Monday, April 24, 2017

Beyond the moonshot: Achieving universal cancer care

To achieve truly personalized cancer care, our healthcare system should integrate technology with the human touch.
President John Kennedy’s moonshot mission in the 1960s that landed a man on the moon has become an inspiration for conquering cancer.
Achieving universal cancer care requires precision and personalized medicine, as well as integrated care, a multi-dimensional approach to ensure patients in need are aware of and have access to life-saving treatments.
Precision and personalized medicine, driven by big data analytics and artificial intelligence, cannot completely replace human interactions, especially the relationship between patients and caregivers. This relationship can be marked by confusion, anxiety, and helplessness, all a result of the overwhelming and complex medical information that must be understood, among other factors. Physicians spend an increasing amount of time on continual education and administrative paperwork, decreasing the amount and quality of time they can spend with their patients.
To achieve truly personalized care, our healthcare system should integrate technology with the human touch. Patients should understand the basics of precision and personalized medicine and feel empowered to make decisions regarding how their data will be used for themselves and to save the lives of others. Only through joining forces and ensuring patient-centric healthcare can we become masters of the cancer universe.
Oscar Segurado, MD, PhD, Director of Medic Affairs Consulting LLC, has extensive global experience covering oncology, immunology and molecular biology in academia and industry settings.
The full article was originally published by The Hill on February 6, 2007:

The first 9 and 99 days

Succeeding at any new job, activity or relationship is about establishing trust, building rapport and credibility in the first 3 months. This post describes a mnemonic trick, NOW with LUCK, to help you navigate these initial days. The first 9 days require full presence, the skills of NOW, and within 99 days we need LUCK, driven by the way we interact with others.
Successful people seem to have traits that appear unattainable to everyone else. However, I believe that everyone can master any new challenge and opportunity by practicing personal skills NOW and people skills with LUCK. 
avigate. Be an explorer. Chart the course, raise the sail and share the ride. Let others see who you are, your values, goals, style. Be someone who knows the way, goes the way and shows the way. 
bserve. Be a scientist. Pay close attention to you and your surroundings. Develop hypotheses, experiment, practice trial and error, observe and interpret the results. Share and discuss your ideas, be humble.
ait. Be a monk. Patience is a virtue. Outstanding results take time. If you are in control and do everything you can, just wait for extraordinary things to happen.
NOW encapsulates my daily compass and directionality. I am proactive and make decisions continuously, good and bad. I feel in charge. I acknowledge myself, others and the environment. It's not what happens to me, it's how I react to what happens. 
isten actively. Be focused and present in all conversations. Listen to all ideas. Be passionately curious about non-intrusive personal and professional aspects of others. Be open to advice and counsel.
nderstand empathetically. Strengthen personal connections at the emotional and mental level in each conversation. Go beyond words, dig deeper into what motivates you and others, discover what lies behind the surface. 
ompassion seeking. Continuously ask, what can I do to help you? Help others manage and overcome difficulty. Be empathetic and supportive. Embrace and promote a spirit of service.
now deeply. Conceptualize the situation, the key drivers, where you and others are and need to be. Assess and adapt to challenges and opportunities. Incorporate this knowledge into a framework of ethical values. Inspire and mobilize others with genuine value propositions.
LUCK is about my interactions, cooperation and lucky encounters. I integrate my thoughts, concerns, feelings, emotions with those of others. I value each interaction as a source of inspiration, an opportunity to connect and harmonize. I balance my commitments to others with my expectations from others.
If you want to catch up, get ready to grab your sextant for the next 9 and 99 days and start every day NOW with LUCK.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

The focused leader

My highlights of: The focused leader. By Daniel Goleman. Harvard Business Review, December 2013

A focused leader directs attention simultaneously to others and to the wider world, driving organizational effectiveness and a successful strategy.

