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7 Questions with Moin Uddin
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7 Questions with Moin Uddin
Name: Moin Uddin
Current title: CEO
Current organisation: Gohar Group
I am originally an IT / ERP Professional. However, while doing various ERP Implementations (especially during failures), learnt so many lessons that converted me into an Organization Development Consultant and later became a CEO (by accident) for a mid-size organization
1. What have you found most challenging as a CEO or executive of a large enterprise?
Change Management has always been a challenge. Especially when you try to change the people above you in hierarchy. To me this is one of the biggest challenges one can face in any organization.
2. How did you become a CEO or executive of a large enterprise? Can you please briefly tell the story?
I always say that I am NOT a CEO By Choice but By Accident. I was asked by a company to work with them as an ERP and Organization Development Consultant. I took a few initiatives during the 1st couple of months after joining that saved millions for the company and as a result the owners offered me the position of CEO. I was a bit reluctant to accept as I did not have experience of this business however took it as a challenge. Initial months were very challenging however later it worked very well for the company and me.
3. How do you structure your work days from waking up to going to sleep?
I am a believer in God (Allah) therefore start my day with prayers. After reaching office I always try to have meetings in the 1st half of the day as I am fresh and then perform routine jobs during the 2nd Half. I do not believe in being a Workaholic therefore spend my evening with my family and friends. I make prayers before ending the day and then go to sleep. It's working very well for me.
4. What's the most recent significant leadership lesson you've learned?
We always talk about ‘Leading from the Front’ in leadership related lectures. In normal circumstances, leading from the front is relatively easier when there is no threat to your life. I had to apply this during COVID Lockdowns when there was great threat to life and everyone felt safe being at home however in order to continue business activities, I moved out of my home and performed my routine activities while following SOPs. When I took this step, many of my team members followed me and as a result our business was least affected, we did not reduce pays, did not lay off anyone and saved jobs of many direct / indirect staff.
5. What's one book that has had a profound impact on your leadership so far? Can you please briefly tell the story of how that book impacted your leadership?
Don’t take me as a religious fanatic when I answer this question. I read translation of Muslim Holy Book ‘Quran’. What I learnt from it is that no matter how successful and wealthy I am, in the end I am nothing but just an ordinary human who can be beaten by a tiny virus like COVID. It's not the wealth and my current position in society that I take with me but how good I was to mankind. Therefore I always try to live like an ordinary human, treat my team as my colleagues with full respect including the teaboys and cleaners. I think I am successful not because of my skills and position but because of the support of the people I work with and on top, it’s the God (Allah) who is watching my every move and rewarding me even with the things I don’t deserve.
6. How do you build leadership capacity in a large enterprise?
Many people have many learnings on this topic. What I learned and practiced is that I always start my working relationship with any of my team members with Trust (unless he / she proves me wrong). I try to make leaders in my team, I give them opportunity to perform beyond their skills and education. I try to work with them as a team member and not a boss and give them full respect. As a result, they demonstrate the same behavior and go the extra mile while doing their job that makes them and me successful.
7. What is one meaningful story that comes to mind from your time as a CEO or executive of a large enterprise so far?
When I started in my current job, I had zero experience of this industry. There were some very difficult people in the company who were masters in their jobs however did not like my arrival. They were also against the change in ways of working I wanted to bring in. I had 2 choices, become a typical boss and crush them or to come down from my position, give them respect and comfort, learn from them, and then help them grow.
I opted for the 2nd one which worked extremely well. Some of these difficult people became ambassadors of change and made my job much easier. Even some of them went the extra mile and protected me on the blunders which I made while learning.
Therefore, being a human, treating people with respect, giving them trust can sometimes do magic for you.