Bad managers continue to drag pharma down

bad managerKEY TAKEAWAY: Bad managers can cause good people to leave and others to just go through the motions. 

I have over 16 years experience in working in pharma marketing.  I have met some very talented marketers in my time and we have learned a lot from each other.  Some have left the industry due to either downsizing while others have remained because they believe in what they are doing. Unfortunately, I have also been exposed to bad managers.

Forbes reports about a Harvard Business Review study that nearly half of upper managers around the world can’t actually manage.  One study found that almost 80 percent of the employees surveyed identified their boss as a lousy manager. And almost 70 percent in that study conducted by Delta Road stated that their immediate superior had “no clue” what to do to become a good manager. Author Harvey Hornstein, Ph.D., estimates that 90 percent of the U.S. work force has been subjected to abusive behavior at some time. He bases his conclusions on a survey of nearly 1,000 workers over eight years.


Pharma has a unique problem in that its bad managers seem to survive and thrive within the organization.  This is because senior executives care more about making the numbers than keeping good people from leaving.  It has been my experience that managers, within marketing, who have a sales background are more likely to install a “sales culture” within the company leading to bad decisions and often, illegal activities.

When a manager requests that someone be forced out they should be questioned because ultimately it’s their failure.  Under no circumstances should executives be allowed to ’empire build” with their hand picked cronies.

[inlinetweet prefix=”” tweeter=”” suffix=””]Pharma and biotech CEO’s who only care about making numbers and Wall Street are slowly killing the industry[/inlinetweet].  It’s ironic because now is the time for the industry to apply changes to stay in tune with the demands of a new healthcare marketplace. [inlinetweet prefix=”” tweeter=”” suffix=””]Unless senior HR people question why good people are being forced out or leaving companies will continue on a path towards self destruction.[/inlinetweet]

There is, perhaps, nothing more heartbreaking than seeing cowards follow a bad managers wish and get rid of good people.  It’s still happening today and in the near future, I will detail some examples.  In the meantime, I salute the good people who are struggling to make a difference.