During my leadership rotation, Mits provided an analogy to describe the differences between leadership and management – on a road trip, a leader would be envisioning the destination; whereas, the manager would be planning the trip and figuring out how to actually get to the destination. Without a leader and a vision, the manager and team might be like a Roomba, which serves its function of cleaning but isn’t necessarily moving forward.
During my week with Mits, I was able to observe how he carried both the roles of a leader and manager – representing Pharmacy in interdisciplinary committees like the P+T, addressing human resources issues, meeting with the director and operations manager regularly to touch base and figure out how to move forward and guiding and teaching residents like me! While there is the thought that most leaders can’t make good managers and vice versa, I have had the opportunity of meeting numerous pharmacists who have exemplified both qualities of a great leader and manager. For me, being a leader is being self-aware of your strengths and areas of improvement, frequently self-reflecting and motivating yourself and others to be innovative, to challenge themselves and each other. On the other hand, being a manager is about managing the details to ensuring that the “leader’s vision” is attainable – such as, the quality of work, strength of the team, and organization and logistics of the plan.
Another tidbit I learned regarding this topic was from my one-day dispensary rotation at VGH with Jason Park: There are generally 4 styles of leadership – structural, political, symbolic, human resources. Structural and human resources are more management styles of leadership, while political and symbolic are more classic leadership styles. However, in general, it is difficult to function with only one type of leadership.