Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Leaders remove fears

Where there is fear, there is no intelligence: Jiddu Krishnamurthi

Jiddu Krishnamurthi was an influential Indian philosopher, who motivated individuals to think beyond, self-analyse and become more rational as human beings.  He emphasised reasoning: which, eventually made humans more integrated, mature and self-fulfilled.  He did not adopt the discourse style of communication, he favoured mature conversations and group discussions, which ideally would result in improved intelligence, removal of fears and blossoming of leadership at individual level.  

Why do we need leaders?

Why do people need leaders?  Why can't we lead ourselves?  Why do we need to look up at individuals to give us hope or remove our fears?

Leaders fill the void of intelligence, they remove fear... read on and become a leader!!

Leaders: tap potential, remove fear

Fear is described as an unpleasant feeling or emotion caused by the threat of harm, pain or danger.  Fear is a protective phenomenon, makes people cautious, helps avoid unpleasant experiences.  For instance, fear of damage to feet makes a diabetic subject wear protective footwear during work, play or routine movement activity.  Fear of loss of job, makes an employee turn up at the work-spot or work-place on time.  Fear of loss of increment, motivates an employee to learn and master skill sets required to execute allotted tasks. Fear of loss of job or business make a field person approach doctors, pharmacies or other market operators who can help him generate sales.  Fear is a daily routine parcel of emotions that influences behaviour at work, leisure, play, social transactions and family life.

While at one level, fear helps motivate people in the above manner... positive leadership based on intelligence, values and discipline (conformance to standards of behaviour) also generates above behaviours.  While fear based work or social behaviour is associated with unpleasantness in the mind of the individual; discipline and enthusiasm based work and social behaviour is positive and based on a pleasant state of mind.

When fear is removed, unpleasantness is absent.  Removal of fear is a positive feeling (it makes people joyous and people smile a lot!): it is pleasant and comforting to experience a state of mind where there is no fear.  Women particularly get attracted to leaders: because leaders remove fear or instill confidence in them and this comforts them.  Women naturally get attracted to strong persons, caring individuals and capable gentlemen, because these people can provide resources and remove fears: this comforts women materially and emotionally.  Sri Sri Ravishankar is such a contemporary spiritual leader, who removes fears, radiates hope, generates calmness and pleasantness, smiles infectiously and makes people go to a comfortable state of mind.

As per the profound statement of Jiddu Krishnamurthi, given at the start of this article: intelligence helps remove fear. 

Intelligence has two dimensions:

a) actionable information that has high value: for eg., market intelligence is the procurement of market data, information and insights, which helps in making decisions for new product launches, new product categories, new disease segments, new trends and competitor activity.

b) ability to acquire and apply knowledge and skills: this emphasises the learning aspect of intelligence principle.  The faculty of intelligence implies capacity for judgement, learning, discrimination, making choices, generating alternatives with knowledge, elan and imagination; wit, reasoning, agility, tact, intuition, smartness, ability to grasp, memory, sharpness, communication skill, negotiation ability and poise among other required traits.  New knowledge is continuously created.  New efficient and timely skills are always valued.  Both knowledge and skills are related to intelligence.  

An interesting example is that as per AIOCD AWACS market intelligence report, in 2013 compared to 2012, the fastest growing segment in Indian pharma industry was ANTICANCER drugs: based on this intelligence, one can angle more products to this segment, ensure better coverage by field personnel of cancer treatment departments and oncocare hospitals etc.  Hence, based on this report,  a pharma company may create new me-too brands for this segment, current brands can be focused to a greater extent on this segment and field personnel may be directed to cover oncocare doctors with new focus.

Leaders make ordinary people do extraordinary things, they empower people and make individuals work enthusiastically and willingly towards goals.  If leaders have to do this they need to remove FEARS in people.  Fear is a major factor affecting work and social life.  These fears may be known or unknown to individuals.  For eg., if a leader manager wants his MR to go to a new territory and work: then various forms of fears play in the process:

a) The MR may fear the hardships/pain in locating the potential doctors and pharmacies
b) The MR may fear the tediousness/pain of travel to the new territory 
c) The manager leader may have apprehensions on how the MR will take up the challenge of establishing the brands in a new territory
d) The MR may have hesitations on availability of products in the new market

It is addressing such concerns or forms of fear that helps make people co-operative and success happen.

So in the above scenario, the field manager ought to ideally provide the information in advance to the MR, with regard to best hotels to stay, most comfortable yet business oriented travel plan, data about target doctors - their meeting times, profile and address; target pharmacies, support through product availability at the wholesaler level, motivating communication and supervision, support on SOS basis at the initial basis... This approach of facilitation will remove the fears of the MR and ensure valuable co-operation.

Training and fear removal

Training is building-in required attitude, knowledge and skills: this naturally empowers people to help them manage situations without fear.  Training is a vital input whose main task is to promote organization-wide skill enhancement and collective confidence.  Training of field personnel, helps improve body language, quality of representation and ensures prospects/customers are given abundant confidence.  This helps retain customers, add new customers, provide "feel-good" factor, improve perceived value of the product or service, raise productivity and improve business results.

Leadership vis-a-vis instilling fear!

Many leaders think the opposite: they believe in creating sources of discomfort and fear so that required behaviours are elicited.  Fear motivates people: this is their belief.  Perhaps it does work at one level - but this is misplaced understanding... a better approach in the work environment is to ensure: discipline makes people work.

