Ep 3: Fighting for Your Seat in the Boat with Ryan Coughlin

Episode 3 December 13, 2022 00:44:48
Ep 3: Fighting for Your Seat in the Boat with Ryan Coughlin
Leaders in Life Sciences
Ep 3: Fighting for Your Seat in the Boat with Ryan Coughlin

Dec 13 2022 | 00:44:48


Hosted By

Mike Ferletic

Show Notes

Ryan Coughlin has significant experience working with different types of leaders. He spent 20 years in the US Marine Corps working with a variety of military leaders. Then, he transitioned into civilian life and began a career with Enterey Consulting.

In the military, Ryan worked in strategic planning. He's an expert in project portfolio management, project management, and operations management. Listen to the episode to hear what Ryan has to say about adapting to different leadership styles, the leadership points that carried over from Ryan's military career to his civilian career, and learn about who the standout leaders were in Ryan's life.

Originally recorded on July 28, 2021

Topics Discussed in Today’s Episode:

  • The reasons Ryan pursued a military career.
  • The different leadership styles in the military and how Ryan adapted to them
  • Leadership styles Ryan carried over from the military to his work in the life sciences
  • What similarities exist between leadership in the military and the civilian world
  • Hear about some of the standout leaders in Ryan's career
  • What it means to fight for a seat in the boat!


