Thank you to the 1,400 leaders who’ve generously done the 7 questions!
I hope reading
helps you in your leadership.
7 Questions with Robert Sadowski
7 Questions with Robert Sadowski
Name: Robert Sadowski
Current title: CEO
Current organisation: www.sawalogistics.pl
1. What have you found most challenging as a leader of a small or medium enterprise?
Before we became a family business and my brother joined me, I worked as a one-man army. By the end of this year, we will employ nearly 100 people. The development of the company entails delegating responsibilities. It's no longer that I can control and do everything by myself. Of course, I am ready to take operational actions all the time, but there are specialists employed for this. In the beginning it was hard for me and I always put in my three cents, now I am proud to be able to rely on others. However, the desire to check if everything is in order is always in the head. As they say, control is the highest form of trust.
2. How did you become a leader of an SME? Can you please briefly tell the story?
It is a different coincidence of life circumstances. A vital need and showing that you can run a business honestly following the principles learned at home. Yes, I also built it based on healthy principles. Solving transport and logistics problems of others, working around the clock. By carrying out those orders that could not be carried out by another. This is how we have consolidated the responsibility, credibility and brand that is Sawa Logistics. It may seem strange, but we grew up on "helping others." Of course, business is about numbers, and they followed suit. Sometimes smaller, sometimes a little bigger. We were building trust slowly with the little spoons. In effect, by itself. Through hard work, I have become an expert. On the assumption, the more demanding the problem is, the better.
3. How do you structure your work days from waking up to going to sleep?
For me, the organization of work and the tasks that I set for myself are crucial in my everyday functioning. All tasks have priorities but are selected consciously to keep a balance between work, family and passion. It is not easy, but I try to control it. I really like the speech delivered by US Navy Admiral "If You Want to Change the World, Start off by Making Your Bed" Of course it's a metaphor, but there is something to it. Every day the soldiers got up and made their bed, it was their first assignment that drove them to perfection overnight. Stupid at first sight, nonsensical. However, the first task done correctly causes you to move on to the second and the next. Every day, by improving something, we get to practice, practice perseverance, and set new goals. This is what my day looks like. I try to be even better and more organized every day.
4. What's the most recent significant leadership lesson you've learned?
Don't take people by your measure. They will never work with the same commitment as I am. I am and will always be for them, first and foremost, a company owner who, even if he has good intentions, in their opinion is in a different place, he perceives reality differently. Simply put, "Point of view depends on the point of sitting"
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?
I like reading biographies, experiences of people who have achieved something in their lives. Then I discover their different face. I realized that the main reasons behind success are hard work, a bit of luck, coincidence, maybe destiny. Everything happens at the expense of something. Very often our upbringing, childhood and youth experiences shape our attitude. One of such books is 'Greenlights'. Written by Matthew McCounaughey who is a great actor but most of all a human.
6. How do you build leadership capacity in an SME?
Each day brings challenges. I learn by practice, talking to people and being between them. I read and draw conclusions. Very often it turns out that my intuition does not fail me. I watch the market and look at the behavior of other leaders.
7. What is one meaningful story that comes to mind from your time as a leader of an SME so far?
There were a lot of them. I remember one in particular. One of the employees, a trader who has just been employed by the company, boasted that he had managed to make an appointment with the director of one of the companies, a potential future client. He then told me that it would be nice for him to accompany him. Of course, we went to this meeting together. In the new beautiful office, a lady welcomed us and invited us to the room where the director of this company was waiting for us. The meeting went well, I would say as standard. Suddenly, without knocking, the Lord comes in at first glance after a few beers and says looking at me, "Why is this man wearing a tie?" and the latter (looking at the trader) is not. Only in a shirt? The director turned red with shame, and so did my salesman. There was a moment of silence. I just thought I had to do something. I took off my tie and gave it to my salesman with a smile saying. We only have one in the company and we exchange. After a while, we all laughed and the drunk owner of the company said "I like these people, give them some transports." After the meeting, my salesman apologized to me, but of course I couldn't blame him for something like that.