My job lately has been kind of a roller coaster.

My team has tripled in the last year, and it makes me feel nostalgic.

It took me a few years to get my puny pharmacy under control.

To build a high-performing team and culture that cares about people.

Five years later, I’ve strategically built a pipeline of business owners at the store level.

We’re making a name for ourselves, but that’s not enough for me.

Professional Development

I want to expand my reach and help more than those inside the 4 walls of my pharmacy.

That’s why I’m trying to move up the corporate ladder.

I know I can do so much more for the Retail Pharmacy profession, for my brethren in white coats.

So, for the past 10 months, I’ve flown out of state to learn leadership principles from the region’s supervisors.

I’ve researched, studied, and relentlessly practiced these skills day in and out.

I’ve conducted over 50 huddles and visits with other pharmacists and managers to use as my playground for leadership development.

And I’ve failed miserably from the very beginning.

Deeper Understanding

But each subsequent interaction, no matter how painful and uncomfortable, showed me how I can improve as a leader.

I can now see with unfiltered eyes what it’s like from the top down and the bottom up.

It helps that I live in the middle of all the retail chaos.

The ruthless, cut-throat demands of corporate behemoths.

The despair and the chains from those on the front lines.

But nothing discourages me, not even all the negativity and cynicism.

Because I can also see the potential for greatness in each pharmacist and their technicians.

The vast disconnect between upper management and pharmacy teams.

I know exactly what to do and how to do it.

I just need to plow forward and make my mark.

Fleeting Feel-Goods

During all this time of change and development, some cool things happened.

The local pharmacy school named me Preceptor of the Year, and the boss named me Paragon Winner

I gladly accept these, and recognition feels good momentarily.

But I can’t waste time dwelling on accolades.

Recognition doesn’t get me where I want to be.

That’s because I can’t help more people with plaques and balloons.

What I really need is ammunition for the war to come.

I need more experience and skills.

I need positioning, strategy, influence, and a little bit of luck.

Getting Perspective

If you’d asked me 5 years ago what my job would be like, I wouldn’t have thought anything close to this.

Working in the field, managing dozens of projects, leading large groups of people, and seeing how far my reach can go in the community.

It’s really a sight to see when I step back and soak it all in.

It makes me cherish the small moments I have at the pharmacy with my team and my patients.

I used to think that I would always have to work faster and faster in order to get any relief from the day to day grind.

But in actuality, I am slowing down in the most important areas: talent development, patient care, business ownership.

Counseling with my patients and waiting for the right moments to make them smile.

Huddling one on one with my technicians to learn about their interests and goals.

Watching my students spread their wings and make their mark on the world.

Unbridled Passion

Then, with all the other mindless duties I have, I can continue to move at the speed of light.

Two screens, multiple phone lines, competing priorities, and a race to beat the clock.

My fingers blazing all over the keyboard.

That’s what makes the day go by fast.

This all reminds me how exciting working in Retail Pharmacy is.

All the stresses, goals, and challenges.

All the adversity, problems, and puzzles to solve.

Time spent coaching, mentoring, and teaching people.

Nothing feels better than the feeling of helping others reach their goals and win.

Nothing exercises my brain and all its plasticity more than this.

This is why I never could cut it in any other healthcare setting.

I need this fast-paced, complex environment to thrive in.

Indeed, there’s a lot of work to be done.

But there’s no better place for me than Retail Pharmacy.