Are You Ready to Be a Leader?

Here are five leadership practices to implement to be a great leader!

Being a leader isn’t always about a title or managing people. You can be a great leader at any level, and here are 5 practices to help you be a great leader, in any capacity!

PharmaFinders got the opportunity to attend the Medical Affairs Professional Society this year in Nashville. While there, I was able to attend a great session centered around the book, The Five Practices of Exemplary Leadership by James M. Kouzes. In this interactive session, we went through all these different practices, and some real-world examples. This helped us all to recognize the strengths we already have in leadership, and areas to grow in. We hope by sharing these practices, we’re giving you the tools you need to develop into a great leader.

Model the Way

This is all centered around your values, principles, and beliefs. People that “model the way” show up, authentically as themselves, and encourage others to be themselves. They take feedback and give feedback to make sure everyone is working to their full potential and being themselves in the process. Here are some examples of modeling the way:

  • Owning your mistakes
  • Owning your victories
  • Having integrity
  • Being authentic
  • Living your values and letting that show through your work and interactions with others
  • “Practice what you preach”
  • Be authentic and be willing to listen and ask questions

Inspire a Shared Vision

Inspiring a shared vision is making sure everyone is a part of the process. This is getting everyone together and making sure they have an input. This is using the team, and all their contributions to bring a vision to life. Here are some examples of inspiring a shared vision:

  • Seek to understand, and work together to build the vision
  • Begin sharing the end goal with your team, and allowing, and empowering your team to determine the best way to reach that goal
  • Share the “why?”
  • Communication and alignment withing your team
  • It’s important to remember, “what’s in it for them?” – when including your team

Challenge the Process

This is looking at things from a different perspective and seeing areas for improvement. To challenge the process, you need to no longer accept “good enough” and work towards making things better. This is where people may make mistakes, and those mistakes must be welcomed. Mistakes equal growth! Here are some examples of challenging the process:

  • Own the initiative
  • Understanding the “why?”
  • Being curious versus judgmental
  • Optimizing ISR processes
  • Piloting new processes, simplifying processes, and implementing new processes

Enable Others to Act

Everyone has the potential for greatness, and this step helps others see and achieve that greatness. This is about finding a way to make everyone happy, and more productive, while also playing into their individuality. This is the “I believe in you!” that your team needs. Here are some examples of enabling others to act:

  • Helping find the best path to play into individual strengths or skills
  • Putting people in a position to succeed and understanding the beauty in a diverse team
  • Create an environment without judgement or influence
  • Give people the freedom to learn and do things differently

Encourage the Heart

Encouraging the heart is all about taking that time to stop and say, “Thank you, well done!”. This focuses on specifically recognizing people and their hard work. When you’re lost in the shuffle of accomplishing tasks, sometimes you forget to stop and appreciate the people around you. Here are some great ways to encourage the heart:

  • Ending a group meeting with each person sharing something the other team members are doing well on
  • Having a “weekly sunshine”. This means, starting or ending a meeting with a “sunshine” from everyone. Just something positive that’s going on in work or life that they would like to share
  • Highlighting an “MSL in Action”: Celebrating an MSL and their achievements – things done outside of their everyday functions
  • As a head of department, sending out an email to a team member, highlighting their achievements and cc’ing their manager on that email
  • Writing a handwritten note where you recognize that colleague and the great work they’ve been doing

Again, you can be a great leader at any level, in any position. It’s all about implementing these things and being well-rounded, in whatever role you’re in. Are there any additional practices you implement in your work that you’d like to add? Let us know in the comments below!