Ryan Coughlin

Enterey Consulting

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Episode Transcript

Mike: Welcome to the Leaders in Life Sciences podcast powered by Enterey Life Science Consulting. In this podcast, you'll hear from leaders in the life science community how they grew into their current roles, the lessons they've learned along the way, and advice from those aspiring to follow in their footsteps. I am the host. My name is Mike Ferletic and I'm the CEO of Enterey Life Science Consulting. At Enterey, we help leaders orchestrate the positive change they want to see in their organizations. Are you ready to be recognized for your leadership success? Take a listen. Welcome to our podcast. This is the Leaders in Life Sciences podcast powered by Enterey. I am your host, Mike Ferletic. I'm the president of Enterey Consulting. Excited to be here today. I have my wonderful co-host, Courtney Boudreaux. Say hello, Courtney. Courtney: Hey, everyone. How's it going? Mike: Good. We'll get to introduce our guest in just a moment, but I'm wondering what you've been up to lately, Courtney. Courtney: I've been recovering from my catastrophe that happened two weeks ago. As you know and listeners you might be clued into this, I just moved out. I got my own place. I'm super happy living in Huntington Harbor and because I'm in this lovely one bedroom by myself, I wanted an animal or wanted a pet [...] lonely. Definitely not another person around but a cat or something would be nice. I went online and I found this really beautiful Siamese cat that was advertised as a kitten and I thought it was so pretty, seemed like a good fit—young, vaccinated male, all of that stuff so I went and adopted this cat. The lady from the rescue said he's pretty shy so he might take some time to come around, which I was okay with. I got the cat and he was not shy. He was a devil. He's the worst cat I've ever seen in my life. He would like hiss and scratch. He would attack me. He hid behind the toilet, jumped up, and bit me on Monday and I think that was the final straw of I love animals but just not this one. He went back to the rescue and they took him back, it was nice. He went to go somewhere. He was happier and I'm happier that I don't have that cat living around my apartment. Mike: He was rescued twice. Courtney: Once from me. Mike: That's right, once from you. Courtney: God bless that cat because he needs it. Mike: He's a young vaccinated male, that sounds almost like dating advice these days as well. Young vaccinated male. Courtney: I should take that advice too. Mike: In today's day and time maybe that would be good. Courtney: I found him the same way I always find them—online, Petfinder, dating sites, it's like [...] get anything anywhere. Mike: Awesome. What have I been up to you ask? I have been just trying to recover from vacation. It feels like it's been a month now, but I went on vacation. You can kind of hear the nasally tone in my voice. As many vacations result in a nice little cold, we went to Las Vegas and Disneyland—two very low populated areas—and managed to have a lot of fun. My daughter had a dance competition in Las Vegas and we just enjoyed some great family time at Disneyland. Lots of people, lots of germs I think running around. Got to pick up a little illness and am still fighting that off, but can't complain too much. It's really obviously a good time to get away, enjoy other parts of the country, and be able to do that again I think is probably the best thing given that in the last year and a half we haven't been able to travel quite as much and enjoy the fun stuff out there. Courtney: What kind of dance does your daughter do? Mike: My daughter does just about every kind of dance you can think of. She does contemporary, lyrical, hip hop, tap, and musical theater, all of them. It's pretty amazing how she does and learns all these different routines and then goes on stage in front of literally hundreds, maybe thousands of people, and performs them. Just the stage fright is a challenge I think. Courtney: I was on the dance team when I was in middle school and I grew up dancing. Then in high school, I switched over to cheerleading, but those competitions are all day long and they're draining on everybody involved. Mike: Yes, so you know exactly what we go through every year. Courtney: Yeah. Oh, yeah. Mike: Awesome. I didn't know that about you. Very cool. I'll have someone to talk to about all my dance escapades. There is a dad's dance video out there somewhere that could be incriminating as well. Courtney: Oh my goodness. I'm also like the FBI so I guarantee you I will find that and will show it at the Christmas party. Mike: Oh, that would be good. Got a good part in this year's dance. I haven't even shared that with our esteemed guest yet. All right, speaking of our guests, why don't we move on and jump into our interview? Let's go ahead and introduce our guest. Our guest today is Ryan Coughlin. Ryan, as many of you may know, has nearly 30 years of working experience in working with leaders of all shapes and sizes. I think he's got at least 30 years, I'm trying to guess his age. Ryan spent 20 plus years in the United States Marine Corps where I know he's served many tours overseas. I think at least five tours in countries like Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan. During his time, he spent much time in strategic planning and helping our Marines do their job well in a difficult environment. Ryan has undoubtedly encountered multiple leaders during his career and we look forward to hearing some of that experience today. As he returned to stateside and began to join civilian life, he embarked on a career with Enterey Consulting and that was roughly eight years ago now. Love to go into the details of that story, but we'll save that for a separate podcast. Ryan is very much an expert in project portfolio