Roman Sledziejowski is the co-founder and Vice-Chairman of Savant Strategies, an international management consulting firm that provides management consulting services to middle market companies primarily in Latin America, Europe, and South Africa.
After a successful career on Wall Street and co-founding a real estate development company that he exited in 2009, Sledziejowski turned his business acumen toward consulting, helping to start Savant Strategies in 2013.
We recently had the opportunity to interview Roman Sledziejowski to find out a little bit about his life and career and his insights on how to grow and succeed in business during challenging times.
What's one trend that really excites you?
Remote working necessitated by COVID is an absolutely revolutionary trend. I was always a big advocate of organizations exploring a partially remote working environment. However, there is an accompanying set of issues that comes with that. This trend can be a blessing or a curse for a business. We have seen many businesses thrive in a virtual, remote environment, while other businesses that are more reliant on in-person collaboration have struggled.
While the cost benefits are obvious, a major challenge is in ensuring continuous productivity levels of employees working from home. Not everyone is cut out to work remotely and do so efficiently. Although, whether we like it or not, it is a trend that is likely to stay with us for a long time to come even in the post pandemic business world.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive?
Knowing how to get my mind to focus and stay focused for an extended period of time has always been the key to my productivity.
We live in a word of constant distractions. Emails, text messages, constant news alerts bombard us with noise and easily take us away from concentrating on the tasks we have to do.
I have always disliked phones and the distraction that they can provide when one needs to focus. It is not uncommon for me to put away or turn off my phone for hours at a time when I truly need to focus on a particular task.
What was the worst job you ever had and what did you learn from it?
Fortunately, I don't have one that I can recall. I have always tried and succeeded to learn something positive from every job or business that I had.
If you were to start again, what would you do differently?
I would be much more careful with people I trust in business and the partnerships I forge. Steven Covey, author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, once wrote: "Trust is the glue of life. It's the most essential ingredient in effective communication. It's the foundational principle that holds all relationships."
What is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
Never stop exploring new ideas and opportunities. They are always around you if you are open minded enough to notice them. It is easy to stay in reactive mode, but neurologists estimate the mind experiences nearly 50 thoughts per minute. Imagine what we can do if we took a moment to listen to that voice in our head sometimes.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business? Please explain how.
In whatever you do, focus on quality over quantity. If you can't do something as fully as is required, it is better not to do anything with it at all. I focus on delivering outstanding results to clients and this requires a great deal of concentration and commitment. I have found through experience that success in business is about making choices, and while we have been able to grow and find success in a challenging business environment, this has come as a direct result of choosing to focus on quality.
Do it right or don't do it at all. This is the approach that Savant adhered to since its founding and is the guiding principle of the business today. Since Savant's new business acquisition is 100% based on referrals from existing clients, the business growth over the years has been a direct result of this strategy.