Amid global regulatory change, emerging innovations and competitive pricing pressures the Life Sciences sector is in a continuing state of flux. New trends have seen the need for skilled leadership at senior level and mid-level management. Pressures from new technologies and ideas have increased the pressure on leadership teams, particularly at an operational and regulatory level.

It is essential, therefore, that organisations are identifying leaders that will be able to meet the challenges faced by the industry. The challenge that now faces Life Sciences’ board members is in nurturing talent that can lead.

How to identify key leadership traits

Psychometric testing

Many companies now use assessments when recruiting new employees but they often fall short when promoting employees to leadership roles. Predictive assessments are useful in identifying high-potentials as well as discovering those who may not be suitable.

Chad Harrison International’s range of British Psychology Society certified psychometric testing has helped various organisations globally identify their future leaders. We have worked with SMEs through to multi-national corporations who have successfully implemented promotions through the use of predictive assessments.

Look for potential, not just performance

Performance in the Life Sciences sector will vary across job role and will be measured differently. Performance is a measure of one’s expertise which is, of course, a trait that’s necessary in a leadership role but looking beyond performance will allow an organisation to assess aptitude, emotional intelligence and communication skills.

Many employees will deliver from a performance perspective but will lack the key traits that are required to be a good leader. In a recent report by Chad Harrison International, we outlined business leaders’ view of the five most important attributed of a good leader, these were:

Strong communication skills
The ability to inspire
The ability to delegate
Confidence
Positive attitude

The selection of business leaders didn’t mention performance as a key trait of leadership, so it’s important to look at the factors above when identifying leadership profiles.

Emotional Intelligence

A lot has been written about emotional intelligence and it’s important that leaders have it in abundance in an environment which is competitive, fast-paced and dynamic such as Life Sciences.

Emotional Intelligence is the ability to be aware of, control and express one’s emotions, allowing them to manage relationships empathetically and appropriately. Typically, employees with high levels of emotional intelligence are not motivated by power, wealth, status or approval. They are instead motivated by doing the right thing, whether that’s for others or a business.

Employees with high levels of emotional intelligence will be able to process situations carefully and have an ability to solve problems whilst communicating effectively with key stakeholders.

Good leaders have resillience

Often the biggest lessons in life come from failure. In the Life Sciences sector, trial and error are part of the daily cycle for many employees. Employees that are able to remain positive and maintain consistency in the face of adversity could be strong contenders for mid and senior level leadership roles.

Look for diversity

Good leadership structures are borne out of diversity at the top. Board level diversity has been proven to enhance the performance of companies. It also allows for fresh, new and innovative ideas to be put forward. Furthermore, diverse leadership profiles can make a Life Sciences company more adaptable to sudden changes in the business landscape – making them more capable of dealing with disruptions.

In the Life Sciences sector, only 28% of the workforce is made up of women and board representation is even lower at 12%. It’s important for Life Sciences companies to look away from the atypical composition of a male-dominated boardroom and increase diversity within senior leadership roles.

Identifying leadership traits in employees early on allows a longer period of investment in their development. For more information on how Chad Harrison International can help identify future leaders in your organisation, contact us today.