becoming a wartime general

When you are managing a clinical research project, you are bound to experience “good times” and “bad times”. Clinical research projects are always evolving. Somedays a project will be moving forward smoothly and on other days things might be quite challenging. Like anything in life, unexpected issues do come up. A Wartime General mindset can help you deal with things when the work is challenging.

In this post, I’ll share four ways on how to become a Wartime General.

Take Up Challenging Goals

Every organization or project has a big audacious goal that needs to be met. Such goals include getting product to market, finishing trial enrollment or passing a regulatory audit. No matter what your role is in the organization, you need to have a clear understanding of “the big goal”. If you don’t know, ask your colleagues, your manager or director. Think about how your work can help support the organization or project in achieving that goal.

The most important part of this exercise is being honest with yourself. It is easy to get sucked up in email or attend unnecessary meetings. You won’t realize that you’ve spent all day (or weeks or months) doing things that don’t help. We’ve all fallen prey to this at some point in the past.

Complete three tasks daily that are going to help your organization or project achieve that big audacious goal.

Consistently Show Up

There are so many people who don’t show-up. They may be physically present but choose not to actively participate in the dialogue. Being present, especially when the work is boring and monotonous is extremely important.

Ask probing questions, anticipate issues and take steps to resolve those issues. Delivering work on time is part of consistently showing up. Be seen as a dependable individual who is not afraid to produce work. Many people strive for perfection and this holds them back. In turn they don’t deliver and do not fully show up.

Provide Value To The People You Work With

Your personal brand should have a Unique Value Proposition (UVP). Always think what is it that you can do to create value for others. Clinical research associates can create value for their sites by being respectful of the research coordinator’s time, showing up on time for a monitoring visit, delivering on the promise that was made or simply being polite and courteous. If you work for a clinical research organization (CRO), you should always think about what value you can create for your sponsor. And if you are a sponsor, you can think about ways to provide value to your suppliers and physicians so they want to keep partnering with you in the future. If you create value for others, your UVP score goes up and this will eventually lead to the great professional successes you’ve always dreamed of.

Understand Data And Take Appropriate Action

If you are in a role where you reviewing or analyzing clinical trial data, you can become a wartime general by taking the time and effort to understand the root cause of high query rates or compliance issues. You can then use this information to educate your project team and your management and discuss solutions to address these issues.

For issues such as slow clinical trial enrollment issues, data on reasons for screen failure, competitor trial intelligence, or research team engagement on a medical product or trial design can serve as useful information to isolate key challenges preventing a project from reaching the milestones.

I hope you can apply on one or all of these strategies and how things work out for you in the comments section below.

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