Ep 6: Growing as a Leader with Sue Marchant

Episode 6 February 28, 2023 00:49:53
Ep 6: Growing as a Leader with Sue Marchant
Leaders in Life Sciences
Ep 6: Growing as a Leader with Sue Marchant

Feb 28 2023 | 00:49:53

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Hosted By

Mike Ferletic

Show Notes

What is the secret to dealing with people and establishing connections? How does this help when transitioning to a leadership role?  

Sue Marchant is the Vice President of Product Management at MasterControl. In today’s episode, she talks with hosts Mike Ferletic and Courtney Boudreaux are joined by guest host Nancy Coughlin for a discussion. Listen to the episode to hear them discuss the goals she has as a product manager, the challenges of transitioning to a leadership role, and her early experience with developing and launching her own software.   

Topics Discussed in Today’s Episode: 

Resources:  

Sue Marchant 

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Episode Transcript

Mike: Welcome to the Leaders in Life Science Podcast powered by Enterey Life Sciences 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 the Leaders in Life Sciences podcast. My name is Mike Ferletic, and I'm the CEO of Enterey Life Sciences Consulting. It's great to have you with us, and I want to welcome to the show my co-host, Courtney Boudreaux. Welcome, Courtney. Courtney: Hey everyone. How's it going? Hey Mike. Mike: Good to see you. It looks like we have another person on the line as well. Do you want to introduce our special extra co-host today? Courtney: Sure. Today we have with us, Nancy Coughlin. Hey Nancy, how are you? Nancy: Hi. I'm good. Hi everyone. I'm doing really well. Mike: Hey, Nancy. It's good to have you. What is going on in your world today? Nancy: Thanks for having me. This is really fun. Just busy. I would say last night was very exciting. We had a happy hour. That was good. We had a little happy hour going on for some of the SoCal people. We met down in Oceanside and it was good to be in person, just visiting, and getting to know everyone again. It was a lot of fun. Mike: That's awesome. I know it's been a long time since we've had a chance to get together. Nancy: Yeah, it was good. What about you guys? Mike: I think the most exciting thing that's been happening to me lately is I broke down and I got an Apple watch. I've never had one and everybody seems to have one of these things and I finally got one. I'm kind of more of a traditional watch guy, just like your fancy-looking watch kind of thing, but this is kind of fun. I got some cool pictures on it and I'm pretty impressed with how vivid these pictures are. It's kind of fun to see them flash across my watch each day. That's my excitement. I'm going to learn how to use this thing more over the weekend. How about you, Courtney? What's going on with you? Courtney: Nothing much. I was able to meet Nancy and the team last night at the happy hour and I brought with me Dolly Pawton, my new puppy. She seemed to be very friendly and loved meeting everybody else there as well so it was a really great time. To echo your point about the Apple watch, Mike, I don't have an Apple watch, but I have a Fitbit Sense and it's very similar just not as good. It's excellent for step tracking and tells me when I snore at night. The capabilities are crazy. Mike: That's pretty cool. I had a Garmin that tracked a lot of different exercises that I wasn't doing and so I kind of felt like maybe I'll just go with the pure tech. I'm sure there are probably exercises it tracks that I don't do on the Apple watch as well, but it's cool. I'm pretty excited about our conversation today. How about you guys? Looking forward to it. Nancy: Yes, we're excited. Courtney: Oh, absolutely. Mike: Today our guest is Sue Marchant. Sue is the Senior Vice President of Product at MasterControl where she leads all product development with an emphasis on infusing advanced data mining and analytics capabilities into MasterControl's cloud-based software for the life science. She spearheads initiatives around actionable, predictive insights, and optimized efficiency, productivity, and compliance. In the decade prior to joining MasterControl, Sue worked in several senior-level capacities to lead natural language understanding, machine learning, and cloud analytics projects for NICE Systems Ltd., a cutting edge text and speech analytics software company that enables organizations to operationalize big data. Her most recent role with the company was director of product. Among her other professional accomplishments, Sue founded and served as the Chief Product Officer of a SaaS company that developed applications to help hospitals recover the cost of donated prescription medications. She also worked for nearly a decade as an independent consultant in product management, quality assurance, and technical writing in the software space. We're really excited today to have Sue Marchant on the call. Let's welcome Sue. Welcome. How are you? Sue: Hey, thanks. Great to be here. Excited to talk with you today. Mike: Yeah, it's awesome to have you. Thanks so much for joining us. I was really excited to learn about you and your background. As we prep for this call, I learned about your very interesting path to get to where you are today. I thought maybe we could just start by giving you a chance to tell us a little bit about that. Tell us how you got to where you are today. Sue: It's a long and unwinding journey. Whenever I hear the description of my career and what I'm doing today, I'm a little bit baffled by the description. It sounds a lot fancier than what I feel like I do, which is really helping people to make sense out of all of their data. I think everything that I've done along my career path has been about how do I look at what's in front of me and translate