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Most of the biopharma sales trainers I’ve come into contact with over the past 17 years have cycled in from a field sales position. Many were on rotation for a period of time (typically 18 months to 3 years); some stayed in T&D, or cycled back in after another rotation in field management.

Also, many have left the industry; willingly, or (for more often lately), through downsizing.

I’ve talked with a number of folks leaving their (once seemingly secure) positions in biopharma companies, who are contemplating the world of work “out there” and wondering if their prior dedication to this industry leaves them at a disadvantage.

I don’t think so, especially if you’ve had a successful time learning the skills to become a good trainer. Here’s why:

  • Communication skills that you learn in training will be universally applicable in every career choice you make.
  • Facilitation skills will set you apart from the run-of-the-mill employee who has never been trained in how to run a meeting.
  • Leadership skills that are embedded in the training function will rise to the surface in every future role.
  • Management skills (including horizontal, matrix-style management) that develop through being in a HQ position are hugely important no matter what industry or role you land in.
  • Training enforces orderly, systematic thinking. Guess how many woolly-headed business people are out there who cannot connect dots logically?
  • Confidence that comes from playing the role of instructor will seep into your DNA and make you more effective in every realm.
  • Being in a training department will expose you to the Strategic/Tactical tension (and merge) that any developing leader needs to grasp.

In short, if you’ve been a contributor in a training department, you’ve gained a wealth of valuable experience that you may vastly underestimate, simply because you don’t live and breathe next to a bunch of your peers in other industries who have had far more limited development opportunities.

It’s a privilege for me to work regularly with so many smart, personable, and teachable folks. Realize that you are developing a host of skills and disciplines that completely transcend this industry. And that often transcend the slip-shod training and development that leaves so many others less capable than you are.

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TODAY’S NEWS

Who is the biggest supplier of prescription drugs in the U.S.? Meet Teva – “The day they get their own plane,” says Ronny Gal, an analyst at Sanford C. Bernstein who tracks Teva and is a devotee of the stock, “is the day I downgrade them.”…more

Insulin pen makers roll out new promos.

From the J&J CEO to all of you – sorry.

Ummm….isn’t the nurse re-using syringes really the heart of the problem here? Lawyers…

Free downloadable report from Epsilon on Pharma and Social Media.

RECOMMENDED

Leadership Training. The Impactiviti network can help you with all your needs for training managers/leaders, finding the optimal suppliers for you. Contact us (stevew at impactiviti dot com, or phone at 973-947-7429) for recommendations. And speaking of leadership, here is a great post from my friend Terry Starbucker on two indispensable traits of great leaders.

PLUS

Looking for courage…in a salesperson.

JUST FOR FUN

Waterfalls. 40 Beautiful examples.

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Revved

I will begin this book review with a confession – I have been negligent.

One of the co-authors of this book kindly forwarded me a copy months ago, and it sat on my “To Read” pile for far too long. A couple weeks back, I determined to read it. And a quick read it was.

This book follows along in the trail of such management/self-improvement/leadership books as “The One Minute Manager,” in that it uses an extended parable – a fictitious case study – to make its main points.

As is usually the case with such books, there is nothing new under the sun – only packaging of timeless truths. However, that is not to undermine the value of being reminded of these principles, because the fact is, we often know a lot more than we practice.

This little volume encourages the reader to win over and motivate co-workers through caring behaviors (which often precede caring feelings). The three step process is Win them Over, Blow them Away, and Keep them Revved. Some will look down their noses at these simple teachings, dismissing them as empty platitudes, but perhaps a reading of this recent Forbes article (on showing appreciation) will help reinforce the point. In my experience, the positive power of caring and appreciating colleagues and subordinates in the workplace is a make-or-break issue.

If you, as a manager, are experiencing a work environment that is dysfunctional, and you suspect that just maybe you may be part of the problem, this book can help point one way forward.

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