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Ten Years of eClinical: 10 Leadership Lessons Learned

The eClinical Anniversary Blog Series

This year we are celebrating eClinical Solutions’ 10-year anniversary. Over the past ten years, we’ve seen changes, challenges, successes, and growth at our company and in the life sciences industry overall. When we started the company in 2012, our mission was to build software and deliver tech-enabled services to make data acquisition and analytics easy and intelligent, working toward our main goal: to accelerate research and bring therapies to patients faster.

We are quite excited about where the industry is right now and where it’s headed, but looking back retrospectively, I’ve learned many lessons along the way about what it takes to run a successful company and be a good leader. In honor of our anniversary, here are 10 lessons I have learned over the last decade at eClinical Solutions:

1. Operate with a mission-driven approach

It is imperative to have a strong goal that all teams can align themselves to. Operating with this mission-driven approach serves as motivation for the entire company and lays a strong foundation for a good company culture. It is more enjoyable to come to work when you are surrounded by others who are equally passionate about our purpose. At eClinical Solutions, we are driven by our patient-centered mission day in and day out.

2. It’s all about the people

I am incredibly fortunate to be surrounded by people who are not only great business partners, but believers in our mission and vision. At the end of the day, it’s all about the people; without people you don’t have a business. Starting out with the right team in the beginning is key, but as the organization grows it is equally important to maintain that approach to hiring, recruiting, and bringing in the right talent.  And most important of all, you must enable opportunities for team growth by building strategies around their development, skills, and well-being.

3. Micro-monitor, don’t micromanage

As a business leader, you want to still get your hands dirty; but the key is to find a balance in which you don’t overstep yet contribute enough so that it helps the team. My philosophy is to micro-monitor, not micromanage. Be involved across the board by connecting with your direct reports, setting the right objectives, measuring metrics, and proactively thinking about risks.

4. Ask questions, don’t just give answers

The human mind’s first instinct is to come prepared with an answer to every question. As a leader, don’t just come to meetings to propose solutions, but instead ask questions so the team can collectively come up with the answer on their own. It’s important to take this step back as it’s a teaching moment for leaders and a learning moment for teams.

5. There’s not always a playbook

As a new leader, there is not a playbook that lays out how to ensure the company grows, evolves, wins, and survives. Starting eClinical Solutions, I became a leader without a playbook to follow, learning and adapting along the way. As the company grew, we shifted from the mindset of not only surviving, but also thinking about the current state, while also maintaining focus on our vision for the future.

6. It is okay to say no

In the early days, it was not always easy for me to say no. It is great to be involved and raise your hand, but if you take on too many tasks, you can quickly burn out. It is smart to be realistic about what you can and cannot handle to deliver quality work. As young leaders are starting out, it is important for them to remember that it is okay to say no. In the beginning, it can be tempting to say yes to opportunities because you worry when the next one will come along. But it’s important to realize the opportunity cost associated by leaving yourself less open to better chances that might come along. There can be big rewards in taking the risk to say no to something so that you are flexible to say yes to the right opportunities at the right time.

7. Leadership is a contact sport

I believe that the more you have the mindset of engaging and thinking about being a better leader, you will become one, especially for those who are new to the leadership role. The best way to learn it is to do it. You must also have a coaching mentality by working hard and keeping in mind both strengths and weaknesses for not only yourself but those you are coaching as well. Read, observe what others are doing and be open to learn, always evolving and absorbing new information.

8. Lean into technology to increase productivity

To be an effective leader for an organization that is growing and evolving, you must be productive and focused. With the evolution of technology, there are plenty of tools to help you engage and communicate with teams, prioritize your work, and eliminate manual tasks. Take the time to learn how you can best leverage tech tools for optimal productivity.

9. Take risks at speed

The speed at which leaders must make decisions has increased, and speed is of the essence. As a leader, you will sometimes have to make decisions without objective data. Having the mindset to make those calls and taking those risks by trusting your intuition, without fear of failure, is key.

10. It’s important to inspire

As a CEO, part of your job is to inspire and remind the team about the mission. I take time to remind my teams that we are helping our customers who are helping patients. I regularly share examples of how our work is making a positive impact and remind our teams to take a step back to acknowledge and celebrate what we’ve accomplished. This is an aspect of leadership that will never change, no matter how many years down the road you look.

At eClinical, we’re excited about what the future holds for our company and the life sciences industry overall. Celebrating our 10-year anniversary is a great way to acknowledge how far we’ve come, what we’ve learned, and the incredible opportunities ahead to help innovate and advance human health. We can continue our growth throughout the following decades to improve our company and the lives of patients.


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