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Leading in Healthcare: Essential Skills and Strategies for Success

The pharmaceutical sector is intensely competitive and fast-moving. Healthcare leadership requires preparation for unpredictable future scenarios while guiding and supporting their teams in the current situation.

Unforeseen changes in regulations and sudden epidemics buffet the pharmaceutical sector. Perhaps in no other field is the mythical leadership ability to see around corners more desirable.

Team management has evolved over the past few years from directing tasks and setting targets to working with your people and enabling them to deliver their best. Pharmaceutical healthcare leadership is not the same for everyone. Over-the-counter generic launches typically have some urgency associated; new drug development timelines stretch over years. Pharmaceutical healthcare leadership requires enormous agility of thought and planning.

Project Management

Effective project management is essential to the continual profitability of any company. A leader requires the usual skills of assessing technical requirements, setting timelines and budgets, and guiding the team. A project manager in the pharmaceutical field must also have expertise in life sciences.

As new medical needs emerge, existing drugs move out of patent protection, and the search for new molecules with better efficacy or fewer adverse effects continues, leaders must drive new drug development. Only one compound in 10,000 reaches clinical use and one in five of these becomes a major commercial success. Good leadership requires fine judgment about future medical needs and potential commercial success before committing to a therapeutic area. 

A project management leader should also be able to supervise progress without micromanaging the scientific and marketing teams. Pharmaceutical leadership is required to strategize the entire project from initial laboratory commitment and development through clinical testing and licensing, culminating in promotions and prescriptions.  

Ingredients of Pharmaceutical Team Management

Communication, Internal and External

Leaders must share their vision for the company’s current strategy and future course with the team. However, receptiveness is the secret ingredient that helps an organization incorporate diverse ideas that produce revolutionary innovations. Leadership that believes in dialogue empowers team members to contribute ideas. Project management with international stakeholders with diverse strengths, needs, and regulations needs exceptional communication skills.

Building Rapport

Organizations prosper when team members feel they matter. Showing empathy and trust creates a positive environment, and team members feel appreciated and included. Skillful team management achieves this without reducing accountability and performance. Involving team members in decision-making creates more collaborative, distributed leadership.

Goal Planning

Progress cannot be made without identifying goals and planning to achieve them. Industry research is essential to setting goals and requires a thorough understanding of medicine, manufacturing, and regulations. Pharmaceutical planning must consider the needs of the healthcare system and patients and enhance shareholder value. 

Learn More

MDBriefCase is a trusted source of continuing education for people seeking to enhance their knowledge and careers. Healthcare Leadership Academy is a place for pharmaceutical managers looking for professional growth and useful information about their industry. Would you like to share your insights or a case study with your peers? We welcome contributions! Please visit our Healthcare Leadership Academy hub for more information.

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Submission Agreement

Thank you for your interest in writing an article for the MDBriefCase Healthcare Leadership Academy website.

Audience and Appropriate Topics

The  Healthcare Leadership Academy welcomes submissions on all topics relevant to leaders in healthcare. Our topics include Leading in Healthcare, Leadership Lessons from COVID-19 and others. We prioritize stories that provide leadership advice to executives and managers in healthcare companies, offer actionable strategies for executing successful projects, and provide interesting angles on current healthcare topics. Submissions must be original work of the authors and unpublished.  When submitting, authors represent that they have included no material that is in violation of the rights of any other person or entity.


Articles must be educational and non-promotional. If they mention the author’s company or any of the company’s products or services by name within the text, such mention should be very limited and used for reference only, not for promotion. (For example, an author might cite a survey conducted by his company but not describe his company’s product as a solution to a business problem.) Articles will be edited for clarity, style and brevity. The final headline is determined by the editor.

Length of Submissions

Guest articles for the MDBriefCase Healthcare Leadership Academy may run between 500 and 1000 words. 


MDBriefCase reserves the right to accept or reject any submission  and the right to condition acceptance upon revision of material to conform to its criteria.   

No Compensation

There is no payment for contributed articles. However, MDBriefCase will give the author a byline. Authors are invited to link to the article on personal  websites, corporate websites and social media platforms.

Author Agreements

Each author understands and agrees that any submission accepted for posting is provided subject to MDBriefCase’s Author Agreement