Pharmacy U

Do you have what it takes to be a pharmacy “leader”? Part 4 – Become the master of your time

GeorgeA NEW

by George Anastasopoulos


Most of us appreciate and are grateful for the things in our lives that are precious to us. The list is typically pretty short and likely includes health, family, relationships, our work or career, etc. Notice I didn’t say “valuable” to us – material things such as a home, vehicle, jewellery and so forth. I mean “precious” defined as “of great value and not to be wasted carelessly.” Ruminate on that definition for a moment.


With that understanding as a backdrop, in this edition of The Leadership Fundamentals series, I want to first make a case for you to include TIME on your list of precious things. Then, I’ll invite you to take this appreciation with you into your pharmacy, and apply leadership thinking to create a more successful pharmacy practice and business.


I confess my contention is that time is THE most precious thing you have. Bold claim? Perhaps. Here’s my challenge to you. If I make a compelling argument for its precious value, would you commit to treating yours and others’ time with greater respect? I hope you replied YES! Here’s my case.


First: time is a diminishing resource. If you’ve ever done cross-country skiing, and we’re coming into the season for it, you may have carried a wineskin around your neck for an intoxicating, but not terribly helpful drink for a buzz. Well, time is like a wineskin with a leak. It makes a mess and there’s no way to drink it fast enough to get it all before it’s gone.


Second, time is non-renewable. Unlike the wineskin, you can’t fill it back up again. You can’t plug it in and recharge it, or download an app to stretch it. And the richest person in the world can’t buy another minute today.


And third, you don’t know when it’ll run out. Like driving your vehicle with a broken fuel gauge. You’re absolutely certain it’ll run dry and leave you stranded, you just don’t know when or where.


Perhaps you lament with friends about how quickly time seems to pass. News alert: time isn’t moving any faster unless you’ve found a way to control the space time continuum.


Do you find yourself wondering at the end of another blur of busy day, what happened to the time? Then maybe you’re taking time – your time – for granted instead of being grateful for having it and making the most of it.


Sound discouraging or a bit creepy? Not my intent. So what’s this have to do with running a pharmacy? Everything! Here’s your 3-part homework: how to apply this leadership thinking to create a more successful pharmacy practice and business.


  • Notice regularly throughout your day what you’re doing with your time.
    • Spending it? That’s the blur of busy, transactional thinking and behaviour where you’re doing a lot of “doing” and hopefully getting something back.
    • Wasting it? That’s where all your “doing” isn’t leading to “accomplishing”, where there’s inefficiency or duplication of effort, etc.
  • Choose to respect and treat time… your time, that diminishing, non-renewable and unpredictable thing as if it were the most precious thing you have. Because it is. Make this choice and you’ll make better decisions with your time every day.
  • Be intentional with your time, apply leadership thinking and invest your time (instead of spending or wasting).
    • Leaders do very little “doing” but rather invest their time in developing and equipping people, creating processes, acquiring tools, and applying technology.
    • Want to know if you’re thinking and acting like a leader? For a week, at the end of each day, ask yourself and reflect on: “What percentage of my work day did I either develop and equip people, create processes, acquire tools, or apply technology? Please don’t get discouraged if you discover it’s pathetically low.


I hope you found this piece interesting and that you learned something. And if that’s all that comes of this, then sorry to say you’ve wasted your time.


Do your homework: all 3 of the points above (notice, choose, be intentional) and after a month (more likely less but I’m being conservative) I guarantee everything will change.


When it does, reach out to me and tell me about it so we can publish and share your winning practices to benefit your brothers and sisters in the pharmacy profession.


If it doesn’t, reach out to me and in a half-hour I’ll coach you to make sure it does.


Part 1

Part 2

Part 3