February 4, 2015
As an independent community pharmacist, you fill the role of a leader in more ways than one. You’re a leader to your patients, who come to you for your health care knowledge and expertise. You’re a leader to your employees, who look to you for guidance each day. And you’re a leader in your community, as a health care professional and small business owner.
But what kind of leader are you?
Good leadership will keep your pharmacy running, but effective leadership will drive your pharmacy to innovate and grow. Likewise, a good leader will be recognized in the community, but an effective leader will be part of the community.
Here are the top 10 traits of effective leaders according to psychologist Raymond Cattell, who developed the Leadership Potential Equation in 1954. This method is used to pinpoint what characterizes an effective leader.
In what ways do you demonstrate these traits? In what ways could you demonstrate them more? Take a look.
The more emotionally stable you are, the better you’re able to handle stressful situations that arise in your pharmacy. You don’t want to snap at a patient who’s upset with a copay, or ruin your relationship with a tech who forgets to fill a script. Being emotionally stable will allow you to handle these incidents calmly and gracefully.
Good leaders take control, and are assertive in their thinking. Assertiveness can help in your interactions with employees, vendors and other business partners. As a strong, clear communicator, you’ll find it easy to get what you need out of every business relationship.
It benefits a leader to be enthusiastic, or more specifically, quick on your feet, alert and open to change. Be aware of what’s changing in your industry, and ready to adopt new practices. On a smaller scale, watch for developments in your community, and be ready to take part.
Conscientiousness has to do with your expectations for yourself. Hold yourself to high standards, and push yourself to do your best. You’ll build an excellent reputation with your patients, and motivate your employees to hold themselves accountable, too.
Don’t be afraid to take risks with your business and in your interactions with others. It could be time to implement that new pharmacy service you’ve been considering, or to be less reserved in recommending products and services to patients.
Be confident and resilient, and don’t dwell on past failures. If you reached out to physicians in the past and didn’t receive a response, don’t let that stop you from trying again. Be confident in your ability to do what’s best for your patients, your employees and your community.
Be professional, and strive to maintain your integrity and your reputation. Good leaders make decisions with care, precision and foresight. For example, if you’re looking to add a new service in your pharmacy, consider the needs of your community and the capabilities of your employees instead of impulsively implementing a service that’s trendy but will benefit no one.
Trust your gut. You know what’s best for your pharmacy and for your patients. Sometimes it’s best to act on what you know to be true instead of on perceived facts.
Showing empathy will earn your patients’ and your employees’ trust. Putting yourself in others’ shoes will go a long way when it comes to patient loyalty and employee effort. And as a health care professional, empathy is especially important when it comes to building relationships with your patients.
Leaders motivate others to change through their charisma. Good charisma will enable you to relate to others and use personal values and emotions to inspire action. Whether it’s your storytelling ability that helps your patients get to know you and your pharmacy, or your vision for community pharmacy that motivates your employees to work hard, charisma is an important trait that helps you pursue your goals.
Use this list to learn about your own strengths as a leader. You can always improve your leadership by focusing on improving the areas you’re weak in. Learn, grow and lead.