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Allan Mackintosh - Professional Management Coach,

Posted on: 03 Jul 02


Allan Mackintosh started in the industry in 1982 working as a sales representative with a subsidiary of the then Ciba-Geigy called Zyma UK Ltd.
What's your background in the industry? I started in the industry in 1982 working as a sales representative with a subsidiary of the then Ciba-Geigy called Zyma UK Ltd. I became Regional Manager for Scotland and the NE England in 1989 and after a period of managing the East Midlands moved back to Scotland in 1991 to join Fisons Pharmaceuticals as Regional Manager for Scotland / Northern Ireland and NE England. In 1993 I joined Allen & Hanbury’s as an Audit Specialist and in 1995 I became a Coach with the Glaxo group of companies finally spending my last year in the industry as an Area Manager with Allen & Hanbury’s. I left the newly formed GlaxoSmithKline in 2001 to form my own company, Performance-AM What made you start your own company? I had a tremendous time in the pharmaceutical industry both in terms of my own development and also in terms of the various experiences that I had during these years. I experienced a number of roles working for different companies, each with their own structures and culture and within this time I experienced three mergers, numerous downsizings, one company formation and subsequent collapse, and three redundancies, two of which were my own choice. My feeling was that I had gained so much from these years that my experience and knowledge would be of use to people currently employed not just within pharmaceuticals but also in other industries. My main aim is to support the development of managers and up and coming managers, as it is an area I feel the pharma and other industries could improve. Why do you think the pharma industry could improve its training and development of managers? The industry is fast paced and there is a great push for results. So much so that despite training plans being put in place relatively little development takes place over the course of a year, save for new representative induction training. Many new managers go on either an internal or external management development course of a few days duration and then after that it is down to the “nitty gritty” of the managers’ day job. There is very little follow up of the course and as such most of the learning then disappears. It is my aim to ensure that both reps and managers get adequate initial training but also that essential follow up support which will reinforce the learning taken from the course. What are the main areas of development that managers should address? There are a number of areas that managers must concentrate on and the challenge for managers is to ensure that they have the correct balance between leadership and management skills. Many managers are good on the management side where planning the business and implementing and monitoring the plan is essential. However, the people side of their role is the one area where I believe managers could improve markedly. Managers should be able to build rapport quickly, be able to coach and use coaching models such as GROW and the skill/will matrix. They should also be able to resolve conflict, give and receive feedback and have an excellent knowledge of team dynamics and how best to lead the team. These are the areas that I believe could be developed more. How can you support sales managers to enhance their development? We can provide tailored management development courses based on their development needs. Our expertise is in training managers to become better coaches but we can also provide advice in performance management, appraisals and team working. We have various resources that managers can also take advantage of including a free e-zine, e-books and one to one coaching services. What advice would you give to new pharmaceutical managers? Firstly sit down with your own manager and discuss how you are going to work with him or her. What are their expectations of you? What are yours of them? What are your specific objectives and how are you going to be measured against them? What support is the manager going to give you in order that you develop fully as a manager? How best are you going to develop yourself? All these questions need to be asked and answered. Secondly, contract similarly with your team. Ask them what their expectations are? And outline yours so they fully understand where you are coming from. Thirdly, make sure you have a development plan in place and do your utmost to realise that plan. Fourthly, take time to reflect on how you are progressing and enjoy it! If you had your time over again as a manager what would you do differently? For me personally, I would always contract with my own manager as well as the team. I used to contract well with the team but never with my manager. That was a mistake and used to lead to frequent misunderstandings. Also, I used to concentrate too much on the people side and did not pay as much attention to planning and monitoring. Being self employed I now have to plan and monitor so I know the importance of this side of management! What's the single best piece of advice you've received in your career? Believe in yourself and your potential. And also that of your team’s!

Allan Mackintosh

Last updated on: 27/08/2010 11:40:18

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