Become self aware of a broad range of emotions and gut feelings. Look for internal signals all the time, so called somatic marks.
Combining your experiences across time into a coherent view of your authentic self. Authentic means being the same inside and outside. Needs high levels of perception on how others see us. 
Good cognitive control leads to be calm in crisis, tame agitation and can recover from debacle or defeat. The marshmallow test in kids predicts financial success and law abiding.
3 subvarieties of willpower against self-gratification: 1- ability to voluntarily disengage focus from an object of desire; 2- ability to resist distraction so not to gravitate back to that object; 3- ability to concentrate on an alternative goal and how well you will feel when achieving it.

Empathy and building social relationships are the 2nd and 3rd pillars of emotional intelligence.
The empathy triad: 
Cognitive empathy: enables leaders to explain themselves, need to think more than feel. Very inquisitive, trying to find what drives others, based on what we know about us.
Emotional empathy: important for effective mentoring, reading group dynamics. Springs from ancient parts of the brain beneath the cortex: amigdala, hippocampus, hypothalamus and orbitofrontal cortex. They tune us to sense emotional status of others.
Empathic concern: an intuition-deliberation mix, you sense what the other person needs from you and decide how you can help. Related to the release of oxytocin, the chemical for caring. Must find a balance to avoid being callous or have compassion fatigue. 

Need social sensitivity, understand context, implicit norms and mental models. Universal algorithm of etiquette, good manners. Understanding organization influencers and personal connections helps focus on persuading key people.
Higher ranked people tend to interrupt or monopolize the conversation. Mapping response times across an organization shows power networks. 

Leaders focusing outward are good listeners and questioners, visionaries that sense far-flung consequences of choices today. Eg Bill Gates deep dive into fertilizers and the way it saved lives.

Focusing on strategy: 
The 2 pillars are: exploitation of current advantage and exploration of new ones. Innovation requires reflection.

The wellsprings of innovation:
Not anymore about having data or info, value arises from putting ideas together in novel ways and asking smart questions, creating new associations. It happens by a mix of focus and free wandering. 

Best emotional leaders are in touch with their inner feelings, control their impulses, aware of how others perceive them, understand what others need from them, can weed out distractions and allow their minds to roam widely, free on preconceptions.
This types of focus require diligence to pay attention to the right circuits of the brain. Attention is the basis for emotional, organizational, and strategic intelligence. Beware that the wealth of information creates a poverty of attention. Master your attention and you will be in command.

Attention is a mental muscle. When your mind wanders, bring it back. Meditation and breathing helps focus.
Exercise to let go of control: not offer own views, not judge others.
Think positive, because pessimism narrows out focus.

Monday, September 15, 2014

the connected CD player

Introducing... the connected CD player, the smart approach to tackle your professional life. It seems impossible to compete with the latest connectivity gadgets. No worries, this one does not take any space, battery life is infinite, and can be very very cool.
The CD player is the individual player at work. The C is Chaos, the daily whirlwind of urgency and overload of information, activities, meetings,...  The D is the Discipline you need to master your reality, both Discipline of Thought and Discipline of Action.
The connected CD player is the team player. You must interact, communicate, give and receive inspiration and energy. You have to thrive in chaos, be disciplined and connect.
Let me show you how this mental gadget works. First, list all activities relevant to your job. Second, categorize them in the following five essential disciplines:
Know. As a knowledge worker, you need to learn continuously and be knowledgeable on a product or products and a market or markets. Find out what you need to know to be an expert in your field. You can learn through training, online or traveling in the field. Find the time, everyday, to learn, get out of the office, take the pulse of your customers and your colleagues.
Communicate. This is a two-way road. You can show and tell what you know, but, more importantly: you must listen. This is the discipline of understanding the frame of mind, drivers and concerns of others.
Serve. Service is what your company, your boss, expect from you. You have to do this, it is important for them, but many urgent or bureaucratic activities may not provide value. Watch out carefully this discipline, don't let it consume most of your time and energy.
Execute. This is about being proactive, leading and adding value. This is about creating a product that will be associated to you or your team. This product can be a program, a report, an idea, a tangible product that is specific and can be measured.
Connect. Let’s move now from being a superb CD player to a phenomenal team player. The key is connecting strategy, priorities and metrics, encouraging candid and robust dialogue, being transparent and accountable. This discipline should be embraced by senior and team leaders, but also by individual contributors, who can lead themselves or others in their sphere of influence.
If you thrive in chaos, know, communicate, serve, execute and connect, facilitating collective decision making and strategic planning, you have become the ideal team player, a connected CD player.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Purpose-driven leadership

