Promoted to Manager (yay)! Now What?

Many people come to management positions because they are the last person standing or because they’re great at their job. Neither of these things qualifies you to be a great leader, but, it doesn’t mean you’re destined to fail either. What is important is whether you know how to switch gears to shift from doing the work to guiding others to do so.

Pharmacy is always different

Something that can be quite a unique challenge in pharmacy is that while you may be promoted this doesn’t mean a change of scenery, a corner office or even time ‘off the tools’. Rather, it might feel like exactly the same job, but with more responsibility, more things to think about and less time to do it. If this is you, it’s a recipe for burnout or even failure.

Here are three things to help you shift gears

1. Adjust your focus

Up until now, you have probably been thinking very operationally. ‘How can I get that done?’ ‘How can we overcome that problem?’ While operations are still important as a manager, if you get bogged down in the mechanics of the pharmacy every day, you will feel like you’re on a treadmill going nowhere. Rather, as a manager, it is your role to look at and set the longer term objectives of the pharmacy.

Where do you want to be in three, six or twelve months? Then, how can you engage your team to get there?

2. Change your benchmark (and make peace with it)

The fact of the matter is something has to give, you can’t do it all! Look at your team, where are there opportunities to upskill or pass the baton? Your benchmark of effectiveness in your team has now changed, it’s not how efficient or effective you can be doing the job, it’s how well you can engage others to do the job that used to be yours. The more you can empower others, the more time there is to focus on point one.

3. Invite feedback

No one gets the switch right straight away. All you can do is be open and honest about the learning journey you’re on in the role and invite feedback from others. Self-awareness is one of the greatest tools a leader can possess. Enrich yours by seeking feedback. This might be in small moments, when something doesn’t hit the mark (or does!) or, more formally through emotional intelligence assessment or performance reviews.

Like most things in life, before we can create external wins in management positions, we need to do the inner work first.

Take time to reflect on what legacy you would like to leave and how the long-term goals will help steer that, review what you will call your benchmarks of success and keep the conversation going with your colleagues. Your success lies in their engagement, support and growth.

The Emotionally Intelligent Pharmacy Leader’s Program helps pharmacists, retail managers and aspiring leaders make the transition to management more seamless. Authentic, effective leaders create higher functioning teams and that is good for individuals, good for teams and good for business.
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