management, project management in general, and overall operations management. He currently serves as Enterey's Senior Director of Operations overseeing all delivery functions of our team. Welcome, Ryan, how are you doing? Ryan: I'm doing great. Thanks a lot for having me, Mike and Courtney. I appreciate it. Courtney: Thank you. Mike: You're welcome. Glad you're here. All right, we're going to ask you a bunch of questions, Ryan. Hopefully, you can keep up with us. I know this kind of pressure is probably something you've never seen before in all your days in the military, but we'll see what we can do. Why don't we start off with an easy one just to warm things up? Why did you decide to go into the military in the first place? Ryan: That's a great question. I don't think I had my eyes set on it from a very early age. When I was looking at colleges and things I had certain interests. I was not necessarily opposed to it and I was not necessarily running towards it, but I ended up going to the Naval Academy and it was a good fit. It was actually a much better fit than I even anticipated, so it was great. During my time, I learned that I would much rather be in the Marine Corps than in the Navy. The Navy's great, but for what I wanted to do, Marine Corps was really what interested me. I didn't know what I wanted to do in the Marine Corps, but as I was finishing up at the Naval Academy and then my initial training in the Marine Corps, the infantry started calling out to me more and more and that's what I chose to do. I actually did it for 22 years. I heard you say five, I actually did nine deployments during my years. I loved it so that's why I stayed and it was very enjoyable. Mike: Wow. That's awesome. I didn't realize you were in the infantry, to be quite honest, but it's amazing. Maybe I did, maybe I didn't. I can't remember if you've told me that before, but nonetheless, that's still awesome. We appreciate your service to our country, and I've definitely learned much from you and your experience since we've gotten to know you better in the last eight years. One thing I am certain of, I believe, is that during your time in the military, you get to encounter many different leadership styles and I'm curious, if I'm accurate, I think that's probably true, how did you adapt to those different styles? Were there times when you just didn't adapt to those styles? Ryan: I definitely did encounter many different leadership styles. I would say I adapted to them all. I don't know how well I adapted to them all. I adapted to some better than others. Some were very challenging. I guess adapting at the bare minimum is surviving. I made it through a lot of them, some were very, very challenging environments and stuff. As I was going through though, I also learned to look at my leaders and pick out the things that I did value. What made the great leaders great individuals and what made the leaders who I thought could use some work where they were weak. I tried to emulate that as best I could. Emulate the positive and avoid the negative and just did my best. I definitely consider some extremely good leaders out there that I get to follow. Courtney: What leadership style would you say that you've carried over from what you learned in the military over into your work in the life sciences? Ryan: I don't know if I have a name for the style. I can think of a couple of similarities in the leaders that I truly, truly loved working for. I don't know if we can come up with a name for the style, but they were all based on a couple of things. On the front end, they were consistent in their messaging and their expectations. They were very clear, very articulate in their expectations, that goes to clarity. Upfront, they were very clear. They knew what was expected of you and then some of them were very, very demanding. It doesn't mean that it was simple. They're very demanding but very clear. Then as you follow on, they were consistent in that [...]. A telling characteristic of all those individuals is that they were very tolerant and that was one of the things that I valued probably more than anything else and what I consider a great leader. When I say tolerance doesn't mean that they just glossed over mistakes or anything like that, but they knew that the best way to grow, have people deliver, and perform beyond their expectations is to be tolerant. One individual would always say I don't even want you to ever make the same mistake twice. Outside of that, I don't care what mistakes you made as long as they're made with the right intentions in mind. Whenever a mistake was made—there were some big mistakes—we'd always stop and assess the situation. What led to the decision that caused the mistake and all those things. You can do a good assessment of it and there was never any blame, never any retribution, never anything. It was always done in a very positive manner and you came out of it feeling like you learned from it and you grew from it. He was genuine. I will tell you that if you made the same mistake twice, which I did on one occasion, you paid for it. I totally respect it. I knew when I made that mistake the second time that I was going to have to answer for it. Those are some examples. Being clear upfront. Being tolerant, I think is a huge one, and then being able to look at a situation giving honest and genuine feedback. Courtney: I appreciate that and I agree with that as your leadership style. We call it Ryan-esque behind your back. I'm just kidding. Mike: We can term a new leadership style. It'll be the name of the episode. Courtney: Ryan-esque. It's funny because in a meeting, I think it was yesterday, we were talking about when your supervisor put something on your calendar last minute and you get really scared or nervous like, oh no, what did I do now or what's up now? We were joking about putting everything is fine on the meeting invite just to make