- What has winning the award meant to you?
Winning the MSL manager of the year award has been a very humbling experience. Managers are most often in the background showcasing the successes of their teams and direct reports. That is our role, and the area where most of us are comfortable. Although I thoroughly enjoy celebrating the successes of others – this has been a unique and wonderful experience. That is not to say that I am not frequently acknowledged by my leadership for my efforts, but in my MSL management experience there has not been a formal award process for a manager. Winning the inaugural MSL manager of the year award is validation that I am doing a good job for those that have put their trust in me.
- Why did you enter the competition?
I’ve had the opportunity to lead two of Takeda’s three MSL regions during the past year. When I learned that the nomination was compiled by members from both teams I was extremely humbled and wanted to honor that nomination by participating. I am grateful to be recognized by those I lead and completed the process to show them how much I appreciated the recognition.
- How do these awards benefit the MSL community?
These awards benefit the MSL community by providing a forum to acknowledge the value MSLs bring to their organization, their colleagues, and the medical community. Success and excellence are challenging to measure in the MSL role, there is no one size metric. These awards can inspire others to strive for excellence and may serve to elevate our profession.
- As someone who has been recognized for their excellence within the MSL profession, what advice would you give others in our profession?
Excellence should be a goal in everything we do, but how we get there may be different. I have always relied on the premise that if you take care of people, the rest will fall into place. To me this means to be as genuine and transparent as possible, to be responsive, collaborative and most of all to be a good listener. It is hard to be an effective servant leader, without first learning what people need and want. This includes KOLs, MSL colleagues, our leadership, as well as cross-functional colleagues. Internal relationships are just as important as external relationships. The MSL role provides a valuable service and people have entrusted us with much responsibility. How we step up to deliver on that is up to us. There is no magic path to excellence but you will never go wrong by putting people first.
- What do you think are some of the keys to being successful within the MSL profession?
At the risk of being redundant, the MSL role is one of service. In my opinion, keys to success include a clear understanding of the role as well as organizational goals and expectations; the ability to leverage your strengths and to embracing change; learning what matters most to people, and showing integrity in every situation.