Lessons from an Industry Leader: Playing the Long Game of MedTech
What does it mean to let your values and principles guide you through the challenging times, including the black swan events? Just what is a black swan event anyway? Will you know what it is if you encounter it?
In today’s episode of the Global Medical Device Podcast, we have a wide-ranging conversation with Mike Baca about the lessons we can learn from him as an industry leader and about the long game involved in a MedTech career. Mike is currently the president of White Rook Consulting, and he has more than 38 years of experience as a quality professional working with medical devices, including classes I, II, and III. He worked in a variety of quality roles for Johnson & Johnson, Medtronic, and Stryker before starting his own independent consulting firm.
Today’s conversation covers a lot of ground, including the three phases of Mike’s career, how understanding VULCA can help you handle a black swan event, and how adopting a set of principles and values will guide you through challenging times. We also discussed “badge on the table” situations, speaking the language of other departments, and working through and getting rid of imposter syndrome.
Some of the highlights of this episode include:
- The tough moments that medical device professionals are going to face: There’s the unique issue that the work they do will impact someone in the most personal way possible.
- The languages of other businesses and how Mike learned to navigate that
- Mike’s definition of a mentor: not an advocate, not a sponsor
- The three segments of Mike’s career: Learning, Contributing, Returning
- How Mike might hold the record for most 483s
- How to process the black swan moments without breaking down emotionally: accepting that you acted in accordance with your principles and values
- What VUCA means and how to approach it: Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity, and Ambiguity
- The differences between ego and self-confidence
Memorable quotes from Mike Baca:
“It’s my responsibility to do everything I can to make sure that everything I’m responsible for is done the best that it can be so that outcome is going to be favorable to that ultimate patient who is going to have the device used on them.”
“If you see something that needs to be fixed, something that can be improved, seek that out.”
“As a leader, you should consider adopting a set of absolute principles that define how you will lead and how you will be.”
“If you’re going to delegate something, you need to be willing to stand behind, but when you delegate, you need to delegate at a level that failure will not be fatal to the business or that individual. Because guess what? Sometimes they’re going to fail.”