that into something that everyone can understand. Way back when I started off on my career, I was actually working at a title in an escrow company, working full time, very busy role there, and learned that I was expecting my first daughter. I wanted to find a way to be able to work from home with her. This was 21 years ago, so there were not a lot of work from home opportunities at the time. But I found a role as a virtual assistant, which was kind of an unheard of thing back then and happened to be working for some consultants who eventually decided they wanted to create a little software program. The software program they developed, I kind of helped them with some outsourced developers, started managing some of the initiatives they were doing. I didn't know that that was product management, but it was kind of the first time that I was involved in a project where we were developing software, but I wanted to become more involved and I asked them if I could create their help files. They said, do you know how to do that? I said of course I do. I downloaded some help file software, figured out how to use it, and began writing the help files. Very shortly afterward, I kind of rebranded myself as a technical writer and I would go out and find clients. I would look for companies that were looking for a technical writer and I would send them a letter saying do you really need somebody full time or could I help you out? For the next 10 years, that's what I did. I worked with software companies to develop their user manuals, their documentation, and their help files. As I worked with those companies, I often got involved in other aspects of their work. I would do QA. As I was documenting their software, I would be testing it. I would find bugs. I would get more involved sometimes in helping to do a little bit of product management for these small companies. Really got more and more familiar with what was happening in software companies at the time, but very much on a consulting, individual contributor kind of basis. At one point in time, my sister was actually working for a company for a hospital that had a very manual process where patients who were indigent would come in, they would need prescription medication, and they didn't have the money obviously, to pay for that medication. Many drug manufacturers have programs where if those patients file the right paperwork, the drug manufacturer will pay for their medication. That was a really, really manual process. It involved a lot of paperwork. Every program was different. They kind of made it as hard as possible for these patients to get their medication for free. She came to me and said you know about computers, right? Could you help me figure this out? She kind of lost interest after a couple of weeks and she realized it would be a much bigger project than what she was originally envisioning. I did end up creating some software that was designed to really digitalize that process. I had no idea what I was doing in starting my own software company. Mike: The best place to start. Sue: Yeah. Trial by fire resulted in the rapid emptying of my bank account as I worked with offshore developers, but I did manage to create that software. It did work. I did eventually sell the IP to a company. I think I broke even overall. I didn't have a lot of understanding of the tech world, data architecture, or any of the things that I would've needed to understand in order to make that a successful business. I really thought at that point in time, you know what, I need to go work for a real software company, figure out what this is all about so that I can be in a better position if I ever want to try something like this again. Spoiler alert, I don't. I went to work for a software company and it happened to be a text analytics startup. Text analytics is all about taking in all of the text that you find in the world and making sense out of it. Whether it is recorded conversations, emails, customer complaints in a database, any form of text, that company would analyze all of it. Thousands and thousands of hospitality card comments, for example. They would be able to take all of that text in, understand what it meant, and surface to the customers things like 40% of your customers hate the beds, think they're too hard. Twenty percent of the customers think that your breakfast is terrible. Give them actionable insights from that information. I started working there as a technical writer. I wanted to just get my foot in the door and they were working on lots of exciting things. They were working with the CIA on some kind of exciting initiatives to help combat terrorism and so I started working as a technical writer. As a technical writer documenting their software, I began finding bugs again, finding issues with the software. I moved into QA, quality assurance for software and I kind of worked my way up that ladder. Manual testing, automated testing, then kind of managing QA. As I did that, I started working with the product manager and the product manager was the one who got to say, here's what we're going to build. Here's the next thing we're going to have our software do. Here are the next set of capabilities we want to do and I thought, that's cool. I want to be the person who mobilizes that army of engineers and helps them find the next capability that will really benefit their customers and their users. I developed a relationship with her, learned her job, and when she was ready to move on to her next role in another company, I threw my hat in that ring. I was hired on as the product manager and I've been a product manager really ever since. A couple of years ago, I went back and got my degree working on my MBA, and ended up coming to MasterControl. It's just a really long, not very clear path. Once I found product management, I knew that