it clear that's okay. Mike: That's a good idea. I'm not sure what we'll call that one, but we'll put that on there as well. Very good. Ryan, I think the military probably gave you a lot of great skills, leadership being one of them. How did you use those skills to venture into a completely different industry when you started looking at joining a company focused on the life sciences? Ryan: I found out over time so I definitely didn't jump out. I think jumping into a whole new industry, whole new environment, I tried to watch and learn a lot so I wasn't kind of really pushing myself out there early on. I found over time that I think it's the exact same thing. I've tried to be the same way and I try to give very clear guidance and expectations upfront. Sometimes I'm not successful, but I'll do my best. I try to be tolerant and I actually love that when someone's working on something, even if there's a mistake, it's like okay, let's look at what the impact is. Is it really that serious? Let's figure it out and let's figure out a way to solve it. Then there's one other element to it that I kind of skipped over before, but it's always being professional. Showing people respect, just being courteous, being friendly as much as possible. I know at times I lose my temper—my kids will attest to that—but just try to be professional. I tried to apply the same thing here. I would say that the bigger challenge for me is that it's definitely an industry where I have less experience so sometimes the real detailed subject matter is probably my area of weakness. At the same time, I get around that by not shying away from it. I'll acknowledge what I don't know and try to learn from it. Courtney: That was something I was hoping to ask you. I noticed you are really excellent at asking questions, especially when you're in a new territory somewhere, for instance, onboarding with the most recent project. Is there a method or an approach as to how you dive in, ask every single little detail, and really clarify those points that need to be clarified? Ryan: I don't know if there's a method. I guess a couple of things I learned early on. Mike talked about the fact that I was a strategic planner. The biggest plan I ever worked on was a nationally directed plan, one of nine plans directed by the President. Even after months, upon months of developing the thing and really defining the problem, when you get really into it, you should be able to explain that thing in two minutes. Big picture, here's the problem, here's what we're doing to solve it. If the problem, in our case, was a contingency, here's what we would do to solve this problem on a national or international level. It's kind of the same way. Whatever you're working on, if you can very clearly and simply articulate it, then you think you truly understand it. If you can't, and that's kind of what I use for my measure, can I articulate it? Until I can articulate something very clearly, I'll just keep asking questions. Then when I know I can articulate it very clearly and simply, then I think it's clear to everyone. I also learned over time—it was very hard at first—as I asked questions, I am now very, very much less embarrassed about what I didn't know. Early on, it was. I try to force myself to ask questions, but I was insecure about it at times. The older I get, the less insecure I am because a lot of times when you're asking a question, people don't want to admit it, but they don't know the answer either and that's okay. Knowing that they don't know the answer is sometimes as good as getting an actual answer that we know where we're starting from. I guess when I can explain it very simply, then I know I understand it, and don't feel embarrassed about asking me a question. That's kind of my two principles. Courtney: Yeah, thank you for that. I think I employed something like that a little earlier today, where I had somebody ask me to pull some information off an engineering schematic and I'm not an engineer. I've never seen anything like this before. In these codes and codes of numbers, I was so confused. This is really not my area of expertise. This is my role, but engineering is not a content expert. Could you please help? They were more than happy to help clarify and point out the info I needed. Rather than my former approach which was nod, say okay, and then try to figure it out later, that doesn't really work. Being forthcoming, I think, as you've mentioned, asking those questions, and admitting when you need more clarification is essential. Ryan: What I also think is very neat about that is that when you ask questions, 9 times out of 10 people are excited to help you and provide answers. Very rarely do people get upset or get angry. If you ask a genuine question, no matter how stupid it may seem, people are usually very excited to help you out and to help you understand something. It's kind of nice. Mike: I totally agree. I think we're all learning as we go through this world. I think that includes every day that we step foot in the office. It's great to hear that advice. Hey Courtney, a lot of our clients we work with have great ideas on how to improve their business, but they just run into challenges that seem to get in the way of accomplishing their goals. Have you ever seen that? Courtney: Yeah, of course. It happens all the time. I've seen clients struggle with a lack of visibility into all the work that's happening within their organization. I've seen clients that are focused on manual tasks, which takes away from focusing on the actual project work, and I've seen leadership struggle to make decisions due to the lack of timely information. Mike: That's so true. It seems like just knowing the problems to fix is only half the battle. How do you help your clients address those challenges? Courtney: Well, of course, we first work with our clients to design a structured management process