How do you survive and thrive in biotech? Bill Mezzanotte, who leads global Research & Development and is Chief Medical Officer for CSL Behring, recently shared his advice with BioPharma Careers.
In this excerpt, Mezzanotte explains the four “R”s, his advice for propelling yourself toward professional growth and career success.
Mezzanotte’s 4 “R”s
Readiness: Be ready to take opportunities when offered. When I first decided to enter the biotechnology industry, after a successful career working in private clinical practice, I took a significant risk. But when the right opportunity was presented to me, I knew entering the industry was the right place for me at that point in my career and where I felt I could do the greatest good while continuing to grow and progress along the way. Looking beyond what’s in front of you and preparation are critical for when opportunity knocks in your own career. As disruptive innovator Louis Pasteur said, “Chance favors the prepared mind.”
Relentlessness: Work every day like people’s lives depend on it. As researchers we have the training and skill to solve medical mysteries and advance treatment care, but we also need to have the will.
For example when COVID-19 hit – it’s the medical community that quickly aligned to fight this deadly pandemic – where we are now making inroads. At CSL, when it comes to COVID-19, our company has gone all-in on the battle and are in the fight together with many external partners in areas that make sense for our business and the development of our people. We have continued the fight for months, on both our good days and bad days and will continue the fight until the pandemic is over. I like to say that anyone can make progress on days they feel 100%; it’s making progress when you are only at 50% that separates people.
It’s this relentless pursuit of doing what’s right that can set you up for career success.
Resourcefulness: Be efficient and effective. Take the time to reflect on your and your team’s capabilities and how to use those capabilities to be most effective – adapting and adjusting along the way. Big company or small, you will never have all the resources that you think you need. Learn to be creative with what you have.
Resilience: Take chances and try something new. In business, as in life, finding a way to make a big decision without a risk is nearly always a fruitless search. Instead, it’s important to seek out opportunities for growth for yourself, your team and your company. Those opportunities are often found on the uncharted paths. These paths don’t always lead to success, but they often lead to experiences that make you stronger, wiser and – yes – resilient. The key to being brave enough to take the risky route is to know you are resilient; that you can bounce back from failure should it occur.
At CSL, we are constantly searching the horizon for opportunities to make strategic acquisitions or to create partnerships with other companies and institutions where and when it makes sense. Pursuing these opportunities often bears fruit in the form of new treatments for patients. And when they don’t work out, we see them as another pillar in our company’s resilient foundation offering our people the opportunity to pick up and start anew all the while having enhanced our current capabilities.