was really what I was going to love and what I was going to really spend the rest of my career doing because it's so exciting and gratifying to have a voice in what we're developing and really being able to talk to our users, understand their needs, and make sure that what we're building is what is going to be the most helpful to them. It's just an exciting career and it's exciting to be here. Mike: That's great. It sounds like a mixture of entrepreneurship, taking initiative, and finding what you really love to do all rolled into one and getting to where you are today. I was going to ask you because I've heard the term product management a lot and I've never really quite understood it. You gave a good explanation. Maybe just for those who aren't super familiar with it, can you give another little anecdote of what a product manager does? What is your goal as a product manager? Sue: Sure. A product manager is responsible for understanding what users need. What are their problems, first of all? As they're using software or as they're going about their daily work lives, what are their challenges and then building into the software, the capabilities that will help them with those challenges. For example, right now or fairly recently, one of the things I was responsible for was defining what dashboards we would have in our product. When I talked to customers, I would say, okay, tell me about what you're worried about as you're driving into work. What are those things you need to be aware of the minute you walk in the door? What are the things you worry about at night that you're thinking did we get this right? Did we remember to do this? Are we close to hitting this target? I really wanted to understand all of their challenges and problems, all of the things that they were measured by. What are the things your boss is going to look at you and say you didn't hit your target? Let's measure all of those things and help you understand them. My role as a product manager was to understand their challenges and then build into the product things that help them to overcome those challenges and things that would help them to be successful or to accomplish their goals. A product manager identifies those things by doing different kinds of research with users. And then it defines, for the software engineers, here's what we're going to build, here's what we're going to develop, and then really shepherds that through the development process. Works with the engineers. They build something, we check it. Did that really meet the need? Does it help the users to do what they want to do? Then as we get ready to go to market, we do things like pull in customers to test it for us, to beta test it. Try this piece of software out and let us know what you think. Let us know, does it actually solve those problems and challenges? Then helping some of our go-to-market partners figure out how to support it. Create the right help documentation, create the right training materials, create the right marketing materials to help customers understand what it is. A product manager is kind of from the cradle to, I don't want to say grave because we just aren't going to the grave, but through release, they're responsible for making sure we're developing the right thing and making it successful. Mike: Very cool. That's awesome. Even in your description there, it sounds like throughout the course of being a product manager, and I imagine in the other roles that you held as well, there's a lot of working with other people in order to make things succeed. I'm curious, as a leader today and as you grew as a leader, how did you incorporate the talents of people in your teams or people within the organization into these projects or these efforts to help the whole thing be successful? Sue: That's an interesting question. Being a product manager, as you said, it's all about relationships. It's all about talking to people. It's about helping them understand your vision for something and making sure that software engineers understand your vision and what you're trying to accomplish. With other product managers as you're trying to lead them, once you pull them into your team, it's really all about helping them understand that vision. Make sure that they are creating the features that are necessary for the product. As you transition into leadership, it's less about what you individually are creating, defining, and building, and more about helping them to develop those capabilities because once you transition into leadership, it really is about making your team successful. Often when people are really rockstar individual contributors and they move into leadership, they end up wanting to just do everything rather than teaching their team, training their team, and mentoring their team. Instead, they start doing everything and working themselves to death because that's what success was to them before. Success was all about, I work as hard as possible. I get everything done. I know I can do it well. But when you get into leadership, you have to step back, let go, teach them, train them, and let them succeed. That's where people I think really struggle. You have to really learn to trust your team, elevate your team, and their success is then what you're rated by. Mike: That's great. I love that. Courtney: I have a question. I kind of want to go back to what you were saying a little bit earlier about the software that you developed and you were launching and it was your own initiative. It seems that when people take on similar entrepreneurial endeavors, they have very lofty goals and they want it to be like the next Google or whatnot. Things don't work out directly all the time, I'll say. It seems that you still consider it a successful endeavor. I was wondering if you could talk to us a little bit about your learning lessons