The Peterson Group LLC: Leadership is Never Based on Position

It is a common misconception that if a person is higher in rank than the others, he is already considered the leader of the pact.  Even managers have this kind of mindset.

Well, fact is, they will not be somehow on that spot if they had not shown leadership streaks, will they? After all, famous author and speaker, John Maxwell has defined leadership as having the competence to exude influence on others, thus gaining the chance to outstand over their peers. Perhaps influence means having to step up the ladder with the help of back up?

However, in his review, Prof. Mel Holcom of Arizona State University clearly states that “the first thing to realize is that taking advantage of a leadership opportunity does not necessarily mean moving up the career ladder.”

How then do we define leadership? And who are those worthy of being called a leader if it is not based on rank or position?

The Peterson Group, a leadership development and organizational consulting firm, states that you do not necessarily have to be an official to be a leader. Leadership goes more than a position or authority. The key is demonstrating relationship skills and, as Maxwell has emphasized, influence.

Setting up a good relationship among your colleagues is an important factor in being a leader, even if you are in the same level with them in a team. It is a big deal among human beings to know there is a person who understands them or someone they can go to when they need it. People can also instinctively know if you are being a fraud through your actions or being true in your intentions. The real emphasis on the C’s (charisma, character, commitment, courage and communication) amounts to the level of relationship you have built with other people, not with how many people are under you.

Influence, on the other hand, is a crucial element in leadership. Leadership can never exist without influence. Influence is not on how many influential people can back you up and get you on top of the pyramid; it is on how many people are willing to give you the position because they know you deserve it.

On a healthy debate held for leadership development among students in Jakarta, Indonesia, reasons for being a leader without holding a position was brought to light. Among the most essential characteristics aside from the aforementioned are initiative, discernment, generosity and focus, characteristics which does not necessarily require rank or position.



Dr. Richard Isaacs: Big Pharma has the upper hand ‘and they know it’

There has been an alarming upward trend in the costs of similar treatments, as more drugs are developed and come on to the market, new Pharmac figures show.

And as the price of life-saving medicines soar and pharmaceutical companies show no signs of justifying their costs, the Government is warning that something has got to give.

Pharmac, the Government’s drug buying agency, began funding a key blood cancer drug Thalidomide, manufactured by drug giant Celgene, in 2002. While the true costs of what Pharmac pays are confidential, the list price for the drug in 2002 was $360, based on a daily average dose for a month.

Compare that with a later iteration of the same drug – Lenalidomide – which in 2014 carried a list price of $8353. A third option for blood cancer patients, whose condition might not respond so well to the first two, was Bortezomib, which had a list price of $9742.

The benefits of treating cancer with any of the drugs were similar, and limited studies comparing Lenalidomide and Thalidomide showed no survival difference.

When it came to differing forms of chemotherapy for breast cancer, list prices had risen 443 per cent.

Anthracycline, a common chemotherapy, was listed at $975 in 2002. As two more options came onto the market – Docetaxel, also in 2002, and Trastuzumab, in 2007 – list prices rose to $2488 and $5300 respectively.

A similar trend was also shown across medicines for the treatment of kidney cancer, and lung cancer, rising 411 and 44 per cent respectively.

While all those costs related to the list-price of the medicines, chief executive Steffan Crauzas said Pharmac did not pay that much.

How much less Pharmac paid was confidential, but the increase in the list-price showed an alarming trend that the overall cost of providing New Zealanders access to medicines was becoming more difficult.

Costs were symptomatic of a price-war raging overseas, where the medicines market was not so tightly controlled by a public purchaser.

According to the World Health Organisation, medicines accounted for over half of total health expenditures and were often “unavailable and unaffordable to consumers who need them”.

It recommended making some essential medicines exempt from taxation.

Breast Cancer Aotearoa Coalition chair Libby Burgess, who led a campaign for the public funding of breast cancer drug Herceptin, said the problem was the Pharmac model.

She cited Australia, where two separate bodies took care of funding decisions and then purchase of the medicines respectively.

“All of that happens under one roof in Pharmac, which means its very easy for one part of the process to compromise another.”

MidCentral DHB Oncologist Dr. Richard Isaacs said the prices big pharma was charging was “gobsmacking”.

“There’s been a lot of criticism of Pharmac over the years, and I was involved in advocating for Herceptin, but I strongly believe now there needs to be a strong focus on the costs that pharma are charging when they introduce new targeted therapies into the market.

“We certainly can’t afford all of them and I think our process of carefully assessing the drugs is a good one.”

Associate Health Minister Peter Dunne said Pharmaceutical companies needed to justify their costs more.

“I think that there’s a real question about how everything starts with several zeros behind it, and think that is a question mark… but it may not solve the issue as far as access to medicines in New Zealand is concerned.”

Instead, it was Pharmac that would likely undergo changes in the next 10 to 15 years. Those changes were unlikely to be the kind Burgess was after, however.

“Pharmac are remarkably skillfull… and they are able to put these packages together, which are impressive. But the issue I thought they would have done a little more on, is actually evaluating their decisions; was there a benefit from funding Herceptin, for instance?

“We can be confident in the model at the moment, and in the forseeable future. But that’s not going to [last forever].” Dunne said.

“[Drug companies] have got the upper hand, and they know it. At the end of the day, no government is going to deny its citizens access to medicines.”

Dr. Richard Isaacs’ Profile

Ear, Nose & Throat (Otolaryngology)
Sacramento, CA

Male. 25 Years of Experience. 3 Insurance Plans
Languages supported at his practice: Russian, Tagalog, English, Spanish


Richard Scott Isaacs, MD is a practicing Ear, Nose & Throat (ENT Specialist) in Sacramento, CA. Dr. Isaacs graduated from Wayne State University School of Medicine in 1989 and has been in practice for 25 years. Dr. Isaacs accepts multiple insurance plans including Kaiser Permanente, Medicare and Medicaid. In addition to English, Dr. Isaacs’s practice supports these languages: Russian, Tagalog and Spanish.

Ear, Nose & Throat (Otolaryngology)


Medical School
Wayne State University School of Medicine
Detroit, MI