Building the next generation of pharmacy leaders

Yong pharmacist leadership delegates complete a team building exercise at FIP2019

An Australian delegate explains how the International Pharmaceutical Federation is preparing the next generation of international pharmacy leaders

The International Pharmaceutical Federation’s (FIP) once again received hundreds of applications from young pharmacy leaders around the world to attend its prestigious Leadership Development Workshop (LDW).

Running for its second year, only 30 pharmacists from 16 different countries were accepted the two-day program at the FIP World Congress, held in Abu Dhabi in September.

Key to Succession Planning

The LDW was conceived by Australian pharmacist John Ly, whose experience in the global pharmacy community includes serving as International President of the FIP Young Pharmacist Group and President of the International Pharmaceutical Students Federation. 

Bridging the gap between the lack of training available to enthusiastic members, and the core skills required for the often under-estimated workload and complexity of leading a global social cause, was a motivating factor for Mr Ly to push for the LDW concept.

Beyond upskilling young pharmacists from around the world, the Leadership Workshop seeks to unlock the leadership potential of those who will succeed today’s leaders, ensuring the continued success of the important work carried out by the Young Pharmacist Group for FIP, as well as FIP.

This LDW was inspired by the Leaders In Training program (LIT) for the International Pharmaceutical Students’ Federation (IPSF), founded by John Ly over 10 years ago.

Seeing the near-collapse of IPSF in 2008, when its then-president resigned owing to a lack of leadership skills training needed for the demanding role, he created LIT, which has since trained thousands of pharmaceutical students and young graduates over the past decade. 

John Ly

Real-world leadership skills

The LDW is aimed at helping young pharmacists be more involved with the profession – whether it be in leadership roles locally or globally, advocacy, or even FIP projects and committees.

Some of the unique and uncommonly discussed session topics included Sustainable Leadership, Personal Leadership Styles and Personalities and Values of Servant, Ethical and Volunteer Leadership were presented by current FIP leaders.

The LDW also imparted practical skills through workshops on strategic planning, succession planning, communication skills, how to run effective meetings, project management, among other critical topics, delivered by FIP and other international pharmacy thought leaders. Not only will these skills catapult those seeking FIP-YPG leadership positions in future years but also provide skills transferrable to the pharmacists’ professional career pathways in their local community.

Increased engagement from young pharmacists

The tangible success of the LDW could be observed through the record-breaking number of pharmacists who applied for YPG leadership positions held annually at the World Congress, with 22 candidates vying for only five roles.

The newly-elected team were graduates of this year’s LDW and are well-equipped to confidently carry out YPG’s global pharmacy initiatives.

Further, a number of participants have since been motivated to start their own Young Pharmacist Groups in their own country where they are under-represented, using the tools and networks made at this workshop.

Interested in young pharmacy leadership?

There will be approximately 30 subcommittee positions opening for YPG under Projects and Public Relations, for any interested members, later this year.

For those seeking to supercharge their leadership capability, there will be another LDW next year, with additional leadership topics such as Overcoming Adversity and Setbacks, among others.

This will be held in Seville, Spain in September 2020.


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