The Community Pharmacist Blog

Pharmacy shelves_blurred_wide

Succession Development: The Changing Community Pharmacy Owner's Role

Posted by Benjamin Coakley on Tue, Feb 11, 2014 @ 10:09 AM

Transitioning into life after pharmacy can be a scary thing for most community pharmacycommunity pharmacy owner role owners. Among the many reasons it frightens owners, the realization their role(s) will change as they begin the transition out of the pharmacy is perhaps the most daunting. Our clients often tell us they are worried about losing their identity and the respect of their employees, customers and other members of their community when they begin this process.

Succession Development is different because it embraces the changing roles that take place as the pharmacy transitions to the next generation.  It is important to accept the fact that roles must change and will change in order for your pharmacy to thrive through multiple generations of ownership.

Every once in a blue moon we run into a situation where the pharmacy owner says he or she plans on working until the day he or she dies and will be, as we say in the south, going out with their boots on. If this is your plan for your pharmacy, it is important to understand that the odds of the pharmacy making it successfully to the next generation are not great.

When you embrace the fact roles have to change, you can begin charting a course and creating a succession culture to significantly improve the chances of your pharmacy surviving for many generations.

One of the first steps of Succession Development (besides embracing the fact roles must change) is to transfer managerial control (please see our last blog) to a management team or capable employees (depending on how many pharmacies you own). This means letting go of some of the day-to-day operations of the pharmacy. In order to effectively accomplish this, you need to make sure you have the right team in place (the subject of our next blog).

A thorough evaluation of all your employees and managers will enable you to determine if they have the talent and desire needed to take on more managerial responsibilities. One of the most important things you can do is make sure you have the right people on the bus. If you don't, you will be faced with some tough decisions.

So the question becomes, "How will your role evolve as you begin the process of Succession Development?"  Your role will transition to more of the four following activities:

  • Focus on mentorship: training and developing the leadership engine

  • Let go of day-to-day management

  • Only pursue your passion: inside and outside of pharmacy

  • Participate in board, management team meetings: monthly, quarterly…

We call this FLOP method of transitioning to a life after pharmacy and despite the ironic acronym, each one helps you contribute to the greater success of your pharmacy. Changing roles does not diminish your importance and contribution but instead, creates a pharmacy that is prepared to thrive while you enjoy your life after pharmacy. Intentional Succession Development sets your successors up for success.


Click me

Where does this wisdom come from?

The content of this blog is inspired and verified by our experience helping independent community pharmacists enjoy financial independence inside, outside and after their life in pharmacy.

When a pharmacist reaches out to us for information and help, we endeavor to give them as much free value as is possible. In addition to providing educational, self-assessment and strategic planning tools, we invite qualified pharmacists into our formal discovery process.

The first step of the process is completing The Inspired Goals Workshop. This complimentary 90-minute session enables us to deliver a detailed and personal Inspired Independence Blueprint. The blueprint provides a roadmap for achieving your goals and enables you to fully understand the value of joining The Inspired Independence Program.

If you wish to learn more about any aspect of our work, the free value we offer, or to be considered for The Inspired Goals Workshop, visit our web site at or call 843.873.4420 and ask for Ben or Matt Coakley.

At Waypoint Pharmacist Advisors, we take care of you!



Topics: community pharmacy owner, community pharmacy succession, succession development