Simple Pharma’s Leadership Principles 🚀

Good leaders at Simple Pharma…

1. Are humble. No task is too small, and you put personal accolades and reputation below the greater good of the team and the company.

2. Embrace feedback. Good leaders give and receive feedback as an opportunity to improve personally and how we work as a firm. Bad leaders dismiss feedback as being insensitive or not empathetic. The best idea wins, regardless of seniority.

3. Are respectful. Everyone likes to be treated with respect. Saying “please” and “thank you” demonstrate an attitude of respect and cooperation. Good leaders are empathetic towards others’ constraints and give each other the benefit of the doubt.

4. “Disagree and commit”. Good leaders provide constructive feedback when they disagree but know how to commit to a decision made by the informed captain. They don’t come back later saying “I’ve told you”.

5. Work hard.

6. Act. Good leaders decide with agency and determination. Good leaders do not seek input, nudges or decisions from their managers for matters they can decide and resolve at their level. No action is often worse that a suboptimal decision: decisions should be made with ~70% of the available information. Most decisions are reversible, and leaders at Simple Pharma have a duty to ensure reversible decisions do not block progress.

7. Take responsibility. See a fire? Don’t ignore the fire and dismiss it as ‘not my job’. Raise the concern, ensure someone is in charge, put out the fire yourself: think like an owner.

8. Do not interrupt carelessly. Good leaders organise their work to preserve theirs and their colleagues’ focus. They cherish others’ attention and time. Good leaders recognise that ways of working are carefully designed to maximise productivity by allowing colleagues to allocate undivided blocks of attention to tasks.

9. Communicate. Good leaders don’t wait for someone to ask your opinion. Jump in and contribute! Good leaders are bearer of bad news, and make sure concerns and risk warnings are voiced vocally. Receiving bad news and constructing feedback ensures we can take action, course correct, and improve — sooner rather than later.

10. Find solutions from first principles. Don’t limit yourself to communicating facts, go further, be proactive, think about solutions and next steps. Good leaders take a fact-based, data-driven approach to problem solving. Good leaders do not make loose assumptions, and do not rely on assumptions about “that’s how it’s always been done”.

11. Care a lot about data. Good leaders understand that good data is the prerequisite to measuring and improving performance and produce good data with high attention to detail. They ensure that data is accurate, all the time. Bad leaders capture data in a haphazard way, and do not seek to understand how their data will be used by others.

12. Build knowledge. We are constantly learning new information in our work. By recording and structuring this information — whether it be a Wiki page or devising a new procedure for how to process the information — we build value by making it reusable in the future. Don’t just cook the dish. Save the recipe, and make it easy for the next person to reproduce and improve it.

13. Embrace diversity and inclusion. We are a diverse and inclusive company. We want everyone to feel safe to contribute in their unique way, ask questions, be curious, and grow. Good leaders are aware of the subtle ways people may feel left out and help bring them up to speed, especially those new to the team or conversation. Let everyone be heard and make sure everyone has a chance to speak. Get comfortable with longer pauses in conversation.

14. Lead by example, through direction not instruction. “Don’t tell people how to do things. Tell them what to do and let them surprise you with the results.”Phil Knight, Creator of Nike.

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