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7 Questions on Leadership with Wojciech Damian Makowski

Name: Wojciech Damian Makowski

Title: Operational Director

Organisation: Davipharm

® Over 20 years in pharmaceutical industry,

® I managed over 1000 employees,


® Basketball - I love this game !

Thank you to the 2,000 leaders who’ve generously done the 7 Questions on Leadership!

I hope Wojciech's answers will encourage you in your leadership journey. Enjoy!


Jonno White

1. What have you found most challenging as a leader?

Not only was it a crucial challenge for me, but it resonates as a shared experience for everyone. One of the decisive factors in choosing to join Davipharm was learning that, amid the pandemic, the team exhibited extraordinary resilience by staying committed at the factory, ensuring uninterrupted processes. This collective dedication spoke volumes and played a significant role in my decision to become a part of this exceptional team.

2. How did you become a leader? Can you please briefly tell the story?

In the realm of business, akin to the world of sports, encounters with leaders and coaches play a pivotal role in guiding one's developmental trajectory and presenting opportunities. I was afforded such a chance 15 years ago. Back then, I served as a technologist, and my current supervisor recognized untapped potential within me.

This was the beginning of my "sometimes difficult" but incredibly exciting adventure with leadership

3. How do you structure your work days from waking up to going to sleep?

On a working day, I get up at 5:40 and drink a glass of water. The commute to work takes me 90 minutes, during which time I listen to podcasts and occasionally finish business tasks.

Before I start work, I eat breakfast and drink coffee.

Then the machine starts spinning. 50% of my time is regular meeting e.g. F2F, Site leadership meeting, daily operation update, Gemba walk.

An important moment for me is lunch time, when I catch my breath for 30 minutes and try to calm down.

After lunch, the machine works again, more time I spend on Ad-Hoc tasks and problem solving.

On the way home, I take advantage of the opportunity to work, read and send e-mails, sometimes teleconferences, sometimes after an exciting day, music and reading a book.

Before returning home, I go to the gym - it allows me to replenish my energy. Sometimes basketball, badminton or swimming. I end my day in bed around 10 pm, a good sleep is a sign of another good day.

4. What's a recent leadership lesson you've learned for the first time or been reminded of?

Paramount lesson I've gleaned is the art of seizing opportunities promptly and responding judiciously to situational demands. It entails staying closely connected with the team, attuning oneself to the prevailing dynamics, and discerning the opportune moments to provide support, motivation, or apply STOP when necessary.

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?

Many books come to mind, but the effect of Whoa was Patrick Lencioni's book - 5 Dysfunctions of Team. Even though I played basketball for 20 years and felt like an expert and expert in teamwork, this book gave me a lot of tips - how to manage issues that do not allow my team to jump a higher level.

Additionally, I will mention one of the films - The Godfather, part two - there is a sentence there that is important to me and defines my approach to tasks - "Difficult but not impossible"

6. If you could only give one piece of advice to a young leader, what would you say to them?

"Authenticity is key – don't play a role that doesn't reflect the real you. Clear out the noise, listen attentively, and when it's time to speak, let your actions do the talking. Instead of dwelling on problems, actively seek solutions. Approach each day with a resounding 'YES' in your attitude.

As the coaches of my favorite sport, basketball, say - you can either win the game or learn from it, so in business, let's treat failures and setbacks as "sometimes painful" lessons to achieve success.

That's all, good luck

7. What is one meaningful story that comes to mind from your time as a leader, so far?

Undoubtedly, there are numerous instances that exemplify this sentiment, yet I would like to recount my most recent venture. I made the decision to trade my European job for an opportunity in Asia, specifically with Davipharm. I affectionately referred to this phase of my professional journey as "the adventure of a lifetime." The experience of working in Vietnam has proven to be immensely gratifying. The market exudes a remarkable dynamism, and I witness positive transformations on a daily basis.

The same can be said for my organization; it is currently undergoing substantial growth. The prospect of a promising future, supported by strategic initiatives, translates into the achievement of record results each year. When you factor in the abundance of sunshine, surpassing that of Poland, coupled with the ubiquitous smiles,

I can sum it up - Changes are important !!!

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