off record
Shaukat Ali Jawaid

Sohail Zindani:
One of the most
entertaining speakers

Mr. Sohail Zindani Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Learning Minds is one of the most entertaining speakers. A Happiness Activist, Leadership trainer, Talent and Performance Consultant, he was one of the invited guest speakers at the Fourth Pakistan Pharma Summit 2019 organized by the Pakistan Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association (PPMA) on 23-24th April 2019. Speaking in the afternoon session just after lunch on April 24th, Mr. Sohail Zindani lived up to his reputation and in his most entertaining presentation during the Summit talked about Work that matters for people who care. He had titled his talk “This I Believe”. He was of the view that the decision makers are people who are not seeking short cuts but they are Risk Takers, Dreamers and non-constipated Executives. You should be one of those if you are interested in the future. Bench marking is a stupid thing, which means you wish to be there where some people were already there few years ago. You must do better than that. Quoting Michelangelo, he said that “The greatest danger for most of us is not that our aim is too high and we miss it but that it is too low and we reach it.”

Continuing Mr. Sohail Zindani said that some of us suffer from too much talent and we do not know what to do with that. Addressing the chief executives of the companies present, he said, most of your organizations are boring, will your own children like to work there. Are your employees happy? Management Rule NO. Is Getting the Hell out of the way. The most exciting role is removal of those officers who create hurdles. Crappy and X-functional communications is a big issue. Remember it is the diversity which rules and this is not your Father’s world. This is the time for which we are not prepared for. Innovations are not easy. Have you trained everyone in your organization in innovation? Do you hold your line managers accountable for innovations? Do you have dedicated budget for innovation, he asked?

There are no experts on everything. If you just say “I do not know that” it will relieve your lot of stress. You will get much better ideas from others which are more practical. You will also feel relaxed. Quoting Thomas Friedman Mr. Sohail Zindani said that there was a time when I was growing, my parents used to say to me “Finish your Dinner- People in China are starving”. However now in contrast, I myself wanting to say to my daughters “Finish your Homework- People in China are starving for your Job”. And we have an example of Chinese companies collecting and disposing waste in our cities. Mr. Sohail Zindani was of the view that the way we are trying to go Digital is ridiculously, shamelessly, obnoxiously and disgracefully stupid. Once Robert Cooper Advisor to Prime Minister Tony Blair had said “We may not be interested in Chaos but Chaos is interested in us.” The Number-1 leadership disease according to Mr. Sohail Zindani was that we talk too much and do too little. Agility is a combination of three H which stand for Hunger, Humility and Humor. You cannot be curious and angry at the same time. The magic happens only when what you know and what is possible.

Mr. Sohail Zindani’s presentations had too many pearls of wisdom and he also had a go at the way some family business are managed. The Grand father started a business, the children inherited it, and then they divided it among themselves. Then they had their children who got their share and that is all. The business disappears or is reduced to just a non-entity and that is what is happening and what has happened in the pharmaceutical industry in Pakistan as well. There were numerous messages for the audience who remained mesmerized throughout his presentation. They thoroughly enjoyed it as they were all kept fully engaged by the entertaining speaker which was eventually reflected when they kept on clapping for him for quite a few minutes as he finished his presentation.

Tail Piece: A seriously ill patient age seventy two years was brought to the Emergency. After taking careful history and physical examination, the physician wrote the prescription which said “The patient should take optimal dose of pure unadulterated Democracy at regular prescribed intervals. Full recovery is possible if the compliance with the therapy is ensured in letter and spirit.”

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