Campaign letter for RPS elections 2021: Paul Summerfield on effective leadership

This is a campaign letter for the 2021 RPS national pharmacy board elections. The views expressed in this letter belong to the author. Find out more about the RPS elections.

It has been said that the things we fear most in organisations — fluctuations, disturbances, imbalances — are the primary sources of creativity. In order to be creative, we need change, and this is what, in my opinion, is needed at this crucial time when pharmacy is rapidly changing, and our roles are expanding. The pharmacy world that I entered into in 1997 is far from what the pharmacy world is now in 2021. We need a board that is passionate about the future, a board that can feed into and deliver the RPS long-term plan through being creative and having a new outlook, but also a board that is able to hold itself, and the RPS, to account.

Holding the board to account is crucial, in my opinion, to ensuring that the membership have confidence in the board and confidence in the RPS. Any board of the RPS, be it the English, Scottish or Welsh board, must act selflessly, act objectively, be open and honest with itself and with others but most importantly, act in the best interests of the membership, even if this means that the board will be at odds with the RPS from time to time. This requires robust leaders and a robust leadership.

Now more than ever we need effective leadership, but this does not mean spotlight leadership. It does not mean media appearances so that our faces are known. Any leadership is best when those who they serve hardly know they exist and when the board has done their work, those who they serve will say: we did it ourselves. We need a leadership who are limelight leaders; leaders who work behind the scenes to ensure that goals are achieved, with problems rectified as and when they arise; and leaders who change and adapt so that the board’s goals are achieved.

That is my vision. A board who quietly and diligently works in the background for the benefit of the membership. A board that is accountable and can hold others to account. I am not standing in this election to forward my own career or for any other purpose except to serve those who have elected the board into existence. After all is said and done, the board is answerable to the membership.

Leadership is not about titles, positions, or flowcharts. It is about one life influencing another.

Paul Summerfield election candidate, English Pharmacy Board, Royal Pharmaceutical Society

Last updated
The Pharmaceutical Journal, Campaign letter for RPS elections 2021: Paul Summerfield on effective leadership;Online:DOI:10.1211/PJ.2021.1.79388

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