and the outcome from that experience, how you persevered through, and you kept going after the result might not have been what you had expected. Sue: To be perfectly honest, it's taken me a lot of years to be able to look at that. For a long time, it was devastating. I really believed in it. I felt like it was good for the world. It would help people. It was something that I was really passionate about, but it failed spectacularly from a financial perspective, and it really dampened my desire to try anything like that again. But I definitely learned you can keep learning and you can keep growing and having a failure like that, it doesn't define you and it doesn't mean that because you couldn't do it then, you're not going to be capable of amazing things in the future. I didn't know what I didn't know. With the knowledge and the skills that I had at the time, looking back I can say I did really well like that. I'm kind of amazed I got that far considering how much I didn't know. As you grow, progress, and move along in life at the advanced stage, which I have, you really do get perspective. I can look back at that now and I'm really glad that I had that experience because it fostered in me a desire to learn more. I wanted to find out what I was missing and to move on. At the tech companies, I think I was much more curious about more than just my direct job. I wanted to see what made these other companies successful and to learn about what those gaps were. I think even though I don't have a desire to be an entrepreneur anymore, that curiosity about business, about what made the company successful, I think it helps me in my role today. I won't say that I'm glad I had that failure, but I definitely have a very different perspective on it today than I did then. Courtney: I think endeavoring into anything like that, you have to be brave. It just shows an incredible amount of bravery on your part and grace that you can look back at it and realize how it's helped you today. Nancy: I want to add on that too, Sue. I liked how you added more curious and I think that curiosity and that drive, you had the immense drive and that's what really pushed you through. Sue: I had tremendous financial incentive to recover. I had no choice but to go back to work, which also was really helpful. I think otherwise I might have melted into a little puddle on the floor for a number of years. Sometimes having to push forward to the next thing is the best thing you can do. Just getting back up, putting one foot in front of the other again, and knowing that that's not the end. One failure doesn't define you. It can't define you. Mike: That's great. There's a book that I love that is called Willing to Fail. It's actually called WTF? but it stands for Willing to Fail. It's by Brian Scudamore who's the founder of 1-800-GOT-JUNK? He talks about all the failures that he encountered in his career. It was probably like the most real kind of conversation. I heard about the book. I heard him in an interview. I think, like you said, Sue and I would kind of analogize this to my own experience starting Enterey, I didn't really think I was willing to fail at the time. There were plenty of failures that I encountered along the way. But it was more important to keep taking that next step because it was like, okay, this might not be perfect, but I got to keep going. That was kind of the message that I felt back then and I think is true to what Brian Scudamore was saying, which is, you got to try stuff. It may not all work out, but in order to figure out where you want to go, you got to move forward. Sue: I would say product managers, I mean many roles, but product managers, that is something that they really have to develop. They have to develop a willingness to say, I believe this is the next thing we should do. For new product managers, that's often really difficult for them to have the confidence to say that or to move into the next role. Often it's hard for people to move from an individual contributor role to a director role where they're responsible for an entire area. They think I'm going to fail. You've got to have the confidence to just step into it. When they promoted me into this role, I thought oh, I don't know. But you've got to be willing to try and otherwise you're not going to be successful. If you're not willing to fail, you're not going to have the opportunity to fail. Mike: 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. I've seen leadership struggle to make decisions due to lack of timely information. Mike: That's so true. It seems like just knowing the problems to fix is only half the battle. How'd you help your clients address those challenges? Courtney: Well, we of course first work with our client to design a structured management process that fits their culture and team. And 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, if 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: It sounds like a great idea. Courtney: Well, thank you. Nancy: Sue, I want to ask. When you first started your journey 21 years ago when you were really searching for something that could be remote or virtual so you could be home with your children or you just had your first child, I think you mentioned, did you ever think that now we'd be in a world where the whole world is remote and virtual. Did you ever think that that was going to happen? Like you came full circle? Sue: Not at all. I felt so lucky. I felt so fortunate to have found a way to be able to have the best of both worlds in some respects. There's a lot that goes with working from home. For many of us, there's a lot of extra balancing and juggling you have to do, but it is really amazing to see what's changed in the last couple of decades. Mike: I totally agree. It's a bit crazy. I think if you could have just had a pandemic 21 years