7 min read
The name TURN Pharmacy Leadership could mean exactly that, turn Pharmacy leadership, change the course, send it in another direction. It could also simply be because it’s the first four letters of my surname. But, it’s none of these reasons.
TURN is an acronym that forms the basis of how I like to show up in my leadership journey and could be the key to boosting your leadership success. Whether it be engaging with others or engaging with yourself, the acronym TURN is relevant.
Let me explain...
Trust. Upskill. Reignite. Nurture.
We’ve all been told about SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic/relevant and timely) goals and we have all been told how to write them. But how do we execute them successfully? I wholly agree that goals (SMART ones) are really important! I think what is more important, is how we show up as leaders to make them successful.
At the core of every great team is trust. It’s something you don’t realise is there until it is not. Trust is the game-changer in creating buy-in and sustainable change and in improving team cohesion and culture. It can be your best friend when created authentically or your worst enemy if built on a false premise. Have you worked in a Pharmacy where there was no trust between staff? If so, I guess you probably would have noticed a lot of finger-pointing, blame laying, people stuck in their ways and goals not being achieved (visualise the retail/dispensary staff divide or the staff member that always creeps back to doing it THEIR WAY!). It can be pretty draining working in a team that has no trust in each other. So, how do we build trust in teams? As a leader, first and foremost, it is important to trust yourself. Trust in your intentions, trust in your core values and trust in your ability to create, or curate, the desired outcomes. By trusting yourself, you can show up authentically to any task at hand.
Trust is created by small, consistent acts on a daily basis.
In leadership, these acts show up as supporting your team and acknowledging the value of their feedback and their suggestions. It’s responding constructively to problems and keeping your word. Trust is also created by not micromanaging. By micromanaging people it tells them that you doubt their ability to complete tasks, even if this is not the case.
One of the biggest acts you can do to build trust is to share relevant information. Sharing is important to trust on so many levels. First and foremost, sharing information allows staff to feel part of the team and have shared ownership of the goals at hand. Sharing information also provides staff with the information they need to decide if they trust in you and the goal at hand. Last but not least, sharing allows staff to have all the information they need to complete their job and provides tangible feedback on how their contributions are/or will directly affect the success of any goal.
One more thing on trust…you need to give it…as Steven Covey said ‘leadership without mutual trust is a contradiction in terms’.
Learning practical ways to create trust in your Pharmacy is vital to good leadership. It is the foundation of better teams, bigger profit and greater success.
Once the need for trust is acknowledged and steps taken to build it, the next step in the process is to identify opportunities to upskill. Again, this can be upskilling yourself or assisting others to grow their skills. A key leadership skill is being competent. To me, competency is a fluid concept. Just because you’re a competent leader does not mean that depending on the goal and the circumstance, your level of competency does not fluctuate. As they say, ‘the wisest mind has something yet to learn’.
Whether it’s improving your leadership skills or optimising your success at achieving your goals, looking for opportunities to upskill your skills and the skills of others is important. Don’t know how to increase profit without selling more items? Upskill. Need to create buy-in to improve your staff engagement? Upskill. Struggling to create sustainable change? Upskill. Upskilling doesn’t need to just be about hard skills, it is about soft skills as well. I guarantee if you upskill your soft skills such as communication, empathy, emotional intelligence, teamwork and conflict resolution, your ability to evoke change and improve success will grow exponentially.
I always get excited about upskilling because:
Upskilling is an opportunity for growth and with a growth mindset, you can be unstoppable.
Remember when we came out of our degree bright-eyed and ready to embark on our career adventure? Then… the hours of churning out scripts blurred to days, then days to weeks, then weeks to months (I won’t finish this, it gets sad!)… Sometimes we get so bogged down in the ‘every day’ that we can lose our spark. When we lose our spark it’s hard to ignite the spark in others. This is why ‘reignite’ made its way into my leadership mantra. The thing is though, trying to reignite your own career passion is really difficult if you don’t trust in yourself and don’t have the skills to push forward. The same goes for reigniting a team, if there is no trust, it is difficult to have people engage in upskilling and therefore impossible to reignite anyone’s passion.
Our role as leaders in teams or in goal-setting scenarios is to reignite everyone’s energy. Reignite people’s motivation after the day where it was so busy it was impossible to do anything. Reignite people’s commitment to a goal after things didn’t go quite the way they were planned. If you think about it, our whole life is spent reigniting. Just as it is impossible to expect to be happy every day, it’s impossible to expect to be burning bright every day either. We’ve always been told that it’s how we come back from adversity that shows the real test of character. The same can be said for our leadership skills.
How we reignite ourselves and each other after failure or a digression is where true leaders shine.
Some people may see nurture as a soft word. I don’t… I see nurturing as probably the hardest, or at least the one that involves the biggest emotional investment, to execute. You can’t pay for it, you can’t delegate it and you definitely can’t do without it. It’s one thing to build trust, to have success in upskilling and even reigniting everyone’s commitment to a cause a few times; it’s another thing to nurture relationships and nurture people’s skills and self-efficacy to the point where every setback is less, growth is sustainable and understanding and acceptance become givens.
So how do we nurture as leaders? Simply put… make time… Make time for your staff, for their successes and their failures, to encourage and educate. Carve out space in your day to listen, not to respond, but listen to understand. Attempting to understand your staff is the greatest gift you as a leader can give them. If you understand them, you can work with them and you can achieve goals together. While this may sound like it might end up being a ‘yes fest’, it’s far from it. Nurturing relationships to build people is about honest conversations and honest feedback. No one grows when they’re only fed the information they want to hear. That also erodes trust. Creating the time to provide tactful, honest feedback and have real conversations, instils faith in people that you will be honest with them next time. False feedback is like admiring the flowers without feeding roots, the happiness won’t last long.
Finally, to nurture is to protect. As leaders, it is our job to look after the ones in our care. Allow them the freedom to make mistakes but be there to protect them from the worst of them.
By being a nurturing leader you have more empathy, grow better people and build bonds that become stronger than the forces against them. Nurturing encompasses the cyclical nature of leadership. A constant driving, safe and protective force.
How can you use the TURN mantra to improve your SMART goal success?
Think about how you will build TRUST in yourself and with your team in the goal at hand.
Find where there are opportunities to UPSKILL…and do so.
Consider how your actions and energy can REIGNITE others motivation for the goal.
NURTURE the gains made towards the goal as well as the relationships built in doing so.
By adding this extra level of thought to your SMART goals, your soft skills and awareness of the contributing factors to success will broaden and your gains will too.
Want to learn more about executing the TURN mantra? Contact me.