that fits their culture and team. In a lot of situations, we bring in tools like Smartsheet to help the entire project team be more efficient. With the help of Smartsheet, we were able to create dashboards, automate routine tasks, and have the information ready in real time to help support leadership's decision-making. Mike: Wow, it sounds like you not only execute on the project, but your work helps everyone get more done with less work. Courtney: I hope so. Smartsheet is a powerful tool and my clients seem to be really happy with it. Mike: That's great. Now somebody needs help on their project, what should they do? Courtney: They should check out enterey.com and schedule a call with us to see how we can help. Mike: Sounds like a great idea. Courtney: Well, thank you. Mike: Ryan, I'm curious if you've seen any correlation, similarities, or dissimilarities between either leadership styles or how you might deal with leaders or direct reports when you're within the military versus when you have been working within either the consulting environment here at Enterey or within a client environment at one of your clients in the life science company. Ryan: It's a great question. There are definitely correlations and there are definitely differences. One difference is, I would argue, that the military, probably not surprising, has a lot more leaders who are very, very direct and forceful. It can even be that way without being unprofessional, but it's very direct. I mean, that's what the military is based on—discipline, just following orders, understanding orders. It's not blindly following orders but there's definitely a lot of that. I would say that I still probably value the same basic principles in a leader. I talked about some of those things before but there's one other thing that I probably value more than anything else. It's just what are the leader's true intentions? Are they well-intentioned? Do they really care about the people they are leading? That's probably the most important thing because if they care about the people they're leading, then who cares where they're good and where they're bad. You work with them, you help them out. It's amazing. That's it. That's a great person to work for. I would say that's very similar. I always looked at that in the Marine Corps. I had leaders if someone complained about something I would always say, you know what, we all have our shortcomings, first off. Second thing is that the one you're complaining about is probably the most genuine, genuine leader who cares more about his or her marines than anyone else. People forget that sometimes. I probably value that the most even in the civilian world, as well as [...]. Mike: One thing I used to see a lot of, particularly in the industry, was a desire to drive a consensus decision. It sounds like it's just all impressions of the military outside of the military. That would not be a common occurrence within the military. Assuming that's correct and that you may have encountered a need to try to help get everybody on board before you move something forward, is that true or is that not true? Ryan: No, it's a good point. But I would say probably, it's less than you think in the military. I think the same principles apply. In the military, when you're working on something and working on a lot of strategic plans, operational level plans, and you're working those with a team. As the planning leader, you do get everyone's input. I knew myself as a planning leader. I'm the one who has to make the decision and move it forward to the commander who's ever going to approve it. But I would take everyone's input. When I present it to the commander, I better be ready to share everyone's input. What were the countering opinions? Why were they different? What are their worries? What are their risks? If I couldn't speak to that, that's a problem. Because a commander wants to know exactly what the challenges are. They want to make the most well-informed decision. I think maybe the only difference would be that in the military, there isn't the need to feel like you have consensus, but you better get everyone's input. As the leader and the decision-maker, everyone understood, you make the decision that you feel is best and then you live by it. Mike: I think that the key difference is the need to get consensus versus the need to get input. I'll share a story. Years ago, this is going back a long time. I worked at a client where they had such a desire to get consensus that they would pass around a marble jar when key decisions needed to be made. You had to put your marble in a particular jar. Whichever jar had the most marbles, that's the decision that was made. I think that was one of many techniques they tried to use in order to get to a consensus, but I definitely love your approach of yes, we need input, but at some point, we've got to make a decision and someone has to be in charge of that. Courtney: In both those scenarios, how would you deal with people who might not agree with what the decision is or might even be a detractor if they're at a life science organization versus the military? Ryan: On the military side, I felt it was relatively easy because I would get everyone's input. Then the first thing I would do, again, knowing I was the decision-maker, I actually had no problem making the decision and then standing by it. I would always highlight, okay, I've got everyone's input and I would acknowledge those who disagree. That's the first thing. If you can demonstrate that you are listening to them, you're not just ignoring them because they have a different opinion. I understand. I know I'm the one who has to make this decision. Here's my decision. I also know that some issues and challenges are brought up by someone [...] this, this, and this, and then I would even explain why I made the decision. I know a lot of times people think in the military, you