ago, you would've been all set. Sue: I have a couple of PMs who work for me and one of them is about to have her second child, and she's a fantastic worker. Her work ethic is amazing. But it's so interesting as a manager, to be like, of course, go to your appointment. Of course take all the time you need. Of course work whenever you want and realizing it really makes her no less effective at all. How great is it that we can have that kind of flexibility and still have all of the productivity that we have today because of the kinds of tools that we have that allow us to work in that way? It’s really amazing. Mike: It's amazing just even being on this call and doing what we're doing right now. The technology that got us to this point. Sue: Absolutely. Mike: It sounds like, Sue, throughout your journey, building relationships with people has been really critical to your success. I'm just kind of curious about your advice for people who are listening. I can pursue my own dreams and aspirations, but what's critical in terms of dealing with other people and connecting with other people? In your mind, how did that help you get to where you're at? Sue: For a long time, I really didn't focus on building relationships. I was very much an individual contributor. I do my work. All of my success is based on what I do alone. I had a mentor who essentially said to me listen, you're not going to advance. You're not going to do as well as you could if you won’t really start focusing on building relationships because that is where the true secret sauce is. In product management in particular, but in business in general, you really need to influence people without having direct authority over them. As a product manager, you're trying to get a lot of people who don't report directly to you to do what you would like them to do and having those relationships is helpful with that. But it's not just about having them do what you want them to do. It's about understanding them, understanding their needs, understanding their perspectives, and all of those things inform what you're going to do. Having the relationship of trust where they know that you can be counted on to play their role. It's really important between product and engineering that there's a lot of trust there, product and marketing that there's a lot of trust there. You really want to have those relationships where you are able to work together to accomplish a goal. It also brings a richness to your working life that makes your working life just more satisfactory and helps you to be more effective, I think. Once I started really working to build those relationships, it became so much easier to accomplish things. It became so much easier and more fun to work and to make all of us successful at the same time. Mike: I totally agree. Nancy: That's really like at Enterey, it's a very similar concept. We talk about building relationships with our clients, very similar. Courtney: I was a science student and a science major all throughout college. I really was always that person who wanted to do everything alone. I wanted to do the lab alone. I wanted to turn the assignment in alone. I did not want to have to deal with anybody else. One of the best pieces of advice that one of my professors gave me was that scientists work together. There is not one scientist who comes upon one concept on their own and develops it from start to finish completely on their own. Scientists work together and so you may not like it, but you need to learn how to work with other people. It really dawned on me because everything we do in the consulting world or everything, just in business in general, industry-wide, across all industries, you need people in order to get the result you want. It takes an incredible amount of teamwork. I think what you were saying about being able to influence people without having direct authority over them is an excellent skill to have in the business world and as a leader even. Because even if you do have authority over people, you don't want to use the hammer of authority. You want it to be a partnership and a more educational moment. I think that's incredible insight. Sue: When you are leading people, you need them to feel that they can come to you. You need to have the knowledge and if they aren't willing to share it with you because they don't trust you, because you don't have that relationship, you're going to miss out on critical pieces of knowledge that you need and that's not just the people who report to you. That is the people who are your peers, the people who are above you in the food chain. You need all of that information. The only way that you get that is by reaching out to people, forming relationships with them, and communicating with them on a regular basis. A lot of the failures that we see in business and in software development have to do with when people stop communicating and when they assume that they know what the other person knows. The more communication you have, the better. The better the relationship you have, the better the communication. It can only benefit, I think. Courtney: It seems to me that you're somebody who is a lifelong learner and it's not always in a formal setting. There are opportunities to learn around you every day, but you went back to school it seems a little later in your career? Could you tell me about that experience and what it was like to go back to school and then continue your education and continue even more being a lifelong learner. Sue: Honestly, I think I had a bit of an inferiority complex for a long time because I didn't have my degree. I think I felt like I always needed to work 10 times harder than everyone else in order to prove myself. Even if they didn't have that perception, most people probably didn't even know that I didn't have my degree, but I always felt