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Executive Summary of the ASHP Fourth Annual Leadership Conference on Pharmacy Practice Management

Reported and written by Vicki Meade
32-page conference report published by the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, Bethesda, MD


Leadership for a Re-engineered Work Force

Richard Ruhe, Ph.D., Consultant, Blanchard Training and Development, Escondido, CA

Vision statements—those things written on plaques—are not enough to motivate employees, pointed out Richard Ruhe in his lively, interactive keynote address. People need to be in charge of specific goals and must feel that their thoughts and ideas are listened to, respected, and acted upon.

Leaders who are successful, said Ruhe, know how to observe like a visitor, think like a customer, and act like an owner. They understand that workers want to be productive and that the following conditions must be in place for workers to have the greatest sense of productivity:

  1. Clear objectives are set,
  2. The worker is able to concentrate intensely on the task at hand,
  3. There's a lack of interruption,
  4. The worker receives clear, fast feedback,
  5. There is a sense of challenge—the task is neither too easy nor impossible, and
  6. The task requires some effort.

Ruhe put forth three principles, or "secrets," of motivating staff, using animal metaphors that illustrate their underlying meaning.