don't ever have to explain why you make a decision. The truth is, that's good leadership. You don't always get to do it. Sometimes you don't have time to do it. But if you do, explain your decision and people don't have to agree with it. The other thing is to acknowledge they have a differing opinion, acknowledge that they don't have to agree with it, but this is the decision that I'm making and I'm going forward with. That's how at least on the military side. Mike: I like it. Courtney: Awesome, yeah. I think those skills could probably be applied to obviously clients as well in life science organizations. You can have a broad perspective that if there's a reason behind why a direction was chosen, then hopefully everybody would be on the same page and willing to keep driving the initiative forward. Mike: Excellent point. Ryan, I'm curious. I wonder if you could share with us some of the key people who are leaders in your career that stand out and maybe a little story about why? Ryan: There's definitely a lot. I'll try and keep it quick. When I think of military leaders, there are two that jump to my mind right off the bat. John Holden was my battalion commander when I was a company commander on deployment. He was the one who better than anyone else exemplified that thing about here's my guidance, encouraged us to take initiative, make things happen, and more than anyone else I've ever worked with, he was very tolerant, and that he didn't hold it over you if something went wrong or we made a mistake. He exemplified that better than anyone else. Then we would take the time to assess what happened and why we did it wrong. He was also the one who didn't ever make the same mistake twice. He's just an amazing individual. Another one was my MEU Commander. I was the OpsO operations officer for MEU, which is a 2500 marine and sailor unit. He was a MEU commander. We deployed overseas. He was probably one of the most intelligent individuals I've ever met. Very well organized and very consistent in his messaging, but we planned a whole bunch of operations overseas and just had a tremendous, tremendous deployment. I loved working for him, probably the most demanding person I ever worked for. He would constantly hammer people. I actually took a lot of pride in that. In my group, my operations section, we had 30 or 40 people. I would never let him get to anyone in my section. He had to hammer me on everything. It was like a little battle between him and me but we had a tremendous relationship and just very consistent, very, very professional, although very demanding. Another great individual. Then actually, I'll probably summarize the last group, there are three individuals all in high school age. They were all athletic coaches, but tremendous examples. I'll give one tiny example and I'll move on. I talked about making a decision and being genuine about it. I can think of one of my coaches. These three individuals were all the same—tremendous, tremendous leaders. I row crew in high school. That's why I went to the Naval Academy to row crew there. They have this thing called seat race where you actually fight for your seat in a boat. I was fighting for the very first boat, I beat an individual, and when we got on the dock he acknowledged. He told the whole team, Ryan won the seat race but I am not going to put him in the first boat. I think both boats row better the other way. I will tell you, it's still a lesson I cherish today because I hated that individual for about two days. Then I totally got over it and I thought he was one of the most amazing leaders because he had to make a hard decision and he made a very genuine decision. He didn't try to hide behind anything. You won the race but I'm making a decision otherwise. Big lesson for me. Mike: That's pretty cool. Now help me understand, you get to fight for the seat in the boat. Is there a skill set that goes with each of the seats? Ryan: Not a skill set for each of the seats. It doesn't matter what seat you're fighting for. What happens is you get two boats next to each other the same size boat. In high school, we used to row four men boats and race each other so you have one individual. If I'm competing against Joe for a seat in the first boat, he'll put the two boats together. He'll have me in one seat, Joe in the other seat, and we race. Then he switches us and we race again. If everything's even, the boat should win by the same differential, but if the boat I'm in won the first race by one seat, and then he switches me and now I win by two seats then I win the seat race. It's probably the most accurate way to make decisions on who gets into what boat. Mike: I thought you were literally fighting him to get a seat in the boat. Courtney: That's what I thought too. I thought it was on your mark, get set, go and then people would run and try to punch the other guy. Ryan: Oh, no. It's a race. Sorry, probably a horrible explanation. You are rowing. It's a way to assess how effective you are as a rower but it is head to head and it is brutal. It's awesome though and most times, when you win, you're in the boat. Mike: Got it. So does it help to determine that the boats are equal? Ryan: It doesn't have to. Mike: You switch boats, no? Ryan: What matters is when you do that first race is the difference in the race. If one boat ends up a whole boat length ahead then they are truly equal rowers. When you row again, that same boat should end up a whole boat length. Courtney: When I was a kid, the boys and girls club, I think they had a rowing opportunity or field trip for a couple of weeks in Newport Harbor, Newport Bay. I would go and I thought it would be all fun. I did not realize, and I was probably 14 at the time, it murders your arms. It murders your whole body pretty much. I would always be the weak rower and then they would be like you have to get out and swim alongside the boat. But I also