like I had something to prove. I've been working in tech for quite some time and I was tired of feeling that way. It was mostly just a personal thing because I'm a huge reader. I'm a huge learner, but it was important to me to get the degree. It was also an important example to set for my teenagers. I went back, got the degree while I was working, and then once I got that done, I was kind of like why would I stop here? It's time to just get my MBA and move forward. I'm working on that now and it's great. You think you know a lot of things and then you realize how much you don't know as you're taking formal courses. Sometimes it's humbling and sometimes it's really eye-opening, but it's always helpful. I'm just really glad that I've had the opportunity to go back and do that. Courtney: That's amazing. I am a lover of school as well. I graduated in 2020 with my master's degree. It's funny because KGI keeps having different programs pop up all over and I eyeball them. I'm like oh, that looks fun. That looks so interesting. But then I remember I have to stay focused just for a little bit longer. I sympathize with that. Why stop now? Why not keep going? That's an excellent sentiment. Nancy: I'm just having a hard time visualizing Courtney, you at any time, not wanting to work with other people. I can't get that out of my head. You said when you were in the science mode, you wanted to do everything yourself. It doesn't equate to the Courtney that we know. Courtney: I think there's a difference between wanting to work with people who you want to work with versus being told you're working with people who you might not want to work with, would've chosen, or don't have similar motives, I would say. That's one thing I do enjoy about this industry. Most everybody you meet is like-minded of some sort. You have the same goal and similar backgrounds. You're both in life science, tech, or whatever, for similar reasons. There's a lot more that you can establish in common with other people rather than a freshman course at a university where people don't want to show up prepared or something like that. Mike: I need to find a way to impart your love of school to our kids. Our kids are both very smart, but I think it's more the age than the philosophy. Sue: Believe me, I've got four kids and two are in college, one is in high school, and one is in sixth grade. My high school student is giving me a run for my money. I feel you. Courtney: I was a tutor for a very long time, even up till recently, and one of the things I always told the students who were in high school that I tutored was, it's okay to cry about math. It's okay to cry about science. If you think you're the first person to cry about this or struggle with this, you're wrong because it is hard. This is hard stuff that we're doing, and it doesn't mean it's impossible, but you're right to feel that it's a challenge. Just saying that a lot of times just kind of flip a switch in their head that they weren't expected to be perfect because yes, it is hard. I mean, who does chemistry for fun on the side? It’s just kind of that mentality that always helped a little bit. Sue: Actually, my oldest daughter is majoring in computer science and I say that to her all the time. It's supposed to be hard. That's why it's lucrative, it's hard. If it was really easy, everyone would do it. Challenging things are worthwhile. Mike: Absolutely. I think that's great advice. It is supposed to be hard. It's not easy. What we all do takes talent, energy, and commitment definitely across the board. Sue, I'm curious if there's anything you want to share about where you're headed with products at MasterControl. Sue: Yeah, I mean, we're at a really exciting point at MasterControl. We have a lot of great products, digital batch record solutions, QMS solutions, and quality event solutions, but we're building our next generation platform, next generation of products that are really data-focused. They're going to have a lot of exciting AI and data capabilities. That's such a buzzword right now, but what it really means is it's going to give you the next level of understanding about what is happening with your products and your process. Rather than just the software allows you to do the jobs that you need to do and the software stores data as kind of a byproduct of you doing things in the system, instead, it's really about letting us learn from all of that data and then tell you what else can be improved. Because of what we know about how you operate, because of what we know about the data you put into the system, because of what we know about your manufacturing process, therefore, we can recommend things to you. It's going to be a really exciting time where we are releasing these products to the market that are going to have those capabilities. Just like I was talking about with dashboards earlier where it really is about what can we help you understand? All of our products really in our whole platform are really going to be focused on what can we help you understand, how can we make you more successful, how can we really help you create life-changing products that are safer in a more efficient way? That is just the goal of our entire product family today. Mike: That's great. I love it and I love technology when it gives you information that benefits, benefits where you want to go. It's one step ahead, it sounds like, what you're helping keep all your customers one step ahead of where they need to be. That's great. Nancy: I think it's amazing. I just want to say, when you talked about AI, that we're actually getting to that point. You think of the movies that they made years ago, iRobot and we're actually getting to that point. We just watched The Island the other night. That was another one. It's so futuristic. You mentioned AI that may have that sort of