Which project, deal, or transaction was the “game-changer” in the advancement of your career? I believe that you learn and grow from every project or experience—and several have had a profound impact on my career. A particular project that stands out is my first life science project back in 2005. It was a large R&D facility with cGMP elements and many formidable technical challenges that had to be overcome. We had a great team and many relationships from that project endure to this day. I credit that project for developing my passion for building technical life science and advanced-technology facilities—which has been the focus of the past 16 years of my career.
Who or what inspires you? I’m inspired by the accomplishments of our Shawmut teams and of our valued clients. We have many stellar teams and extremely talented individual employees. Watching them coalesce to overcome difficult challenges or mentoring a stellar employee to accomplish something new is very satisfying. In addition, there’s absolutely nothing more rewarding than to see a client partner receive their FDA approval to manufacture a new therapeutic which was developed or manufactured in a facility that one of our teams have built. The fact that those products extend or enhance lives inspire me every day.
How do you keep your team motivated despite conflicts and obstacles? Motivating a team during challenging times requires a leader to see through the distractions to truly understand the issues, identify the greatest threats, and collaboratively outline a clear path forward. Having a game plan that both focuses on the activities that a team can control and breaks down an obstacle into manageable parts can make complex problems seem ordinary—especially for team members that haven’t seen them before. A strong plan coupled with Shawmut’s ownership culture encourages idea generation and open, honest discussions as well as enables teams to perform at their best.
What advice can you offer to someone who is interested in a career in your industry? The most important advice I could give to someone entering the industry is to be willing to ask for help and have the confidence to try something new. Most challenges you will face have already been overcome by someone in your network—and it’s a matter of finding that person and being able to learn from their experience. After you have received the best advice, trust your judgement, have the confidence to make the call, and see it through to the end. Otherwise, don’t ever let the fear of failure prevent you from trying to accomplish something extraordinary.