was a terrible swimmer, still to this day. So then they just leave me in the middle of the harbor floating along. Mike: Oh my god. Courtney: It was funny. They'd have to circle around and I'd have to row back in the boat and then carry me back. Mike: You couldn't row so they dumped you out? Courtney: Yeah, they dumped me out. Then they went back and then they realized I really couldn't row and I really couldn't swim so they had to come save me. Ryan: I will tell you that is not normal behavior. Courtney: I'm glad you said that because I was like, oh, this is it for me. Ryan: That's horrible. Courtney: I was floating back like a little otter. Yeah. Now the most I get is at the gym on the rowing machine for maybe five minutes. Mike: I was going to say that my rowing experiences on the life rower when I was in high school. I used to love the life rower and I would beat the little guy every time. It's on the screen, you had to race against the guy, and I was pretty good at it. Maybe I should have tried out for the crew. Courtney: Like really tried out or just taken photos to send to the college pretending you're part of them. Mike: There you go. Ryan: I've heard about people doing that. I do like to say that I was recruited for rowing to college, and I did row on the team. Mike: That's great. I always like to ask people what their second favorite college football team is. So I thought, I might as well just ask you that question, Ryan. Ryan: Oh, man, that's a loaded question. Let's see if I can come up with something else, but I'll have to go with [...]. Mike: Most people's second favorite, of course. I knew the answer. Ryan: I have to go with the Navy first, of course. Mike: I didn't force you to say Navy, name it as your first. Courtney: You can say UC Santa Cruz Banana Slugs Football fans. Mike: That's my favorite team mascot I think is the Banana Slug. Courtney: Yeah. I'm a Santa Cruz alumni, but you can actually go and pick them up after it rains when they all come out. When I was a tour guide, I used to take groups and families around and we'd see them so I'd run over and pick them up and then I would pass them around the circle as I was talking. I got in so much trouble for that because apparently there is an acid on your hands that's harmful to the Banana Slug. So I was murdering the Banana Slugs on my tour. So lame, but I love them. They're cool. Mike: Yeah. We were in Hawaii and I heard this to watch out for the very big slugs. I don't think they call them banana slugs, but they're telling us that they could be poisonous or something like that. I have an aversion to slugs now. Courtney: You don't just go pick them up? Mike: I don't go pick them up. I used to pick up the ones with the shell, but I wouldn't touch the actual slug. I was against that. I think we have a little game to play here. Don't we, Courtney? Courtney: Yeah, we do. It does pertain to both military and science. So both of you, Mike and Ryan, you guys can do your best. Essentially, I have a list of acronyms. You guys have to guess what the acronym means and where it came from. Was it originally military or science? I'm going to randomize them. The first one is ASAP. Mike: ASAP. Ryan: That's military, definitely. Courtney: That is military. Mike: I thought it was just everyday vernacular. Was that even an acronym? Ryan: It's a word. Courtney: Yeah, as soon as possible. There we go. All right, the next one is IRB. Ryan: I know that one. Mike: I was going to say it's got to be a science one. Courtney: It is. Mike: In life sciences, it's the Investigational Review Board. Courtney: Yes. Great job. Okay, so I'll give you these two together, a CO versus a CA. Ryan: CO was military. CA I assume was science. Courtney: It is. Ryan: CO is a commanding officer. I'm not sure what CA is. I don't hear CA alone. I always hear CA or CAPA. Courtney: Yeah. Okay, well, that steals my next one, which was CAPA. Thanks, Ryan. Ryan: We use that in the military too. I kept wondering, is that a science term only or did that originate in the military? Courtney: You know, I've never been through the military so I couldn't tell you. I know it's a life science term. Ryan: We use that term as maintenance-related a lot on all our vehicles. Courtney: Okay. Mike: I've heard it even in NASA. I think it's a broadly used term. Courtney: HIPAA Mike: I know that one. Ryan: Science. Courtney: Yeah, that's science and medical. Mike: The Health Information Protection Portability and Protection Act. Courtney: Yeah. Portability and Accountability Act. Awesome. And then TIA? Mike: I don't know this one. Ryan: Yeah. I don't know it either. Courtney: It's for medical, transient ischemic attack. Mike: Oh, it's like a stroke. Courtney: A mini stroke. Mike: Yeah, a mini stroke. Courtney: I thought it's interesting because whenever I see that, I'm always like, oh, transient ischemic attack, but it also means thanks in advance for just general saying. Mike: Thanks for texting. Courtney: Yeah, TIA. All right, FUBAR Ryan: Definitely military. I won't say what that one means. Mike: We had to search for that one. I heard it many years ago. I couldn't remember. I searched it up and I found out. Courtney: Yeah, we looked it up yesterday. I was watching a cat show because I'm learning about cats. Obviously, for my catastrophe and there's a cat named Fubar. I just thought it was funny and then I found out it was a military term. Then I figured out what it was. It's like, oh, well, it's even funnier. Ryan: I actually thought that was a very common term that everyone knew though. I'm surprised how few people know it. Mike: I think it's used as a word more so and people don't really know what the letters mean. Courtney: The origin. Okay. So we'll do ADME. Ryan: Got to be science. Mike: Yeah, I'm thinking. I don't know what it is. Courtney: It's absorption, distribution, metabolism, and excretion. It's pharmacokinetics. That's