Otsuka's April Mitchell on leading versus managing
I joined Eli Lilly in New York City as a primary sales representative, two weeks after I graduated from college at the University of Pennsylvania.
What is the best part of your job?
I'm fortunate to work with a true team at Otsuka. We teach each other, share feedback to improve our materials, and bring out the best within each member of our team. The people around me have helped me grow as an individual and a marketer.
What is the best career advice you've received?
One of my mentors once told me that it's important to understand the difference between leading and managing. He said, “When you figure it out, you will know, because people will walk through fire for you. They will want to do their best for you, because they have a drive to help the team achieve more. When you are a manager, you focus only on tasks rather than leading the team to see the greater business objective.” To this day, I keep those words in mind to guide me when I speak with my team and everyone within my organization.
What do you do when you feel uninspired?
I am an avid concert goer. To see an artist continually work on their craft and get on stage in front of a group of strangers is inspirational. The level of preparation and confidence that they're able to achieve while maintaining vulnerability is powerful. To be a successful musician requires a little bit of luck and a certain level of talent. But with that, you also need drive, a creative mind, and the ability to re-invent yourself to stay relevant. I admire the perseverance and dedication of musicians, and it motivates me to learn more about how to become a better marketer.
What are some health gadgets or apps you're currently using?
I am currently using a Fitbit while I work out. Monitoring my steps makes me realize how much more I need to exercise.
What is one major professional highlight in the past year since you were named Industry Marketer of 2016 at the MM&M Awards?
Since being named Marketer of the Year, I received a promotion and have been given additional responsibilities. I am now senior director of CNS marketing at Otsuka.