Do Mormons Make Better Managers?

Can residency training programs benefit pharmacists in the same way that oversees missions have helped many Mormons become industry leaders?

An article today in Bloomberg Businessweek carried this provocative headline and the following: “Many highly successful leaders—such as presidential candidate Mitt Romney, JetBlue founder David Neeleman, Credit Suisse CEO Eric Varvel, and former Harvard B-School dean Kim Clark—are Mormons. The key, experts say, is the church’s highly involved managerial structure and the two-year overseas missions on which young Mormons learn self-reliance, organizational skills, and a global perspective. ‘The mission is like a crucible experience [and] a lot of people come out with the capacity to lead,’ Clark says.”

This headline certainly got my attention, perhaps because I think religious faith is important. But as I read the brief write-up, it seemed to confirm an observation I have had for some time from the world of pharmacy: Residency-trained pharmacists are better leaders. I wonder if a pharmacy residency could be like a “crucible experience.” Is this one more reason why we should suggest that graduating pharmacy students should do a residency if they can? I think so, what do you think?