Fostering Leaders’ Growth Across a Diverse Ecosystem

Colorado’s economic growth, advancements in health innovation, and quality of life for the life sciences employees depend on a skilled and diverse workforce. Supporting career growth and effective leadership skills is vital to cultivating the best talent pool and an unwavering life sciences ecosystem,” says Meg John, Vice President of the Colorado BioScience Institute (The Institute). “And that’s exactly what we’re doing here!

Foundations of Leadership Spring 2023 Cohort

The Institute’s custom leadership course, The Foundations of Leadership, stands as a testament to their commitment to growing and supporting leaders from all walks of life.   The participants of this course contribute to fueling significant breakthroughs within the ecosystem and strengthening the community. They are the growing leaders that are eager to learn more about emotional intelligence, feedback, managing teams, and cultivating the best leadership qualities they can in their careers and beyond. The Institute recognizes the distinctive strengths each leader possesses while the course naturally highlights the trust and team dynamics in a unique way.

Brian Ogawa, Hudson Certified Executive Coach and SmartfulWorks partner for the curriculum finds the course’s reach rare and impactful. Ogawa says, “Each year, the leaders in the cohorts really determine how exceptional and completely unique from other years the group will be. One session, many professionals in the cohort were early founders and new CEOs that gained many skills to grow their up-and-coming companies. Another group consisted of an entire company sending 30 of their employees – It naturally created a sense of understanding and trust among their culture. Brian has taught this specialized course for several years and finds developing and supporting the next leaders in the ecosystem rewarding. Every cohort finds a way to differ from the last, showcasing how diversity in leadership really makes the ecosystem stronger.

The Spring 2023 cohort had the vast majority of participants self-identify as introverts, and therefore the course was tailored towards the significance of nurturing introverted leaders and their contributions to the Colorado life sciences community’s success. 

Being an introvert myself, it was nice to understand the relationship between extroverts and introverts in different situations and it gave me more confidence in myself and my strengths,” said Alissa Poland, Partner Catalyze Consulting Group LLC and 2023 Participant. Introverted leaders play a crucial role in driving significant breakthroughs. Their ability to delve deep into complex problems, analyze data meticulously, and make well-informed decisions contributes to the growth and advancement of the ecosystem.

Foundations of Leadership Spring 2023 Cohort

Introverted leaders possess a unique set of strengths that can significantly impact the success of organizations within the bioscience ecosystem. Introverted leaders are often excellent at creating space for others to thrive, fostering a collaborative and inclusive work environment that encourages innovation and creativity. 2023 participant and Director of Corporate Communication at Allosource, Colleen Kilkenny said “I started this course by looking to reinforce my leadership skills, but what I learned in this class was not only evaluating my leadership approach, but also the leadership styles that motivate me. This exponentially boosted my development at AlloSource and I am taking what I learned back to teach my team as well.

The Institute embraces the importance of cultivating a diverse leadership landscape. By recognizing that effective leadership can be found in individuals of various personality types and backgrounds, the program actively seeks to nurture leaders from all walks of life. The Foundations of Leadership leaders gain tailored training and support, ensuring that all leaders have the opportunity to flourish and make valuable contributions.

The program focuses on enhancing communication skills, leveraging strengths from both introverts and extroverts, and providing tools for effective collaboration.
The course was great for a person who has emotional intelligence, but who hasn’t had good examples on how best to implement a new way of leadership. The ideas we discussed during the course will greatly help me in becoming an example of what a current day leader should exemplify,” said Jeremy Hansmann, QE Manager of Somalogic and 2023 Participant.

Through workshops, coaching, and mentorship opportunities, introvert and extrovert leaders are empowered to overcome any barriers they may encounter and reach their full leadership potential.

Jeremy Hansmann, QE Manager of Somalogic and 2023 Participant shares that he “left the course feeling more empowered to delegate to team members and to better outline expectations. The course was perfect timing for many leadership topics that I was hoping to implement to my leadership skillset.”

Another participant, Alissa Poland, Partner Catalyze Consulting Group LLC says “I am glad to have more tools and more understanding of myself and of how individuals and teams function in the workplace (and even at home), and am looking forward to not only utilizing these myself, but also sharing this information with my colleagues to help us develop strong, effective teams.” 

Our life sciences introverted leaders bring a sense of stability, humility, and thoughtfulness to their teams, fostering an environment where everyone’s ideas are valued and respected.

­The Institute helps build an inclusive and supportive community in the state from classroom, to campus, to career. Last year, over 2,500 students were reached, including 54% being from underserved populations through the P-TECH program (Pathways to Early College High Schools Program). Through teacher programs like the Biotechnology Experiences in the Classroom, The Institute reached students making up 70% of an underserved student population. (The Institute’s Impact). The Foundations of Leadership encourages collaboration and cross-pollination of ideas, ensuring that diverse perspectives are heard and appreciated. The inclusive culture of the program not only fosters the personal and professional growth of introverted leaders but also attracts and retains talented individuals, strengthening the life sciences community.

The Institute is proud to engage with and grow the community through programing efforts and courses. Together, the Colorado BioScience Institute and the life sciences community work hand in hand, cultivating and diversifying the state’s life sciences workforce.