My highlights of: From Purpose to Impact. Figure out your passion and put it to work. By Nick Craig and Scott Snook. Harvard Business Reviews, May 2014.

Purpose-driven leadership is key to exceptional performance and well-being, helping navigate complexity, volatility, ambiguity and uncertainty. Fewer than 20% of leaders have a sense of their own individual purpose and even less are able to articulate a concrete statement. This is authentic leadership and the most important developmental task you can undertake as a leader.

Your leadership purpose is what you are and what makes you distinctive, your brand, what makes you tick. It's not what you do, it's how and why you do it based on your strengths and passions. It's what others would miss if you were gone. 

Must be specific and personal. Start mining your life story, identifying your core, lifelong strengths, values and passions - pursuits that energize you and bring you joy. These are some prompts to help you craft a concise declaration of purpose that capture your essence and call for action:
- what did you love doing as a child?
- what life experiences were most challenging?
- what do you enjoy doing the most?

For example: 'Maximize the achievements and well-being of those around me and myself, focusing on development and growth'

Once defined, the next step is to embrace and live your purpose, consciously, wholeheartedly and effectively. Set incremental goals reflecting work-life balance. Identify the path forward and the relationships essential to your purpose. Clarify your purpose and put it to work.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Steve Jobs

Less is more on Steve

Change your DNA, change their DNA, change the universe
Create ecosystems not just products
Don’t ask, tell
Focus on a niche and dominate it
Be simple but elegant

Innovate and execute your vision
Find the winning formula and stick to it
Don't invent, discover and connect the dots
Be secretive
Master the message

Be intense, absorb the present moment
Make people better, the best
Listen to the inner voices
Touch their souls
Awake emotions

Sunday, March 2, 2014

How to think like a CEO

Promotion at work comes from attention to details, tenacity, understanding effective chiefs, doing more than others and understanding people above. Understanding the boss is critical to career success. Treat your boss as your best customer. It means projecting yourself into how they may think. Controlling one's effect in others is critical. Truly understand people
Drucker: To be effective is simple, does not only need intelligence, hard
work or knowledge, you also need the 22 traits:

Face new challenges and don't dismay by failure

If you lose control, you lose. Period. Attitude is an area you can control. Mindset and management style are key. Subordinates read the leader all the time.
Optimism is a dominant trait in successful people. They are able to see the best in others. Get out if your attitude is not contributing.

Keep going until something stops you, then keep going.

Learn. Do things better and better. Improve: executive presence, organization, financial skills, confidence, excellence, time management, listening, delegation, public speaking, personal habits, confrontation, assertiveness, paper management, communication skills, diplomacy,...
Talk to people 'with a purpose': Management by walking around. Ask questions to competitors, customers. Not just chattering away. Learn from mistakes. Don't learn from a bad boss.

Don't intentionally mislead or misrepresent. Don't straddle the line. Don't break promises or go back on your word. Don't waltz around or put a 'spin' on it.
Be honest with yourself- internally and externally
Be precise, crisp, then move on
Bring out into the open uncomfortable issues
Don't exaggerate

Pre-think your comment, consider the consequence, alter the comment for the consequence and effect, and only then speak. Pre-think on situations you may encounter. Plan spontaneous comments. Everything you write, think is going to be seen by the CEO.
Say: I have some ideas but they are not ripe yet to be disclosed, I need to
think them through more.
Initiate conversation, then be quiet and listen.
After someone says something important, remain silent, ponder it, show you are listening and absorbing
Talk little but say a lot in few words. Control your enthusiasm. Limit your cursing.
Listen more than talk. Really listen.

