Own Who You Are: Women in Pharma
On Sunday I will have the pleasure of facilitating a spotlight session on “The Women in Pharma” at the ISPE Annual Meeting in San Diego, California. We will be meeting from 1415 – 1515 to participate in round table discussions focusing on ourselves. We will cover topics on leadership, higher education, technical aptitudes, and others that will help you evaluate your current position through your journey of professional and personal growth. Each of our round tables will answer different questions, but this one will be asked at every table – “What guides your approach to leadership, and how do you encourage your team to be motivated and inspired?”
About a month ago, I was fortunate enough to attend a training that featured former First Lady, Michelle Obama, as the keynote speaker. First off, she was a poised, well-spoken speaker, who rocked the audience of over 13,000 people. She spoke candidly about her time at the White House and how she was picked apart by the clothes she wore for the first year while her husband was in office. It was all they focused on – was it this designer or that designer? Somehow, they forgot she was an accomplished lawyer with degrees from both Princeton and Harvard. Did this bother her? Yes. Did she let it define her? No.
She choose to embrace the challenges of the high road and keep moving forward with her passions and focusing on education and healthy living for our communities. She chose to quietly ignore the constant media attention about her wardrobe and chose to be herself. She was not defined by the clothes on her skin, but she was owning who she is with her education initiatives on healthy lunches, arts education, post-secondary education, school councilor commitment, and others.
Obama has always owned who she believes herself to be. I like to think that I also own who I am. I strive to be my own person and not let others or a set system of rules define me. I wouldn’t call myself a rule breaker, but if you know me, you know I find a way to make progress in anything I do, even if it goes against the grain.
I encourage each of you today in our session to focus on yourself and owning who you are. If you can’t make our Women In Pharma session on October 29th, I recommend that you take a moment to reflect where you are in your career professionally and personally to see if you are living your life or the one that someone wants you to be living. Without being motivated and inspired by your true self, there is no way you can motivate and inspire others with your leadership.