Winter is Coming

Today, I experienced an iconic type of visit from the higher ups. My district supervisor came in on one of our busiest days out of the week.

Not only was there a bleeding queue when they walked into the pharmacy, there were a dozen patients flocked around the front of the pharmacy with no regard to the big, red “Wait Here” sign.

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Any other week, I wouldn’t be sweating. Unfortunately, this was the first week of the new year in retail pharmacy. Winter is coming.

Even calling one of my best technicians to come in 5 hours early, we could not catch up with the onslaught of electronic prescriptions and patient foot traffic. Insurance problems, patient misunderstandings, and physicians coming back from vacation all contributed to massive workflow congestion.

At the peak of all the chaos, the corporate visit occurred. However, my boss is very strategic with his visits. There’s always a method behind his actions. Today, he brought his boss and an extra technician.

Servant Leadership

My team and I were drowning. But unlike many other corporate leaders, my supervisor doesn’t point fingers or dictate. He doesn’t flash his name badge and credentials to order us around. Instead, he demonstrates servant leadership. First thing I notice, he prints out his credentials. He rolls up his sleeves and gets ready to work.

Next, he brings his own technician who is already in my workflow helping out my team with filling and stocking. He spends his own payroll for my store.

Finally, he makes an impression in front of his boss, the regional director. But not for himself. He spends the 1 hour visit recognizing and praising our team in between teaching moments.

Mind you, the lines are heavy, prescriptions are overdue, and phones blazing off the hook. But during this storm, leadership remains calm and poised. Even better, they are focused on greeting our patients and waiting patiently for the pharmacy manager to have some free time. Mutual respect.

Recognition Culture

Pulling up reports and diagnostics, they point out numerous ways our store is winning. We crushed all of the 2018 business priorities, and starting the year dominating the new ones. Beast mode.

Of course, I make sure to include my technicians in the conversation. I prepared them to speak business at any given notice. All our success comes from their dedication, leadership, and hard work, day in and out. I am nothing without them.

At the moment when they proceed to part with us, hand extended, I realized how grateful I am for their leadership. Because they have such high regard for me as a pharmacy manager and business owner, I pass that on to my teams.

I treat them like leaders and give them all the credit. I recognize and praise every chance I get. Good leadership gets passed down. And for this type of culture and work environment, I wouldn’t trade anything.

Burning, bleeding pharmacy or not, I argue that I am one of the happiest corporate pharmacists alive. This is because I absolutely love where I work and who I work for. Every day, my personal mission is to make my team feel the same way.

Business Tips for The Corporate PharmD[sta_anchor id=”biztips24″ /]

  • View corporate visits as opportunities to make impressions and showcase your team’s successes
  • Be the first to lead by example and others will soon follow
  • Praise, recognize, and elevate your direct reports every chance you get
  • Duplicate good leadership and shield your team from bad leadership

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