Anrah News - September 2015
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It’s ironic that the skills and abilities that get you promoted into faculty or management may not be the ones to get you beyond. The further up the ladder, the more you need to think and act strategically – which includes developing a strong and comprehensive network of people who know, like and trust you.

According to Herminia Ibarra in Harvard Business Review  there are 3 different networks to develop: 

  • First, the operational network. These are your line manager, co-workers, team and those supplying or otherwise connected. This ensures co-operation and coordination amongst people who trust each other to accomplish their objectives. Whilst being strongly identified with this network is fine, if exclusively, you will fail to anticipate future changes and developments. 

  • Secondly, your personal network. This includes your family, your friends, people you run with, worship with, study with. However, if you confine your personal network to a narrow band of your own interests, this network will give you limited opportunity to connect to those outside. 

  • Third, your strategic network. To move from manager to business leader, you need to become strategic - to appreciate the big picture and your role and that of your team within it. Strategic networks give you leverage to anticipate and influence events not just through those in your direct line but also those at senior level. Your network gets you seen, noticed and taken into consideration. What defines a leader is someone who knows where to go and enlists people and groups to get there. To gather the intelligence to make sound decisions and the followership to carry them out  you need to develop relationships both within and external to your organisation.

So how to do it?

  1. Use lunches and business trips to connect to people you don’t see often.

  2. Do your homework before reaching out to someone new (social media, website) and then show them the obvious courtesy of a thank you note, follow up email, forwarding links to articles etc

  3. Set yourself goals – in the next 3 days talk to 3 people outside your usual circle. Learn what they do, how it helps their company and what you can apply to your own work. Make a list of 5 senior people you need to get to know better and find ways to strengthen your relationship over the next 3 months.

  4. Attend a conference you wouldn’t normally attend. Set yourself the goal of speaking to 5 people a day and a one-to-one meeting with at least 2 of them to learn more about their discipline, background, values and business.

  5. Reconnect with someone you’ve lost track of. Help this person connect to someone you know that would be useful to them.

  6. Identify someone you wish to learn from (particularly a leader with strong networks) and ask them to mentor you. Ask for their advice and help in developing your own network.

  7. Spend a day shadowing someone senior to you.

  8. Whenever you go to coffee or lunch, make sure you speak to at least 3 people. Casual ‘water cooler moments’ when people are relaxed can be valuable opportunities to extend connections.

  9. Organise a trip to the theatre or other activity with customers so you get to know and understand them better.

Networking takes effort and time. And pays dividends for your future. 

Have a good month!



MY STORY OF THE MONTHFances Oldham Kelsey -“the most famous government regulator in American history.
In 1956 a brand new drug was marketed as highly recommended by doctors for pregnant women experiencing nausea in their first trimester. It proved to be anything but safe. Up to 20,000 children worldwide were affected, some with missing or flipper-like limbs, others with eyes, ears or internal organs that failed to develop. The drug was Thalidomide. 

This was a global disaster. The United States stood out as the only exception because of one woman. 

Frances Oldham Kelsey was the newest of seven medical officers and the only woman. Until her courageous stand, a drug could go on the market 60 days after the manufacturer filed an application with the FDA. Pharmaceutical drug companies commonly supplied doctors with new drugs and encouraged them to test the product on patients, an uncontrolled and dangerous practice that relied almost entirely on anecdotal evidence.

Thalidomide was wildly popular in Europe and it was assumed that it would get quick approval. Dr Kelsey was given the drug to investigate as her very first project. She was immediately alarmed since the studies proved incomplete. She rejected the application numerous times and requested more data. The pressure on her grew enormous. Merrell, the company licensed to sell in the US complained to her bosses and even respected clinicians turned up at her office to protest the hold-up. Belatedly reports of deformity were made known and clinical investigators including Dr Kelsey made the link to Thalidomide.

In July 1962 The Washington Post’s front page reporting that her “skepticism and stubbornness…..prevented what could have been an appalling American tragedy.” President Kennedy gave her the President’s Award and in1963 Dr Kelsey became Chief of the FDA’s investigational branch and then director of the new Office of Scientific Investigations, which she held until 1995.

She retired at 90 in 2005 and died at 101 last month on 7th August 2015, having been instrumental in creating the modern clinical trial system.
Anrah News

Two items this September:

  1. I have become a member of Skanska UK's Coaching Academy. Those of us in the Academy will be coaching leaders up to and including the senior team as well as those who are regarded as successors.  
  2. Richard Goodier, an expert associate of Anrah and I have been invited to work for a fourth year running with Oxford University's Institute of Biomedical Engineering on our "Getting Researchers Successfully Hired" programme this autumn. 


The Six Guys You Meet In Engineering
This is a cautionary tale about the dangers of meeting and hoping to date engineers!
"Sarah and Richard's help has been critical to my attaining my dream job and I highly recommend that other students take their course. They provide advice that is catered to each individual to address their specific weakness and bring out their specific strengths in full colours. No book or other course can provide such a dynamic and adaptable attention to an individual." 
A former participant, now faculty member of a leading UK university
To receive coaching and training on:
  • gravitas
  • increased reach
  • stakeholder buy-in
  • leadership 
to influence the people who matter, please email me or call 07939 261743. We'll discuss your objectives for yourself and how I'll help you achieve them.

I look forward to hearing from you.

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