There is a difference between creating 'fear' and 'instilling values and discipline' among people.  Leaders can engage people or subordinates better for common results, when the focus is on values, discipline, techniques and work execution.  If the focus is on creating fear to obtain people participation, work engagement suffers, involvement or enthusiasm is diluted and there is temporary co-operation (ie., only till the fear factor works). It also sows the seeds for disenchantment, employee turnover and rebellion.


Leadership is a great necessity in all organizations.

A good leader thus:

a) creates fearlessness through intelligence (in oneself, subordinates, peers and the environment as a whole through systems of intelligence gathering and sharing)
b) empowers people: through skill building, talent recognition, rewards, support, facilitation, conveniences, motivation, training and open environment
c) instills values and discipline
d) provides clear deliverables
e) supports people (does not give a problem to a problem - rather he gives a solution for a problem and does not pass the buck to others - trying to get things off his chest to the other person, passing the parcel or not focused only on bulletproofing himself or herself!)

Today, Mr. Narendra Modiji, PM of India has charted out a positive agenda for Indians: his leadership is instilling confidence (removing fears), focused on efficiency, providing defined deliverables and improving skill base.  This is an example of positive leadership based on intelligence (actionable high value information + skills, learning and knowledge).

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Sunday, June 1, 2014

The success experience

Desire for a feeling of success, which actually strengthens self-esteem (unconditional self - love) - is a universal need.  When people show the pathways for success and when individuals  facilitate success through material or motivational inputs, they are highly valued.

One of the best quotes for success was given by an experienced four star general of America: Colin Powell:
He said: success is a result of preparation, hard work and learning from failure.


In pharma marketing, preparation is everything!  The cornerstones of pharma marketing or healthcare marketing to prescribers (the opinion builders) are: in-clinic activity, in-stall or booth activity, in-pharmacy activity, taxi tours and small group meetings. 

During in-clinic activities, the field personnel get just about 2 to 5 minutes (rarely beyond that) to represent their pitch or negotiate for a better output of prescriptions and support for their brands.  It is elevator pitch in action!  For this set of planned calls, each individual has to organize the elements required to create the impact well in advance (samples, visual aids, literatures, small give-aways, talking points etc).  The use of these need to be visualised and choreographed in the mind before delivery.  Talking points have to be revised, so that the right set of talking points can be angled at the right time to the right doctor.

In-stall activities are a prime opportunity to deliver give-aways with good talking points.  Normally, this is the time where the prescribers do not have any patients in mind, they are more free to talk to field personnel, and this advantage can crystallize into solid productive relationships.

In--pharmacy activity refers to the set of activities for OTX (over-the-counter plus prescription) products, done at the pharmacy level.  It includes setting up promotional materials that stimulate POP (point-of-purchase) behavior, as such the thrust of marketing is stimulating consumption, enhancing market penetration, and strengthening word-of-mouth (among all stakeholders) this ensures better sales results.

Taxi tours: are especially important in India, for rural marketing.  Even to this day, stocking products and going on work tours (in taxis) to pharmacies and doctors in semi-rural and rural areas gives a significant jump in sales.  This enhances market penetration and repeat purchases (also creating new buying or prescribing behaviours).

Small group meetings: is an ideal setting for messaging, relationship building and give-aways.  This format for marketing includes various departmental meetings held at hospitals (eg., OBG department meeting etc), in which pharmaceutical marketers can get their time to charm doctors and win their hearts.  People do business with people!!

Hard work

This is the difficult concept: everyone claims to work hard!! So how to judge?  As such, it is total involvement that counts, it makes things happen.  There are qualitative and quantitative parameters of measurement for every job, which helps generate total involvement.  For eg., Medical Representatives are measured by no. of doctor visits, pharmacy visits, personal order booking at pharmacies or dispensing doctors, primary order booking at wholesellers etc.

The South Korean chaebols believe you get what you measure, and if any job cannot be measured it is a dangerous job!  Indra Nooyi states that creating the outputs is very important (this indicates, outputs are measurable and 'felt' or perceivable).  All this goes to say, that work has to be measured, should be measurable, and when there is focus on measurements, reports, feedbacks, rewards, subtle negative reinforcers, and remarks/discussions on various situations to generate better outputs - then involvement or hard work can be generated.

Learning from failures

This is the best part of Mr. Powell's statement for success.  Failures normally occur more than successes. Failures represent situations where the set targets are not met or desired event does not occur.  But each failure in fact is a learning opportunity, it is a part of the process for continuous improvement - NOT A CIRCUMSTANCE THAT SHOULD TRIGGER DEJECTION OR DEPRESSION. Successes can be turned into failure events, when measurement parameters are changed!  When a longer line is drawn against a shorter line, a new benchmark is set!!

When failures happen it means certain desirable situations or expectancies were not created.  It is not a curse or a shame to experience failure.  It only means there were certain elements missing, which did not make the desirable event happen.  It could be due to inadequate personal effort, lack of material supports (documents, samples, gifts, powerpoints, data, money, etc), or improper timing.  A failed event is one from which the lacunae should be identified.  It creates experience and learning: and hence, a better approach will happen the next time.

To learn from failure, the foundation attitude is self-esteem (unconditional self love).  If an individual loves himself, there is positive emotional energy, which charges him/empowers him, to analyse, work hard and improvise.  This attitude will help him defend himself and other stakeholders, it will also help him continuously produce self-joy and contribute to joy-kitty of others.

Colin Powell's sharp and pithy statement about success is a major contribution to the science of success.  If one reflects on the statement - works hard to actualize the statement, only benefits will accrue for the practitioner of success science.

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