Required Leadership Skills for the Next Leader: An Empirical Study of the Egyptian Pharmaceutical Industry.

Author:Khouly, Sayed El


The question of any successful organization in order to continue its success and improvement is "Who will be the next leader?" and "Who will be able to continue the changes and ensure the organization's success?" In most organizations, senior management level and leaders share the responsibility of selecting the coming leader from a group of managers and senior employees. Which leadership skills are preferred in a manager who will take on the new role of leader? And will be the prospective future leader? How best to find leadership skills that qualify someone to be a leader?

Any successful organization works to identify and unify leadership characteristics and requirements in order to create a healthy working environment that can push employees to be more innovative and creative.

Pharmaceutical companies face complex issues that grow more challenging by the day. Healthcare transformation and changes in technology, government policy, and customer expectations are revolutionizing relations with key stakeholders and impacting operations in unexpected ways.

Globalization is presenting its individual set of challenges that extend multiple levels of most pharmaceutical organizations--from marketing to regulatory. Add to the mix the "patent precipice," a drooping economy, reduction R&D budgets and lackluster sales pipelines and you have a recipe that would challenge even the most experienced leadership team.

The majority of experts believe that companies who do well in the face of such challenges do so by reintroducing the importance of innovation. Moreover, they position themselves as very important partners in the healthcare release chain.

The pharmaceutical industry usually recruits medical doctors (MDs) and researchers from the academic world, which serves as a structure for the industry. The majority of these scientists shift into research or medical association roles when they link to industry. Some of them remain researchers primarily, but some become research directors and team leaders. Some shift into the commercial-side of administration and a valuable few go up into the higher-management position of pharmaceutical companies.

What distinguishes the leadership talent of those researchers or scientists? Answering that question gives insight into who can transition successfully from academia to industry and who companies should look for as the source of potential industry leaders. Individuals themselves can look in a mirror and decide if they have the skills and outlook necessary for successfully moving up the ranks.

Not astonishingly, human improvement research shows that there is a relationship between individuality and effective leadership in organizations. In recent years, Caliper has conducted a lot of studies that have investigated the relationship between successful leadership and personality behavior across many industries.

Leadership skills have been a recent interest in management studies. Maxwell (2007), in his book The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership, has pointed to 21 laws that define a leader. These 21 irrefutable laws are:

The Law of the Lid: Maxwell explains that your level of ability and dedication multiplies as your leadership skills increase. The effectiveness of a leader is maximized naturally as his leadership skills grow and he engages in a similar level of dedication. Therefore, dedication has a positive relationship to growth in leadership skills.

The Law of Influence: "Leadership is influence" and it is earned and not granted. The only means for a leader to earn it is through influence. Lacking the influential trait, a potential leader will always remain a diamond in the rough.

The Law of Process: A leader never ceases to develop and to put himself to the acid test time after time. This process will make the leader a magnet to his followers. The sky is always the limit to a leader's persistence for continuous improvement.

The Law of Navigation: A leader is recognized, unlike a mere navigator, by his ability to know not only how but where to go! The leader uses treasures of experience, knowledgeable instinct and confidence to sail on successful journeys. Nevertheless, the leader has to always appreciate the wrong turns that teach him to sail away from storms. On the course of his journey, a leader has to motivate followers towards success while continuously and cautiously evaluating his direction.

The Law of Addition: A leader understands his followers DNA, desires, needs and aspirations for awards. It is a fact that people will follow a leader for the added value he provides them. Listening to others and sharing their values are other valuable elements to win the minds, hearts and trust of followers and these are considered to be every man's motivators for choosing a leader.

The Law of Solid Ground: Slips in a leader's character are often not forgiven by his followers. He has to maintain these consistent vibes of trust with his followers. Trust is the groundwork of leadership, as Maxwell puts it.

The Law of Respect: A leader stands out by the strength of his character and influence on those surrounding him. People tend to follow and respect those stronger than themselves. One way to gain the respect of others is to have respect for others. Also, possessing a substantial amount of courage sends strong vibes for people to respect and follow their leader. This sense of respect makes followers loyal and admiration for their leader persists even after the task or the relation has been ended.

The Law of Intuition: "Leaders are Readers," according to Maxwell when he describes the importance of a leader reading the surroundings. Leaders read attitudes, circumstances, logics, chemistry and trends in the air. They do this through processing the conditions around them. They not only have an instinct for things, but also for people. They understand their hopes, their fears and their motivators.

The Law of Magnetism: Maxwell believes that a leader is someone who will mostly attract people who the same characteristics and values as he.

The Law of Connection: A leader has to be able to connect with people and to gain their sympathy before they move to action. As mentioned before, it is important as caring about others opens the door for a leader's ability to lead. A leader can earn people's sympathy by learning people's names and by knowing and asking about their background and culture.

The Law of Inner Circle: A leader always looks for certain characteristics that qualify his choice of followers. Successful leadership will prevail once those influenced can positively influence others.

The Law of Empowerment: Leaders are confident enough to empower others. They do not fear losing what they have. They are not afraid of change and are always ready to embrace it. Self-confidence and a high sense of worth is what makes a leader competent to empower others.

The Law of the Picture: A leader has to be careful with his actions as his followers are always watching him. In this respect, a leader has to reflect the required actions and to live up to his ideals.

The Law of Buy-In: As discussed before, connecting with people and earning their beliefs is crucial for a leader to win their hearts and minds. That's the Law of Buy-In mechanism. The leader finds the vision and then the people, while the people find the leader and then the dream.

The Law of Victory: To leaders, the only way is up. They never compromise with victory and success. This is the mindset they work with when influencing their followers who aspire and wish for the future.

The Law of the Big Momentum: Keeping momentum is an essential rule of thumb for every task to leaders. A leader is able to broaden his strengths and actions through the momentum he creates at all times for his followers.

The Law of Priority: Leaders have a well-defined sense of accomplishment, productivity and the greatest reward. A leader will delegate anything someone can do at 80% efficiency and will always recognize and handle priorities by either delegating or following through.

The Law of Sacrifice: There is no achievement without sacrifices. A leader will depend on his intuition when making sacrifices and is always expected to sacrifice more than others. A leader understands what is quitting but not losing. He has a high sense of responsibility that makes him willing give up more of his rights.

The Law of Timing: A leader masters picking the right time. He fully understands, more than others, uncertainty or error and that making the wrong move at the wrong time is disastrous, while initiating the right action but at the wrong time will entail resistance. Experience and intuition of a leader anchors his mature understanding of time.

The Law of Explosive Growth: It is tiring and limiting for leaders to lead and influence followers all the time. A leader has to impact people far beyond his own reach by influencing followers. They in return will influence more followers.

The Law of Legacy: Victory and success of a leader is an accomplishment that outlasts time. He is not occupied with finished missions, but with creating a legacy that will make others remember him and will be the foundation for measuring his success and influence. This is where a leader sets his priorities at and places his stake (Maxwell, 1998, 2007).


In this study, an identified set of skills have been measured in an endeavor to reveal the core leadership competencies favored in the Pharmaceutical industry from the point of view of leaders and possible leaders. Our Study will answer the question of who the next leader should be, according to John C. Maxwell's Laws of Leadership.


Leader Definition

A leader is "a person who influences a group of people towards the achievement of a goal." A mnemonic for this definition would be 3P's - Person, People and Purpose:

Person: A leader by its meaning is one who goes first and leads by example so that...

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