The WIIFM Initiative - Pharmaceutical Executive


The WIIFM Initiative

Pharmaceutical Executive

How do leaders drive new initiatives and the "big idea" processes? Persistence never goes out of style. Persistence is the ability to see difficulty simply as territory through which you have yet to navigate. Make a believer out of yourself and transcend limits. No is only for today, fight for a yes tomorrow. When you start to believe, it will begin to show—and others will believe too. I am convinced that, ultimately, the most important thing a person needs is total conviction that it can be done. Fight until you get it.

It is interesting to note the ongoing human desire for rock-solid iconic leaders. The University of Chicago report ranked "softer" teamwork skills, such as flexibility, enthusiasm, and listening, at the very bottom of the desirable CEO traits. Leadership is the closest thing we have in our society to applied philosophy. Real leaders recognize the need to be surrounded by ambitious, passionate, bright achievers who will champion a new direction. When leaders are in sync with their followers, both sides are transformed by the experience of having a focused mission and overcoming a difficult obstacle. Expect that WIIFM will bring you joy, leading to a life of higher meaning and the ability to push your people to become more than they ever imagined possible.

"A goal is a dream with an ending," said jazz legend Duke Ellington. Driving a new initiative takes single-mindedness, and to be able to execute on a field of excellence requires an incredible amount of concentration and vision. We must use every ounce of energy to accomplish what we want, even if that end takes us beyond our own lifetime.

Sander A. Flaum is managing partner of Flaum Partners and chairman, Fordham Graduate School of Business, Leadership Forum. He can be reached at


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