Career and Leadership Inspiration from a Local Business Executive

Here in the Raleigh – Durham – Chapel Hill area of Raleigh, the Triangle Business Journal sponsors a quarterly breakfast meeting called the “Power Breakfast” where business executives from across our region gather to network and hear from powerful area business leaders.

Machelle Sanders, VP of Manufacturing & GM for RTP Campus of Biogen Idec

Friday November 2 we were inspired by Machelle Sanders, an African-American woman from a small town in Eastern North Carolina who has risen to become the VP of Manufacturing and General Manager for the over 1000 person campus of pharmaceutical industry leader Biogen Idec. Before sharing her 12 “enablers for success,” she shared briefly about herself as a servant – leader, risk taker and hard worker.

Machelle Sander’s twelve enablers for success:

1. Follow your passion. For Machelle, her passion is serving and helping others, for which a senior leadership role is an ideal platform.

2. Be able to relate to anyone. This is particular helpful in resolving and mitigating disputes.

3. Seek opportunities with different levels of responsibility. Take educated calculated risks in leaving your comfort zone. Machelle did this in leaving a long time career into quality assurance to take on manufacturing leadership.

4. Take ownership of both your accomplishment and mistakes.

5. Learn to thrive in uncertainty. Today, constant change is the norm.

6. Don’t be afraid to promote and brand yourself. Focus on your strengths.

7. Leadership is key … and it comes in many forms. It does not only mean directly managing others. Building trust is the cornerstone for establishing yourself as a leader.

8. Be watchful for fear of failure. Do not let failure derail you or hold you back.

9. Inspire others. (And Machelle, you did that superbly in this session!)

10. Rewards those who excel. This helps motivate them. And rewards are not just financial.

11. Maintain your authenticity.

12. Be self-aware of your own blind spots.

If you are in the area, consider coming to this quarterly series. And for anyone who wants to provide an innovate career development framework for your organization, please contact me to discuss my career road mapping services.