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Fired for Blog Post

10/15/2010
Recently I was fired from a faculty position for posting a blog entry.  Let me outline the facts; offer some opinion and leadership lessons learned.
The Facts: I was fired from a part time faculty position with the ASHPFoundation Pharmacy Leadership Academy (PLA).   The stated reason was that faculty, students and Board members objected to this blog post [Link] and my criticisms of a related organization, the Am Society of Health System Pharmacists (ASHP).
ASHPFoundation PLA is a separate organization from ASHP.  ASHP is a membership organization and the ASHPFoundation is an educational and research organization.  They share offices and board members, but are separate entities.  
    The CEO of ASHPFoundation indicated that if I said the things in my blog about an employer I would  be fired.  He is absolutely correct.  However, an employer – employee relationship is very different than a member relationship of an organization.   All the comments in the postings are directed to the membership organization, with the goal of making a wider audience knowledgeable of an injustice.  It was never focused on the employing entity, the PLA.
     The ASHPFoudation PLA is a fantastic program for mid-level practitioners looking for leadership training.  Being a faculty member for 2 years was a highlight of my career.  My issues with the membership organization in no way diminish the view of the excellent PLA program.  It was an honor and privilege to serve the students and work with the faculty.
    When I posted the blog, I received only positive comments from faculty members, students and leaders of the PLA, general membership and my health system pharmacy leaders.   
Some Leadership thoughts and lessons learned:

  • A passive aggressive retaliatory strike by a membership organization on a member is a sign of insecure not confident leadership.  
  • A sign of a healthy organization is one that embraces a diversity of viewpoints and encourages open dialogue.
  • Attempt to change from the traditional power structures first.  Resort to other measures such as social media only after everything else fails.  While this approach was attempted, it was poorly executed.
  • The following is adapted from advice I received from a venture capital firm.  While in its original form it applied to raising capital, it can be applied to this situation as well.  
  • A single person with a megaphone can be annoying.  
  • Two people with a plan for change will attract others.  
  • Then “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” [Margaret Mead]

Please continue to follow http://RxInformatics.com, where a small group of thoughtful, committed informatic professionals will change pharmacy, health care and just maybe the world.

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