Manisha Patel, Pharm.D.

Pharmacist-in-Charge – Central Drugs Compounding Pharmacy La Habra, California

Hi, my name is Manisha Patel, I’m from Southern California. When I entered the workforce 20 years ago, I quickly learned that filling scripts and helping patients was the easy part, leading my staff and working through the politics in the workplace was the actual challenge.

Being an effective leader is an ongoing process. The process of self-improvement never ends. I am, and will always be challenged in being a better leader as situations, circumstances and the people I lead are constantly changing. I applied for the LDI program because I wanted an avenue for self- awareness and to gain skills, knowledge and tools to become a more effective leader. I was most excited about the program because it involved several sessions and ongoing meetings throughout the year. I know it is natural to resort to our old habits and I also know change is not easy. I needed a program that would help me create new habits and be a constant in my life.

In the application, I was asked to present a leadership aspiration and specifically asked for me to “think big”. I decided my “great” achievement would involve getting an organization that has made a transformational impact in my daughter’s life to become more widespread. Not only would this project help me be more involved in my teenage daughter’s life, but also help make an impact on our future leaders. EdActs Global helps students improve their leadership skills by asking them to take on projects in the service of others both within their community as well as globally. The organization was founded 5 years ago. The organization’s goal is to establish itself in middle schools, high school and colleges. Currently, EdActs global has teacher advisors in 2 schools within my community. My short-term goal is to help EdActs grow in membership and build a solid foundational structure within the 2 schools. My long-term goal is to inspire other teachers to become advisors of EdActs Global in schools across the district and in colleges.

I am able to see first-hand the impact EdActs Global has had on students.  Students are able to take on projects they feel personally passionate about and do whatever it takes to make it a reality. This involves verbal and written communication with other organizations, teachers and students. Their project’s success is dependent on how effectively they are able influence others and engage students. This involves creativity, personal drive and resilience, especially, when they are faced with failure. I am inspired by the organization’s mission as I believe we need to help students have more self-confidence, be more resilient and have the soft-skills needed to help them reach their potential as leaders of the future.

After I joined the LDI program I began to take steps in achieving my leadership aspiration to take EdActs Global to the next level. Mid-summer of this year, I became President of the EdActs Global Board. After learning more about the organization, the people involved and the resources available, the reality of the challenges that lay ahead become very apparent.

The LDI program literally pushed me to take steps that I would not have otherwise taken to get involved in EdActs Global. I am out of my comfort zone and in an arena I’m not familiar with. I realized that it wasn’t self-confidence I needed but courage to help propel me to take this volunteer position. LDI helped me focus on my goal and narrow down what it was I am truly trying to accomplish. Now, with 26 active members, EdActs Global is 22 members stronger than it was in 2016.