how you evaluate a drug. It's action in a human. The last one is CBER. Mike: I know that is a government organization, I believe, right? Courtney: It is. Ryan: Did you say CBURN? Courtney: CBER. Ryan: How do you spell it? Courtney: CBER. Ryan: I'm not sure. Courtney: It's the Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research. Ryan: Okay. Courtney: Yeah. When you send drugs in to go be evaluated or your PLA, your IND, those types of applications for new products, they have to be evaluated by CBER. Mike: Very cool. This is awesome. So we've come to the end of our podcast. I want to say thank you to Ryan Coughlin, our very first guest on our Leaders in Life Sciences podcast. Thank you, Ryan. Ryan: Thank you. It was a lot of fun. I really appreciate you having me on today. Mike: Yeah, we enjoyed it. Thank you, Courtney, great to share this time with you. I'm looking forward to our next one. Courtney: Thank you. Ryan: Take care. Mike: All right. Well, thanks. It was great having Harriet on the podcast, excited to have her and looking forward to hearing what our thoughts are after that conversation. To help us with this, we're going to bring on another one of our consultants, Emily Green. Thanks, Emily, for joining us. How are you? Emily: Hi, Mike. I'm good. How are you? Mike: Doing great. That was an awesome conversation we had. Courtney, I'll go to you first. What did you think? I thought that was a great, great, great interview. What are your thoughts? What are your takeaways from Harriet? Courtney: Yeah, I had a wonderful time talking to Harriet. I think she is one of those exemplary leaders that we are lucky to have here at Enterey and in the life science industry in general. One of the things that she said that really spoke to me was her view on being resilient. Her view on resiliency really spoke to me and I really admire that because I think that in order to be in any professional industry, you do need to have a little bit of that resiliency because things might not always go your way. It depends on how you make the best of the situation to really dictate how to move forward. I really admired and appreciated her thoughts on that. Mike: That's great. I totally agree. I thought that was a really good point, and just being willing to get back up. So great. What about you, Emily, what do you think? Emily: Yeah. I really agree with you, Courtney. I think her resilience was something that really shined through. For me, I kind of saw that through like a different motif. For me that was growing into her leadership as a woman. I think there are a lot of challenges that you can face, especially for Harriet within the Navy. Growing up on finding your leadership as a woman within that role that you're surrounded by men. I know at one point, she spoke about how she had this constant adjustment from when you were deployed and you were in this smaller group of community. Then when you came back and you're with 500 men and balancing that ability to grow as a leader, and how she found that really just working hard. It'll serve you no matter where you are, no matter where you start. I think that was something that resilience really shines through. I think, again, one of the other things that really struck a chord for me was that ability to grow and progress and how you need to find those roles that allow you to grow, and that there is always going to be plenty of work to be done. You want to find the work that's going to be visible and the work that's going to move you forward. It's work you're passionate about, but also work that's really on that frontlines and driving action and driving change. Rather than that work that's great but it's behind the scenes and the work that there are tons of people that will always need to do work. If you want to drive your career forward, it's really finding that responsibility and bringing yourself out to the front. Mike: That's awesome. I think those are great takeaways, good points. I think the one thing that I would add to all that, one of my key takeaways in the conversation with Harriet was her points about how you lead others. The thing that drew me to this comment was just so much of leadership is helping others get where they want to go. They're going to take you in the organization there. Her comment about looking at how you build respect for other people—that was really meaningful to me. Then thinking about it in such a way that you're helping people bring their whole self so that they can lead and they can take the organization further and be the best that they can be. It's not all about as a leader, focus on yourself, but you're focused on lifting everybody up. To do that, her other comment was around removing roadblocks. As a leader, how can people remove roadblocks so that people around them can lead, go forward, and do the best that they can do to fulfill their mission and their desire? I thought that was really great. I really enjoyed the conversation overall and was excited that we had a chance to talk to her. Very cool. Thanks so much, guys. Any other parting comments? Courtney: I think I'm good, yeah. Mike: Awesome. That was great. Well, thanks, Harriet, again. It's time for us to wrap this up. We're looking forward to our next episode coming up soon. Thanks again guys and we'll talk to you soon. Take care. Courtney: Thanks, Mike. Mike: Bye. Emily: Thank you, Mike. Bye-bye. Mike: All right, let's wrap this up. If you like this podcast, please don't forget to subscribe, that really helps us out. And also, leave us a five star rating, that's a big help too. If you'd like, please feel free to share your thoughts in the comments as well. Thank you for listening and we hope to see you next time on the Leaders and Life Sciences podcast powered by Enterey Life Sciences Consulting, where people drive results. Take care.

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