Leading Technology Transfer Professionals: Quality#5: Stable


Quality #5: Stable

Technology transfer is continually rated as one of the most complex, challenging, and chaotic professions in the universe. The idea of identifying technologies and commercializing in a system of limitless possibilities is Stephen Hawking’s-level staggering. And in this universe, unstable leadership within the system is a trait that can literally suck a tech transfer operation into a black hole, break it apart, and leave it dismantled for years to come.

So, before your organization gets Buzz Lightyeared into the farthest reaches of space, let’s talk about ridding your system of instability and recognizing the opportunity of stable leadership.

First, here are some common identifiers of unstable leaders (please feel free to neutron blast and ask questions later):

  • Flighty: These professionals are not being fueled to new heights by successes, but are running to escape evaluation. You can distinguish these professionals from a career journey of short stints/many locations with a trail of collapses soon after their departures
  • Full of excuses: Everyone gallivants as an optimist to get a project or operation off the ground; but, even in tech transfer, where one must respect the longer-term timelines, it is ridiculous to accept leadership that distracts with excuses with no discernible progress
  • Scare people: There is likely no emotion that cripples progress more than fear. Unstable leaders are very good at throttling up the energy level, but not at creating a clear path forward. This can scatter a team like a group of excited electrons

Instead, work on filling your technology transfer universe with the “Three Cs” of stable individuals that can blast your operation into the stars:

  • Committed: These professionals understand that new tech transfer operations and initiatives take time to build, and that they are responsible for guiding it through those challenges, if they are to deserve the credit for its success. They also know that with the 5yr+ development timeliness of more rigorous technology sets, it helps to have a constant figure to see it through
  • Calm: In a crazy environment, a leading tech transfer professional can distinguish between crisis and fad, and signal their team accordingly. Also, as required in some change/innovation situations, a stable person can be intentionally crazy and purposefully chaotic, but knows how to control the situation and use it for personal and team benefit.
  • Continuous Impact: A stable, tech transfer professional moves the operation and team forward through short-term achievable goals, with a grand vision. This person creates a contagious momentum that can drive a team, even in times of long-term uncertainty.


Have you experienced an unstable environment in your tech transfer operation? How did it affect the organizations ability to carry out tech transfer functions? What are some additional qualities of stable professionals and their associated benefits during challenging times?

Next Up:

Quality #6: T-Shaped

Looking for quality candidates or seeking your next opportunity? Contact me directly, Glen Gardner at glen@vortechsgroup.com. Visit us anytime at http://vortechsgroup.com

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