as well as the utilization of renewable energy to power our manufacturing. Solar panels were installed and the exploration of installing geothermal based HVAC is in the discovery phase. This is just one of many examples.

On the contrary, my lack of experience as a leader has lead to situation where I exhibited poor self-regulation. The organization and industry as a whole is extremely vulnerable to the policies of the Office of the United States Attorney General, and in 2017 guidance was circulated to United States Attorneys of all Federal Districts advising that they enforce federal marijuana laws. This created quite an uproar across the country from all levels of government but most importantly caused our BOD and investors to clamor for an exit strategy. In a meeting with the BOD I became absolutely irate with everyone lack of tolerance for risk and implored everyone that they knew the risks when getting involved. I was literally screaming at a room full of 20 people who were terrified of the idea of being federally indicted for a marijuana conspiracy. I thought their position was reactionary and emotionally charged and could have led to the dismantling of a huge opportunity. I struggle at times to self-regulate mostly because the audience or other party to the conversation is speaking in general broad strokes regarding subject matter that they are not experts in. Since those issues and more I try to keep in my office a guitar and yoga mat to help escape myself when I am aware of an oncoming situation that could result in ineffective communication from my lack of self-regulation.


My main mentor/supervisor is Dr. Sari Reisner, who is an Assistant Professor at Boston Children’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School, and the Director of our Transgender Health Research program at Fenway. I have worked with Sari for 5 years, first as a Research Assistant and now as his Projects Director. Sari and I work extremely closely on a daily basis, so I’ve had plenty of time to observe his leadership style.

Sari is the epitome of a mentor: he is a patient teacher who will take the time to help you understand something; despite his many competing demands, he is always available to advise and just listen should I need it; he is genuine and consistent is his approach to our work; and he is always supportive of me exploring my own interests and carving out a career path for myself. Many of these are qualities that he brings beyond our one-on-one relationship and into how he leads our team.



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