Marshalling Troops

“Challenging troops to engage calls on the leader to show direction and put the pieces together. Failure to align the troops breeds confusion, apathy and team failure/disintegration.”

I’m not a trained soldier or member of any military force but I’m accustomed to the use of analogies from the military in leadership trainings, models and principles on most accounts. Perfectly well, these have been aligned and to an extent they’ve proven to be effective in the different leadership models with magnificent results. It’s more than ten (10) years since I attended my first leadership training session coupled with other sessions where I’ve either trained, facilitated a workshop or been trained as a delegate. Other than generic leadership, I’ve also been a proponent of professional associations anchored on the belief that these associations boast of subject matter experts that when aligned towards the realization of any particular goal, are poised for success. This then is the basis of my accounts in this article which is drawn from my experiences, reflections and hope for what could be in the healthcare/pharmacy space.

Today when I woke up, the first message I read was an account by a fellow pharmacist who was calling on my other colleagues to take their rightful place and create sanity in the healthcare sector by taking up spaces where their technical expertise would deliver value in meeting the market needs. I am totally aligned on this considering pharmacists as professionals have been trained to practice in the healthcare space holistically i.e. from public health, supply chain management, pharmaceutical care, research and leadership among others. Leveraging on this specialized technical background with a common alignment on the value that can be delivered in the overall healthcare space, we are able to achieve our common aspirations towards a healthy populace.

What then does leadership have to do with this? Cognizant of the fact that different individuals regardless of their common training will have different interests with an alignment to delivery of quality healthcare services to the Kenyan populace, then it means that aligning these interests is a way to realize our common aspirations. In all teams there are the visionaries, the implementers, think tanks and influencers. All these individuals need to be aligned towards the ultimate goal and this is what I believe professional associations should offer to their membership. A platform with the right leadership than inspires creativity, curiosity and evokes commitment towards a common goal as envisioned by the leader. Failure to align with such a leadership then means that professional associations will remain as sleeping powerhouses often reactionary to market trends but with little value in themselves. Dependence on externalities to elicit action is the norm yet this should be the exception.

Every professional association needs to have a key mandate that spells out it’s activities towards the realization of that mission such that the leadership is committed to fueling the realization of this goal. Failure to align with such will be the downfall of professional associations.

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