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Let's get ethical, ethical

For our leadership to be effective, we must be connected to certain fixed points.  Similarly, a GPS is able to provide our location by measuring our distance from at least three separate known locations. When we last met, I suggested that one point we must be connected to is our oaths and promises.

Today, we will add a second point to connect our leadership to. Ethics – simply, “doing the right thing.”

Several weeks ago, I wrote a post about the difference between managers and leaders.  A noticeable difference between the two is managers do things right while leaders do the right things.

With a little bit of effort, you can find a Code of Ethics for Pharmacists. There are several examples, but here is one you can check out if you are unfamiliar with it.

For several years, I had the opportunity to speak to newly graduated pharmacists as they prepared for their licensing examinations. I would ask them to recite the oath of the pharmacist (very few could) and then ask about the Code of Ethics. While many students understood that a code existed, few could give any examples. 

Over the years, I have come to subscribe to the concept that generally people like simple things. And with no slight intended toward any Code of Ethics, I suggest that they make things more complex, yet also make things more explicit. To that end, I take a step back from saying our leadership should be connected to a Code of Ethics and simply say we should be connected to simple ethics – doing the right thing.

Unfortunately, we live in a world where people are not ethical. There are numerous examples from the political arena, the business world, and the world of sports where people have not done the right thing. Where people have been unethical. The result is that people turn away from these offenders and no longer follow them once they realize they're unethical. 

So, what do your ethics look like? Have you ever taken the time to think about them? I believe we all consider ourselves to be ethical people. The thing is, we may not have taken the time to define our ethics, and if we haven’t taken the time to define them, we may not follow them in the heat of the moment.

I encourage you to take a moment to think about your ethics. What are those key right things that you always want to do? Write them down. They surely don't have to be a long list. You can always adjust it in the future. But connecting to these key principles and philosophies will make you a better leader and provide an underpinning for the values you use in your pharmacy life.

Until next time -

Jesse McCullough, PharmD

Connect with Jesse on LinkedIn



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