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What if anything was possible? What if everything that’s happening, was happening FOR you and not TO you? These are the words Maxine Nwaneri – Author, Leadership Adviser and Executive Coach – used to open our 13th Women in BioPharma Leadership event; and what powerful words they turned out to be.

In this article, the WBL team reflect on Maxine’s CRISIS success plan and how to ensure you approach challenges with a positive mindset and know how to identify YOUR next best step in the face of fresh challenges or even positive change.

Time and time again, we hear people talk about the importance of leaders embodying resilience and flexibility in order to successfully drive change, face challenges head-on and emerge stronger.

But what does this actually mean? And how can you embody this strength and versatility in order to thrive in times of crisis and capitalize on opportunities for growth?

The 1st step is to make sure you build those skills now – not when you actually need them. Focus on your flexibility, growth mindset and how quickly you recover when you come up against change.

Future proof yourself so that, when the next challenge does come your way, you feel prepared, not reactive, or likely to default to familiar patterns that are unlikely to be as effective as the last time employed.

The 2nd step, is to make sure you’re familiar with Maxine’s CRISIS success plan to ensure you approach challenges with a positive mindset and know how to identify YOUR next best step in the face of fresh challenges or even positive change.

C – Cut out all the “noise”

Whether this is external noise or your internal voice – work on cutting out what’s not relevant, instead paying attention to your own intuition.
If it’s external, regulate what you consume and consider what’s within your circles of control.
If it’s internal, focus on feeding your inner critic with positive messages

R – Remember past successes + Refocus on your vision

Consider how you can create your own personal success diary so that you can dig into this in times of need. It’s always harder to remember your strengths when you’re navigating through uncertainty.

This might be as simple as creating a folder in your inbox and using this to save positive feedback, or it could be a more intentional approach, where you create a physical diary to capture daily or weekly successes. Either way, you should make sure what you collate ladders up into your personal vision for success.

I – Inquire intelligently about your next steps

Ask yourself the questions you actually want the answers to and will help drive you forwards – not questions that won’t add value e.g. why did this happen to me vs what can I do differently to move forwards with intent.

S – Seek input from carefully selected sources

Identify the people whose input you value; those who will be constructively honest and tell you what you need to hear rather than what you want to hear and seek advice from them.
Once you’ve identified these people and built that network, make sure you nurture it so that, when you find yourself in need, you already have a network of strong, valuable individuals you can lean into.

I – Implement imperfectly

There’s a reason why the AGILE methodology and strategic concepts like sprints are being applied so successfully in business. It’s because spending weeks, months, or even years developing perfect plans, is not conducive to success. Instead, acknowledge that you need to balance your time between strategically planning and getting things done. You need recognize that it’s ok to test things out and learn from your experiences.

S – See setbacks as set-ups for success

If you’ve already started flexing your growth mindset skills in step 1, then this final element should be a piece of cake. Instead of seeing setbacks as a barrier to success, see them as opportunities to learn from; as moments that are happening FOR you, not To you. Because by applying a positive mindset to the challenges you face, you are building your own personal resilience.

So, in the future, leverage this framework and ask yourself “which point of the CRISIS success plan is most relevant to the challenge I’m facing” and use it to identify what your next best step is; because, as Maxine said: what if anything was possible? What if what you’re experiencing right now is not happening to you, but for you, so that you can learn, emerge stronger and uncover what your vision of success truly looks like?

Women in Biopharma Leadership is a network for like-minded female leaders in the Pharma and BioTech industries run in partnership by Nazare and Links Life Sciences. The network’s mission is to provide our community with a space that enables opportunities for growth through connection, personal development and the sharing of expertise.

To hear more about our future events or connect with the WBL network, please head to our LinkedIn group.

If you’d like to find out more about Maxine or her Crisis Success plan, you can connect with her on LinkedIn or visit her website:

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