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Whether dealing with the daily demands of your job or looking to make a big move up the ladder, you’ll be better equipped to meet any challenge that comes your way when you’re at your optimal health. That’s why we’ve partnered with SHOPPERS LOVE. YOU.—Putting Women’s Health First—to provide tips and advice that will help you achieve health and balance in mind, body, and spirit. Because you’ll be at your best, in your personal life and your career, when you LOVE.YOU.

By Rachel Huckle, Vice President Operations, Shoppers Drug Mart

I started my career with Shoppers Drug Mart almost twenty years ago. Back then I was a pharmacy technician in North York. While I was working there, our store accountant quit. The Associate-Owner at the time took a chance on me, offering me the opportunity to jump in. I quickly picked up tasks like processing payroll and sales, and she offered me the job.

A few days later, she had a meeting at the office to review budgets for the following year, and she brought me along as her accountant. The Controller recognized me, and asked: “Isn’t she your pharmacy technician?”

“Yes, and now she is my store accountant,” my Associate-Owner replied, immediately validating my presence, and her belief in my ability.
I haven’t always had such positive experiences. I’ve also had moments in my early career where I felt unnoticed, or my potential misjudged. These moments, both positive and negative, have taught me invaluable lessons that have helped shape me into the leader I am today:

People Matter. Titles Don’t. We all play an important role, and whether a cashier or a Vice-President, we all matter. I was fortunate to learn this lesson from my mother early on in life—at 73, after 50 years of being a nurse, people still matter. As you’re climbing the ranks, never forget that accomplishment and compassion can go hand in hand. When you’re starting out, never forget that you matter. Make the effort to speak up, and don’t sit back and allow circumstances to dictate the outcome.

“Never forget that accomplishment and compassion can go hand in hand.”

The little things matter. We all have the power to influence another person’s outlook, to make them feel important, or like they don’t matter. Take the time to show interest in others, to say hello, to say thank you—and mean it. That last part is particularly important, as people will feel and see through insincerity.

Become aware of your own biases. I take the time to reflect often when I am making a decision or approaching a situation. I engage others for their input to ensure that my own personal, implicit biases are balanced with other perspectives. It’s impossible to eradicate them, but being mindful of them and reflecting helps to drive awareness, and influences how I approach things. A great way to improve on this is networking outside of your comfort zone, opening your mind to differences. When you understand the assumptions behind your bias you own your bias, when you don’t understand them, your bias owns you.

Take chances on people. Talented individuals, especially women, don’t always see their potential. Pushing and pulling to help them to recognize and reach their full potential is a terrific way to build talent, and to support more women to achieve senior roles. For all those talented women who are unsure of their own abilities, keep this Samuel Beckett quote in mind: “Ever tried. Ever Failed. No Matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail Better.”

Respect and positivity: if you give them, you’ll get them. Humour and humility are important characteristics of a great leader, and a positive attitude will go a long way in building relationships, creating a culture that everyone wants to be a part of, and ensuring that you are approachable and inclusive. Speak to people in a manner that you would want to be spoken to, always know your stance and stay open, as this will shape how people experience you over time.

How I get results defines me as a leader. At Shoppers Drug Mart our CORE values (Care, Ownership, Respect, and Excellence) are at the heart of how we interact with each other, how we lead, and how we show up everyday. I focus on process success rather than outcome success; ultimately, the results follow when the right process is in place. I am comfortable with ideas that are different then my own, and I seek input from others to gain the most robust solution. If you don’t create an environment where people can bring their full self, you are leaving value on the table.


SHOPPERS LOVE. YOU. – Putting Women’s Health First – is our commitment to helping you stay focused on being your best in body, mind and spirit. It shares the expertise of our partners and connects you with others in support of local, community-based Women’s Health initiatives across Canada. Find one that moves you and join our journey to strengthen Women’s Health across Canada!

If your charitable group has a program to help women in your community lead stronger and healthier lives, we may be able to help.