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People are very resilient, they would adapt: Bob Miglani

Bob Miglani, the best-selling author, talks about the future after COVID-19, career-shift & everything in between!


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CoFoundersTown

3 years ago | 7 min read

It all works out in the end. Just accept it. You just have to let go and go with the flow that leads you up to the end. Enjoy the ride! If you focus too much on trying to figure out or control what comes next, you’ll miss the best time of your life and it will all be over before you know it,Bob Miglani in his book Embrace the Chaos which was inspired by his visit to India.

For the ones who have read his books Treat your Cutomers, Make Your Own Luck (co-authored with Rehan Yar Khan) , and Embrace the Chaos, this man needs no introduction.

But, for the ones who have yet not witnessed his simple yet life-changing advices, Bob Miglani is a Keynote Speaker, Bestselling Author, Leadership Coach and Founder of Embrace the Chaos, an Experiential Change Company.

Along with his family, he came to the United States from India in 1979 and grew up running his family’s Dairy Queen business, the subject of his first book, Treat Your Customers.

Bob had a successful 23 year career at Pfizer Inc. in New York where he had numerous roles creating new functions and working with customers, partners and colleagues in over 30+ countries.

In this exclusive interview with CoFoundersTown, Bob talks about his family business, his experience of working at Pfizer, and also shares how to get through this tough period!

Q. What was the most important takeaway for you while working in your family business Dairy Queen?

The most important thing is your CUSTOMER. What they need and what they want. It’s while working at Dairy Queen I realised it for the first time that if our customers didn’t buy, we would have nothing.

FOCUS on your customers. Get OBSESSED with them.

While people work in a company, they often lose sight of their customers. People start putting more efforts in impressing their boss rather than impressing their customers, and that’s where they lose momentum.

Q. Post that, you started as a sales rep in Pfizer and then went on to work at various organizational levels there for 23 years. What’s the most important thing you learnt?

Always be open to learning new things. Put your ego aside. Problem starts when you think you know everything. Be Open-minded. Be willing to learn and be willing to change.

In my initial years as a sales rep at Pfizer, I wasn’t listening to my customers. My boss would constantly keep telling me to listen to my customers and I always confidently claimed that I was. The truth is, I wasn’t. The day I realised it and started listening to my customers, things got better.

Always ASK questions. Keep asking why things are happening and how are they happening. This curiosity helped me to identify a need for a complete new department at Pfizer. When I presented the idea to my senior executive, I ended up getting the chance to lead that department.

Look around. Talk to people. Keep looking for new opportunities. CURIOSITY is the key.

Q. After being at Pfizer for 23 years, what made you opt for a shift?

I saw the world changing. And, I wanted to be a part of that changing world. I realized that I wasn’t learning. I wasn’t growing. But, I was at a good place with a good-paying job around good people and good environment. And, that made me stick to that place.

But then, something happened.

My boss, who was also one of my closest friend, died of bladder cancer. He was just two years away from his retirement. That’s when the realization dawned. To Follow my heart, soul, desire.

I had previously thought of leaving too, but never had the guts. But post this, I realized that time was being wasted. I wasn’t growing. I had a desire to participate in the world that’s changing, to be a part of this changing world.

Q. Not everyone have a significant turn of events that makes them realise that they need to get out of the loop. How such individuals could unstuck themselves out of the loop?

There are 3 reasons people change their path:

Pain- Some people hate their job, some hate their current life, and they want to change the current reality. And, that makes them do things.

Desire- Some people have this burning desire inside themselves that they want to achieve the goals they have set for themselves. So, they get out to achieve them But, powerful secret

But, the problem starts when you don’t fall in either of the categories. That’s why the third one becomes all more important.

Choice- You choose. You make a CHOICE. You say to yourself that “I am just gonna do it”.

I was forced to relook at my life. But ultimately, I had to make a decision. That’s the most powerful thing. You have to make a decision.

There used to be a Roman captain who ordered one of his men to burn all their boats after they reached on their enemy’s shore. He made a decision to a point of no-return, to conquer or to die.

Make a choice & stand by it. Take a hard look at life and decide.

Q. You have worked in various departments at Pfizer and have managed various kinds of people. How to get the best out of them?

Ask them.

Ask them what they want. Ask them about their desires. Ask them what drives them to work! Ask them how meaningful are they finding their job?
Understand your people. What they fear, what they desire, who are they, who they want to be. Ask them everything.
Talk to them. Come out of the corporate bubble and have a genuine, human conversation with them.

That’s how you would understand them and know what they are about. Once you do that, you can now leverage their skills in a manner that align with their personal goals and visions. That’s how you would get the best out of them.

More than anything, help people grow.

Q. You have reflected the importance of Embracing the Chaos in your book. During this tough times, how should an individual keep moving forward?

We are living in uncertain times more than ever.

First and foremost, it’s important to ACCEPT that you can’t control everything. ACCEPT that you can’t control the external environment. But the good news is, you can control YOURSELF. That’s the way you can move forward during this time.

Every day I wake up and ask what can I do?

I can meditate, I can do yoga. That’s something I can control. That helps me feel hopeful even in this chaos. I put my thoughts into actions.

Secondly, focus on actions for delivering something to someone else. Create value for others. Anxiety and self- doubt is bound to occur. It’s important to redirect that thought and energy in something useful.

Q. How can we expect the world to look like? How is the social conduct expected to change?

I believe people will have some reluctance to be in crowds. Less people would be willing to travel as frequently as they used to. Virtual conferences and virtual meetings would get more frequent.

What I can surely say is, People are very resilient. They would adapt. It’s going to be tough in the beginning, but humans would figure out a way.

I don’t know what the world would look like. But, it would be different than in the past.

We would witness more people coming out of the box. People, who are smart. People, who have new ideas. People would invent new ways of working, create more opportunities, and would find new treatments. It would be tough, we will have to try hard to adapt but we will be fine.

Q. What kind of skills one should work on to prepare themselves for the new normal world?

Communication skills would become more important than ever. People would prefer social distancing. Companies would ask their employees to work from home. Interviews would take place online. And, you work would be evaluated on Zoom and Skype calls.

As work from home would get more prevalent, you would be required to communicate clearly and efficiently in a very short time-frame. Read books, speak to more people, practice and write speeches, write things which other people might be interested to know about. Work on your written and verbal communication skills.

I would encourage people to read new and different kinds of books (& articles) that you believe is not your genre. Listen to different kinds of podcasts and watch different kinds of videos.

For example- If you are an entrepreneur in the tech industry, read something in art, philosophy, and history. Here’s why.

Because these kind of reading and understanding triggers different parts of the brain.

To figure out the future, we need to figure the different range of skills that are existing and that might be required in the future. Only having the knowledge of the skills that used to work in the past won’t be enough.

We had different patterns in the past. We don’t have any for the future. We don’t know what the future looks like. So, to adapt to the future, we require different varieties of skills. And for that, we need to look at things differently.

You get that by reading different kinds of books, by being with different kinds of people, and learning new things you are not used to learning.

Q. What would be your advice to the young minds?

Start creating. Put paper and pen together, and make new things. Look at new businesses, Look at new opportunities.

This is the time when new businesses are going to be developed for the future that are going to last for a very, very long time. Right now is the time to reinvent yourself. You can’t wait. You have to do it right now.

Write a business plan. Think about what you want to do. Think of new ways of operating in this new environment. Start working on it today.

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