Be fresh. Be unusual.
Imagination is more important than knowledge. A. Einstein
Every thought has been thought of before. The difference is in the ability and willingness to take action behind it.
Original thinkers don't fear change, they look for it because is where they thrive and shine
How to be original:
- Decide to be
- Be easy on yourself, even when failing
- Support others. Pick up good ideas quickly
- Keep the flow going

Speak with moderate estimation of talents, abilities and value.
Don't show off every day, leave open the limits of your talent.

Add several styles to your repertoire
Be aware of your style and others styles.
Make a favorable first impression: Use your entire physical being to express yourself. Have a physical game plan. Coordinated words and actions
Do the opposite as expected. Be aware and control your actions for at least the first 4 minutes of any encounter. Give a good handshake
Remember people's names - Immediately repeat the name
Stand and sit with professional presence - relaxed, energetic
Gesture to enhance your presence - keep them away from the rib cage - hold them for a split second -synchronize with words

Take challenges, risks

A child laughs 400 times a day, an adult does it 15 times
Be willing to inject levity into somber situations.
Try one joke every 15-30 min
Making people feel at ease with humor puts you in control
Humor should be compatible with your personality and put others at ease
Careful with giggles, which increase tension
Careful with inappropriate humor, ill-timed, misunderstood or hurtful

Give your message power, capture their attention, and make it memorable
Learn to be expressionless and controlling of actions and thoughts
Appearances contribute to reality
Half of being a CEO is looking like you know what you're doing. The other half is being able to do it.

The higher you go, the more critical is to be aware of details. You need
to be alert for signals and focus.

Pay attention to your soft side: how you think, act and interrelate with people
Key to success in business is information

If you want people to back you, back them, back them, back them.
Be loyal downward, spread credit downward.
Share the spirit and share the lead
But an employee must know all the angles and cover all the bases
If you want to have your boss supporting you, keep him informed of your activities in advance
Listen to what the boss has to say, question the thinking if need clarification.

Mistakes take place. What happens next is up to you.
Recognize your mistake: admit it, stop it, correct it and most importantly, don't repeat it
Mistakes are nothing but education and the first step to something better
Dead people are the only ones that don't make mistakes
If you are error free, you are likely effort free
Risks and mistakes are close together
Being unapologetic means: apologizing unnecessarily is unnecessary. When you apologize the other person feels compelled to make you feel good.

Don't distort, twist, deviate or trick
Avoid beating around the bush attempting to communicate
Be simple, unpretentious but interesting
Speak after relaxing your tongue, which de-stresses your throat and
minimizes tense voice. Your tongue is the carpet of your mouth
Write clearly: 1- make a recommendation; 2- reasoning and figures; 3- give
a specific time to respond

7 steps to write a memo:
1. pre-think the objective
2. write from the heart
3. start. continue. finish
4. put aside
5. edit. read it loud. does it still sound like it's from the heart?
6. reedit. reread. stop editing
7. send out

18. NICE
It doesn't mean being concerned about being liked
Decide what's right, not what's popular
Avoid the arrogant side of success

- Learn new information or get old info clarified
- Find out info without destroying the self-esteem of the person you are asking

Chose your battle, seek first test battles
Maintain your sense of humor while winning or losing battles


Make information memorable, recallable, useful and appropriate.
Use stories to illustrate your points in business conversations
Generate a story pool of your own
Reflect daily on your daily experiences
Think about events and develop stories around them
Write the story down in an organized way:
- describe the situation
- describe what you did about it
- show the results of your actions
Stories should be true, appropriate, well-told, concise, new
The key is to fit stories into the conversation, have a good memory to recollect them for the proper occasion and recall who has already heard them
If you get lost, stop, admit it, get back quickly and concisely. Don't assume understanding.