Guest Blogger – We are happy to welcome Charles “Nate” Smith, the Outpatient Pharmacy Supervisor at the VA Gulf Coast Veterans Health Care System in Biloxi, Mississippi.  

Are you familiar with Harvey J. Coleman’s book Empowering Yourself: GThe Organization Game Revealed? In it he outlines the 3 keys for success: Performance, Image, and Exposure. This model is often reduced to PIE. One must Perform exceptionally well, cultivate the proper Image and manage their Exposure so the right people will know who they are. In this model, he breaks down the value of each portion; Performance (10%), Image (30%) and Exposure (60%). Mr. Coleman believes that to grow professionally, one must have the ability to communicate and fit into an environment without conscious thought.

At first, for me at least, this was a little discomforting but the more I thought about it the more it made sense because I see it happening all day, every day. Then I realized, this is what I am currently doing…..and I think that it is working. I started off grinding it out (Performance) everyday just like everyone else. I badly wanted to become more involved in something, in anything. I wanted to be a part of the bigger picture and to have a voice that would be heard. I wanted to become involved so I could help shape the future of VA pharmacy to benefit our nation’s veterans and the pharmacists who will come after me. All this desire means nothing when you feel like you’re stuck in a box and don’t even know where to begin. I was getting nowhere fast, but that all changed with our first national Home Based Primary Care (HBPC) conference call. That is when things started happening for me. I became very involved on this call and even led the call on several occasions. This really got my name out there (Exposure) and it wasn’t long before my inbox was being flooded with HBPC questions. I quickly found myself becoming a subject matter expert and a resource for other HBPC pharmacists. This involvement introduced me to Anthony Morreale which led to a nomination for the TJC Board of Commissioners, which introduced me to Tim Stroup, who introduced me to Carolyn Stephens and the Pharmacy Recruitment and Retention Office, which led to the opportunity to work with many like-minded VA pharmacy professionals on projects such as this blog, mycareer@va, the national clinical pharmacy newsletter, and a pharmacy outcomes project. I met most of these pharmacists just prior to donating my hair to Locks of Love, so I’m glad that image only counts for 10%!! As you advance through your career I hope that you keep P.I.E. in mind and treat everyone that you meet like they may be the introduction to your next break, because we all know that pharmacy is a small world and VA pharmacy is even smaller!

I will leave you with this thought: “Organizations pay for performance but tend to promote based on potential.”

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Published on Dec. 19, 2012

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