capabilities, that's amazing. Sue: Hopefully not in a scary way. This will be about supplementing human intelligence and giving you information about what you ought to look into and what you ought to understand rather than taking over. It's amazing to see how far that technology has come. Mike: It's really cool. I love technology. I love to see kind of where everything is headed, and I'm excited to see what the future holds for MasterControl in that regard. I think we got to move to wrap up here, but I want to hear what you guys thought and what some of your key takeaways were. Before we do that though, I'd really like to play a little game here. Have a little fun. What do you think, Courtney? Courtney: Yeah, it sounds great. I think we're going to do rapid-fire questions as we have been doing. Mike, I'm going to put you on the spot first today. Mike: Oh, you're putting me on the spot first. Courtney: Yeah, so that way Sue and Nancy can see how the game is played and prepare. They're different questions, so I will warn you about that. Don't preselect your answers because I'll ask you something different. Mike: All right, let's do it. I'm up. Courtney: Okay. Are you ready? Mike: Ready. Courtney: Where did you grow up? Mike: Seal Beach, California. Courtney: What is your Hogwarts house? Mike: I have really no idea, but something about snakes? Courtney: Slytherin, really? Mike: Yeah, that's the one. Courtney: What's your favorite store? Mike: My favorite store, it's Costco, and that's the exact reason why I no longer have a Costco membership. Courtney: What was your major in college? Mike: I was a government major with a second major in computer applications, which was an MIS degree. Courtney: Cool. Have you ever done a dare that you regret? Mike: Probably not. I was never much on the dare side of things, but yeah, none that I can think of. Courtney: What dish do you cook the best? Mike: What dish do I cook the best? I'll go with waffles. Courtney: What's your favorite board game? Mike: The Game of Life. Courtney: What's your favorite rainy day activity? Mike: I tend to not worry about the rain, so my favorite rainy day activity is just whatever I would've done otherwise. Courtney: Okay, and do you enjoy running? Mike: I did enjoy running. Now my knees hurt too much to enjoy running, but I did enjoy running. Nancy: Your knee, your feet. Mike: Yeah, my knees and my feet. Courtney: Would you ever skydive? Mike: Oh my goodness, yes. Nancy: Sue was shaking her head like no way. Courtney: I would do too. I'm pretty good at withstanding peer pressure. I'm not even pretty good. I'm really good. There's no way to make me do anything ever that I don't want to do. Skydiving is one of them. I've had friends who were, let’s all go skydiving. I'm like I will wait for you on the ground. Sue: Absolutely not. Courtney: I can't even handle the Tower of Terror at Disneyland or those drop rides. I don't even go on those. Nancy: What about bungee jumping? Courtney: No. Mike: I say that I would do it because I think if there were ever a time maybe I would do it, but like there are some roller coasters that I've been on recently where it's very breathtaking. Maybe jumping out of a plane wouldn't be the best thing for me to do. Courtney: It could be safe and people do it all the time, but it's just personal preference I guess. Nancy: It can go awry. You never know. Courtney: Nancy, you're up. Nancy: Oh, okay. Courtney: What movie do you quote the most? Nancy: I just did it last night. I would have to say It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World. Courtney: Do you like store-bought presents or homemade presents? Nancy: Homemade. Courtney: Are you more of an introvert or extrovert? Nancy: Extrovert. Courtney: Would you rather have a night out or a night in? Nancy: Night out. Courtney: Do you kill bugs you find inside or do you take them outside? Nancy: No, I'll save them. I try. Even the big gross spiders, I just feel like they serve a purpose. If I feel like my kids were threatened in any way like black widows it's different. That's more a mama bear coming out. Courtney: They serve their purpose outside. Do you prefer driving or flying? Nancy: No, I travel so much in both aspects, but I think the open road, driving. Courtney: Do you think you have more street smarts or book smarts? Nancy: Street smarts. Courtney: Fresh food or fried food? Nancy: Fresh. Courtney: Are you more cautious or bold? Nancy: Mike, you want to answer this one for me? Courtney: Bold. Mike: Nancy's bold. Courtney: Do you dip your toe into the pool first and walk slowly or do you cannonball in? Nancy: I usually cannonball in. Courtney: What's your go-to karaoke song? Nancy: Island's in the Stream. I've done that a lot. That's a duet. I have to say that's probably one of them. That and I Got You Babe. Courtney: Nancy, I've named all of my pets after country music stars. So far I have Bocephus the Cat, Little Willie Nelson, and my new puppy named Dolly Pawton. In the future, if Dolly ever needs a puppy buddy and I mean five years from now, I'm having a really hard time predicting whether I should name him Kenny, Pawter, or Dolly. Nancy: That will be a hard one. People say that Dolly Pawton, which you brought her to happy hour, was the star of the show, star of the evening. Courtney: It was so funny. I was so nervous and everybody was like passing me the dog. Mike: Like a baby. Very cool. Courtney: Sue, are you ready? Sue: I guess. Courtney: What is your last Google search? Sue: What is my last Google search? MasterControl deviation form example. I was looking for an image to put in a PowerPoint slide. Not very exciting. Courtney: Which coworker do you message the most? Sue: Definitely Erin Wright. She is my right-hand woman and we talk constantly all day long. Courtney: What is your favorite work memory? Sue: