I will always remember this particular time when I experienced a store visit from corporate. They barged into the pharmacy without permission, barely introducing themselves.

Their titles included “Director,” “District,” “Area,” “Vice,” and the like. They flew in like a fury, suited up, and dispensing quick chatter and business buzz.

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They wanted to be seen and heard, and all our patients could feel a cold change in atmosphere.

While we all exchanged recognition and pleasant banter, one of them stood out to me. He was the one telling our team every few minutes that we had 2 people in line and that I had some overdue prescriptions.

I am standing right here, verifying waiters. I can see this myself.

All of a sudden, the pharmacy turns into a zombie apocalypse, and everyone decides to come party at the pharmacy. I have patients lining up at drop off and pick up, and I know exactly how to handle the masses. But before I can, I hear orders from above telling me and my team how and when to serve my patients. All he does is bark from behind.

This type of micromanagement is what they call “forced culture.”

The hordes of patients die down; and upon returning to my steady state at verification, I notice Director Micromanage looking at some papers with very small print and tons of numbers. So, I ask him curiously, “What are you looking at?”

He replies: “Oh, just your Profit and Loss,” as he proceeds to throw it in the trash bin.

Back then, I had never been exposed to my profit and loss report at the pharmacy. My newbie knowledge consisted of customer service, script count, inventory, and some other miscellaneous reporting. Hearing about dollars and cents intrigued me, but something highly annoyed me.

I was the manager of this pharmacy, but why didn’t I feel like the leader?

I realized right then and there that something wasn’t right. If I was to truly embrace my role as leader and business owner, I should be the most knowledgeable person and my voice should be the loudest in the room. But instead, someone was coming into my pharmacy, telling me what to do, micromanaging me and my team, and secretly judging our pharmacy and my leadership.

I vowed from that day on that no one would ever make me feel so small. No one could ever lead my team and my business better than me. I vowed to track every script, count every dollar made and lost, and be the subject matter expert on anything and everything regarding my pharmacy and my patients’ healthcare.

I would fully own my business, so no one could ever own me.

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Business Tips from The Corporate PharmD

  • Treat higher ups like guests in your home
  • If anyone tries to micromanage you, respond with a curious attitude
  • Lead your team and run your pharmacy as if it were your own business
  • Be the loudest and most knowledgeable person in regards to business performance

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