Recently, someone asked Irene Domingo, Hartley Medical’s Production Manager, “What’s William like?” and she said, “He’s a hands-on employer. He is directly involved with all of our activities.”

I view her answer as a compliment.

I think it’s beneficial, as much as time allows, for the CEO of a company to step into people’s shoes, perform their tasks, and see how those tasks are going – and whether or not what they are doing is efficient, effective, and safe.

Several times a month, I like to become involved in our clean room activities and to actually perform some of the duties that my staff performs to get a “hands-on” understanding of what is actually occurring.

Case in point: I work with employees regarding all aspects of production. I do the work myself. During the course of production, I am reminded that compounding takes a significant amount of time and focus. My involvement and review of our procedures allows me to improve compounding processes and safety.  I’m able to guide employees and enable them to operate more efficiently and within our best practices. Recently, one of our quality control consultants went into the IV room to make observations and he asked someone, “When you’re short on pharmacists, what do you guys do?” They looked at him and said, “William steps in.”  He walked into my office and said, “You know, you have a great team in there.  They said you stand shoulder-to-shoulder with them when you need to.  That’s a rare thing.”

There’s a TV show called Undercover CEO that I think is wonderful.  I watched it recently and thought, “I’m not undercover, but I am in the trenches.”  I’m listening to people and talking with them while we do the work together, thus becoming more educated about how things are being done.  When you are hands-on, you are involved and able to ask, “Is this the best method?  Can this procedure be improved upon?” In the course of 27 years, I have continually found opportunities for improvement after performing certain tasks.  This constant attention to operations enables Hartley to strive for the highest level of quality and performance.

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