Oh, wow. I think it’s my last company going to Israel with some of my team members. Our headquarters was in Israel and we would travel to Israel frequently. We just had some amazing experiences there when we were tourists. That was a really great work memory. Courtney: Okay. What's your favorite store? Sue: Target. Courtney: What's your favorite holiday? Sue: Christmas without a doubt. Big sucker for Christmas. Christmas starts in November and it goes until January 15th. Courtney: Awesome. What is a good spy code name for you? Sue: The black ninja, I have no idea why. Courtney: Do you collect anything? Sue: Books and books and books. My house is like a library. Courtney: What is your go-to lazy dinner? Sue: Actually it's not food. We have a term for it at my house, I call it whatever night, and about three times a week, it's whatever night. That means the kids make their own dinner and I am not responsible. I consider that a meal. That's my favorite go-to meal is whatever night. Courtney: That's awesome. Nancy: In other words, clean out the fridge night. Courtney: Who's your favorite Disney character? Sue: Rapunzel from Tangled. Courtney: What never fails to make you laugh? Sue: I laugh all the time. My kids, I'll just say. Courtney: Do you have a bucket list? Sue: I do and a lot of it is travel. What is not on there is skydiving, just FYI, not on there. I'd love to travel to almost every continent. It's a long list. It'll take me a long time to get through it. Courtney: Okay, two more. Which celebrity annoys you the most? Sue: Oh, wow. Which celebrity? I don't know. Let's do crowd participation. What celebrity annoys you the most because I can't think of one? That's a hard one. Mike: I can only think of like the Kardashians or something like that. Courtney: I was going to say that. This is controversial, but Tom Brady, I'm tired of it. I'm sorry, Nancy. Okay, then last question. Cats or dogs? Sue: Dogs. I love cats, but I'm super allergic to them. The last time that I sat and the last time I was petting a cat, I ended up in the hospital with my throat closed off. Dogs for sure. Mike: I'm on the exact same page as you, Sue. I want to scratch myself from the inside out. Sue: Not comfortable. Mike: That's awesome. That was fantastic. I love that, Courtney. Thank you so much for leading us through that. Now let's move on. I want to know what you guys took away from our conversation with Sue. Sue, thank you so much for sharing all your insights. Sue: Thanks for having me. Mike: Courtney, how about an insight or two? Courtney: I really noticed throughout our conversation with Sue, her incredible amount of tenacity driven by the passion for the things that she loves to do and her curiosity to find out more. I think that that's an incredible quality to have in a leader, somebody who just enjoys doing what they do and who's tenacious throughout their career path to get to where they are. I think it's an incredible characteristic as a role model and a leader. I think also, she touched on it, but the amount of creativity needed in order to be successful in a role as a product manager seems immense because you have to constantly find solutions that might not be concrete answers to solve problems for customers. I think that's an incredible quality also that Sue has demonstrated throughout our conversation today and from her past as well. Sue: Oh, thank you. Mike: How about you, Nancy? What did you think? Nancy: Listening to you Sue, the one thing that got me is the one thing that you said kind of in the beginning. With all the fancy words and all the tools that use, and like you said, the creativity, the drive, the curiosity, all of that, but it really stems down—I actually wrote it down—that if it's as simple as helping people make sense of all of their data. That to me just helped put everything together because I was actually one of those people. I really wasn't exactly sure what you did. I see your title, I know what that means, but just when you put it into those terms and just simplify everything, I just thought that was a really good way of keeping it simple and explaining it. Sue: Oh, thank you. Mike: Awesome. From my perspective, I really enjoyed our conversation and I'm going to go a little off-script here. It’s not so much something you said, but kind of how you said it, Sue, I really appreciated the honesty and kind of transparency that you displayed in the conversation. Just as an example, just to tell us straight up, hey, it really wasn't the best experience when I had that major issue with the software company. Just being totally open and honest, I think that feeds into all of our daily lives. The more we can be open and transparent and honest with people, I think the better outcomes we have. Regardless of whether it's a good story or not, it's the truth and it's kind of the experience and what you've lived by. Thank you for that. I think that was a really great way to share your experience and we were very pleased and very thankful to have you on the show. Thanks so much for joining us. Hopefully we'll talk again soon. Sue: Thank you so much. Thank you. It's great to be here. Mike: Take care Courtney and Nancy, thank you guys so much. Let's head on out of here. It was great to have another show and look forward to our next one coming up. Stay tuned for more. We'll talk to you guys soon. All right, let's wrap this up. If you like this podcast, please don't forget to subscribe. That really helps us out. Also, leave us a five-star rating. That's a big help too. If you like, please feel free to share your thoughts and the comments as well. Thank you for listening and hope to see you next time on The Leaders in Life Sciences Podcast powered by Enterey Life Sciences Consulting, where people drive results. Take care.

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