New year, new you — or at least that’s how it should be. The new year brings a wave of newfound motivation and excitement to take on new challenges and perspectives. 

And in the ever-changing world of pharmacy, the word “new” is as common as a flu shot.

Pharmacy leadership is an essential part of running a successful business. Not only does it encourage your staff to stick with your pharmacy, but it also incentivizes your patients to further trust you on their health journeys.  

As we enter the new year, let’s start with a clean slate with these tried, true, and effective pharmacy leadership essentials. 

1. Lead by Example 

It’s all about talking the talk and walking the walk. Effective pharmacy leadership thrives on effective communication and getting the job done. From administering vaccines on time to handling peak rush hours, hardly anything is more effective than simply doing the work. 

Good work can be contagious. You can galvanize your techs by filling prescriptions or taking phone calls (tasks that techs usually do while pharmacists take care of patient consultations). 

Let your pharmacy staff see that you wouldn’t tell them to do a task that you wouldn’t do yourself. When they see you’re willing to get into the nitty gritty of pharmacy work, your pharmacy will run more efficiently than ever before — all it takes is putting pills in a vial. 

2. Adapt 

2023 has been the year of adaptation. From nationwide drug shortages and the recent Ozempic craze to the pharmacist walkouts in November, this year has been a whirlwind of change. 

Naturally, you probably have a knack for quickly adapting to whatever comes your way. Still, adaptability is a journey, not a destination, so make sure to remain quick on your feet throughout the new year. 

Adaptability comes in many shapes and sizes. On your pharmacy floor, be mindful of how busy your pharmacy becomes. Does it become considerably more hectic during those supposed rush hours? Or is it okay to lightly step off the gas? 

Knowing the ins and outs of your pharmacy’s workflow can let you quickly adapt and improve your work performance. 

3. Leverage Your Technology 

Pharmacy technology is a cornerstone of your work. Your technology, primarily your pharmacy software system, sets the tone for your workflow and even the strength of your pharmacy leadership. 

Your pharmacy system can do more than keep prescriptions or immunizations on file. It should be able to track your patients’ fill history, automate tasks like calls and text messaging, enhance the point-of-sale experience, and more — at least that’s what PioneerRx can do, among many other things. 

The right pharmacy software — and using it the right way — opens the door to effective pharmacy leadership by showing you can fully use the tools at your disposal. 

For PioneerRx users, sign in to PioneerRx University to learn about the latest and greatest features that can enhance your pharmacy’s workflow.  

To see how PioneerRx can transform your pharmacy’s profits, read our blog, “7 PioneerRx Features to Grow Your Pharmacy’s Profitability.” 

4. Encourage a Playful Work Environment 

To partially quote Stephen King, “All work and no play makes the pharmacist a dull one.” Pharmacy work is busy work — and essential work at that, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy yourselves while doing it. 

Creating an environment of camaraderie and lightheartedness is an understated superpower in pharmacy leadership. 

After all, your staff spends about 40 hours per week with each other, so why not enjoy your time together? 

Though this might sound like a no-brainer, this starts at the very top. An essential part of pharmacy leadership is knowing you have to start the ball rolling. You have to lead (no pun intended) the change to a brighter and lighter work environment. 

This will make the hard days a little more manageable and the easy days a genuine joy. Work is still work at the end of the day, but a little play goes a long way. 

See how Owl Pharmacy’s Jackson Justus won his staff over with a simple but extremely effective move. Hint: it involves food. 

5. Have Your Staff’s Back 

A leader leads, and a leader also supports. This is essential in pharmacy leadership. You can bring the best out of your staff by letting them know you have their back. 

If they make a mistake, recognize the error but don’t beat them up about it. What’s more, don’t let them beat themselves up too much either. A little bit of support goes a long way.

Intervene when a tech or clerk has a tense interaction with a patient. Descelate the situation by taking over, asking what the problem is, and going on from there. 

Your techs and clerks are the backbone of your pharmacy team. They fill prescriptions, answer phone calls, field patient questions (within reason), and establish your pharmacy’s workflow. 

Having their back in the most tense situations will make them feel heard, valued, and — most importantly — look forward to the work day ahead. And in the hectic world of pharmacy leadership, that can be quite the feat. 


It takes a village to run a successful business. It also takes an effective leader to create that village. Pharmacy leadership is quite similar to any kind of leadership: lead by example, intervene when necessary, use the tools (like your pharmacy software), and have your staff’s back. These tips may sound simple but are necessary for running a successful pharmacy. 

This coming year, revamp your pharmacy leadership with these simple tricks and philosophies. Who knows what 2024 will hold, so create an environment and workplace that can take anything that’s thrown its way. Your patients, community, and pharmacy staff will be all the better for it. 

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