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Member Spotlight

December 15, 2020

Celebrating 25 Years: The Leadership Edge

Catching up with The Leadership Edge on their membership anniversary.

In the world of life science, connection is the key to discovery. Biocom is proud to highlight organizations on their membership anniversaries who have joined in our mission to create a more connected, more collaborative industry in California. Their stories are our story, and we look forward to many more years of shaping the future of life science together to change the world for the better.

Please briefly describe your company, its mission, and your role.

For the past 31 years, The Leadership Edge has profoundly impacted the pace, performance and cultures of the most innovative life science companies in the world. Working from the boardroom to the bench, they are the partner of choice to over 7,000 leaders in more than 700 life science companies. The group’s proven Assess, Guide, Develop, formula for organizational development, empowers an industry that is driving life changing therapies, diagnostics and devices to reach their goals faster, more cost effectively and safely. The Leadership Edge is driven by the possibility of a future where cures replace treatments, and the health of humanity thrives.

Our Mission: We know people are your greatest competitive advantage. That’s where we come in. We identify and remove barriers to outstanding performance from the boardroom to the laboratory so you can accelerate the process of discovery, development, and commercialization. We bring a wealth of industry knowledge, dedication, energy, and impact to everything we do. We do our homework. We tailor our assessments, guidance, and development programs to meet your specific needs. We have a formula that works. We don’t waste time. We have a blast. We guarantee results. That’s why we’re the trusted partner to over 700 life science companies across the world.

My Role: Gaylene Xanthopoulos is the Founder and President of The Leadership Edge. She has the privilege of leading a phenomenal organization comprised of people who exude the values of brains, commitment, compassion, teamwork, integrity and fun each and every day, with one another and their incredible life science clients.

Tell us your favorite way of getting involved with Biocom.

As a partner with Biocom for the past 25 years, there are so many incredible ways we have been involved. Through our partnership, we have delivered a tremendous member benefit to thousands of life science leaders across California as the result of their participation in our From The Laboratory to Leadership program. We have celebrated the advancement of veterans by developing and delivering a learning and development module to support the successful outcomes of veterans and their industry mentors. In addition, we have supported Biocom leaders in achieving your own professional development goals.

When it comes to events, Biocom’s are top notch and provide us with an opportunity to keep our fingers on the pulse of the industry and the entire ecosystem within which it operates. Your networking events are always fun, interactive and have provided us with opportunities to host our clients, meet new prospects and continue to learn from each and every individual with whom we interact.

We have served on committees, ranging from the HR conference organizing committee to the DE&I task force, been selected as speakers and moderators at major events, and have functioned as a thought partner to your leadership. These opportunities enable us to contribute our skills and experiences in a meaningful way that helps to shape the industry we serve.

Tell us about your team’s culture, what makes your team different or unique?

Our team is as committed to the success of our clients as they are. We believe in this industry, are passionate about the vision our clients strive toward every day and do what it takes to positively impact their pace, performance and culture. We aren’t stuffy or unapproachable. We approach every interaction with our clients driven by our values of brains, commitment, compassion, teamwork, integrity and, of course, fun. We laugh a lot. When I started the company I founded it with a philosophy that I only want to work with people whom I would love to have over for dinner. They are smart, interesting, interested, engaging and make me smile. That’s success to me!

How have you seen your industry change during the decade-plus your company has been a Biocom member?

The organizational development industry has evolved slowly, while we continue to advance at lightning speed. When we first started to work with life science companies over 30 years ago, the vast majority of them were in the research stage. Our company met them where they were; providing scientists with the opportunity to develop the management skills they were never offered while they were getting their masters or PhD. As the industry has evolved, so have we. Today we assess, guide and develop leaders, managers and teams from the boardroom to the bench. Our clients represent biotech, medical device, diagnostics, and science enabling companies ranging from small start-ups through companies that have commercialized several products and have multi-billion dollar market caps. The knowledge we have gained over the course of 30 years, growing alongside of the only industry we serve, life sciences, has enabled us to help our clients to not only deal with challenges and opportunities where they are, but to also anticipate what lies ahead. Our network of relationships spans from the largest life sciences associations in the country to large venture capital firms, hedgefunds, executive search and the people who study and write about the industry. We are so fortunate to serve as a thought partner to so many of the brightest, most entrepreneurial and passionate leaders in the world.

Where do you see your company or industry going in the next decade? What excites you about the future?

We love science and we are crazy about people. The industry continues to blow us away by the immense intellect, ingenuity and dedication of the executives, scientists and engineers. As a result of the work we do, we have the opportunity to learn about the science that is being pursued today and to get to know the people behind it. The work that is being done is phenomenal and gives us so much hope for an amazing future that is more about cures than treatments. Having said that, we know that the world will continue to evolve and that this industry will serve many new needs for many years to come. We will maintain our focus on the life sciences sector, evolving along with it, while leveraging our years of experience. We will continue to provide a depth and breadth of services and learning and development programs and never stop expanding our knowledge to continue to position us as the thought partner of choice for the life sciences.

Great science is a global pursuit. One year ago, we had begun to transition our services and programs to be supported by a virtual meeting platform, enabling us to continue to serve our clients as they expand globally. This was accelerated by COVID-19, leaving us in a great position to meet their needs today and in the future. We continue to explore new technologies and approaches that will ensure the complexities of remote and hybrid learning are addressed, resulting in the enjoyable, engaging and impactful learning our clients have come to expect from our firm remains. In addition, our commitment to workforce development continues as we partner with a global enterprise that will enable us to offer core curriculum in universities around the globe. The goal is to engage and prepare more science focused students so they may pursue a career in the life sciences.

As a company comprised of life-long learners who maintain a commitment to excellence, there is no doubt that we will strive to stay one step ahead of both the life science industry and the organizational development industry so that we may continue to innovate and continue as the partner of choice to our clients.