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Mudassar Malik of Officer Survey: “Help others and Pay it forward”

Help others and Pay it forward Help others even if you can’t earn their business. We need to get rid of the “what’s in it for me” mentality. If we pay it forward it will come back and reward you 100x in return. Always give more than you take. As part of our series called “5 Things […]

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Help others and Pay it forward

Help others even if you can’t earn their business. We need to get rid of the “what’s in it for me” mentality. If we pay it forward it will come back and reward you 100x in return. Always give more than you take.


As part of our series called “5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Began Leading My Company”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Mudassar Malik. He has been a Police Officer for nearly 18 years. He holds a Masters in Criminal Justice from Columbia College and is currently attending Data Science classes at the Harvard University. Mudassar has been awarded numerous awards throughout his career as a Police Officer including Medal of Valor, Directors Leadership Award and a Life Savings Award.


Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Before we dive in, our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your ‘backstory’ and how you got started?

I started Officer Survey after the death of George Floyd. That same night we were called into work due to the civil unrest. After working for 2 months straights I said to myself that there has to be a better way to weed out the bad cops. So, I sold both of my vehicles, emptied out my retirement account and hired two software engineers to develop officer survey. The first platform in the world that allows citizens to provide feedback after every interaction.

What was the “Aha Moment” that led to the idea for your current company? Can you share that story with us?

After the death of George Floyd I began researching for solutions that would hold officers accountable for their actions early on in their careers that’s why I discovered there was no solution to this problem. That’s when I had the vision to create Officer Survey based on my 18 years of years in law enforcement.

Can you tell us a story about the hard times that you faced when you first started your journey? Did you ever consider giving up? Where did you get the drive to continue even though things were so hard?

Every startup faces challenges on a daily basis. Resources are limited and as a Founder/CEO you are stretched too thin when is detrimental to the startup and you can easily lose focus. Everyone faces hard times but you have to keep going because hard times will pass and one day you will get to your goal. You just have to be persistence. Because persistence breaks resistance.

So, how are things going today? How did your grit and resilience lead to your eventual success?

Currently we are being used in a few police agencies across America including Vermont, Oregon and Seattle.

What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?

Officer Survey is world’s first web-app designed specifically for police agencies to listen to their community members, solve problems and to identify and correct problematic behaviors.

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lessons or ‘takeaways’ you learned from that?

When I first started I did not know how to use google meet. I had an appointment booked with a client forgot to turn off my camera after the call. After the call I took a shower and was singing loudly later I got an email from the client that said “ You shouldn’t sing” lol but later they ended up joining the platform.

Often leaders are asked to share the best advice they received. But let’s reverse the question. Can you share a story about advice you’ve received that you now wish you never followed?

Most founders are told they can do it all themselves. I wish I never followed the advice but instead hired folks to take care of that. I had to learn the hard way but now I have a team of 7 who are assigned different tasks and that has helped us grow.

You are a successful business leader. Which three character traits do you think were most instrumental to your success? Can you please share a story or example for each?

Persistence — Founders have to be persistent if they want to achieve their goals without persistency you can’t make it.

Hard work — Building a successful business takes time. You need to put in the work to see the results. You can’t have a great product without the hard work.

Vision : Founders need to play the long term game. It is easier said than done. With so many ups and downs we face we need to remember our Vision and the outcome that we are trying to achieve.

Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?

Take time off. I have made several mistakes by overworking myself. As founders we can’t stop thinking about our product and how we can scale but the truth is that we need to take some time off for ourself.

By organizing my day I have found out that I have more effective and I can get a lot more done. I write down a to-do list and mark stuff off as I go. Instead of working 12–16 hours a day I now work just 8 and I produce better results. Founders also need to be active they need to go out for a jog or work or something that will keep their mind healthy. For me its a the gym 5–6 times a week works best for me.

What are the most common mistakes you have seen CEOs & founders make when they start a business? What can be done to avoid those errors?

They try to do too much too soon. They think they can handle it themselves I did the something but by reading and listening to several podcasts I realized that I could not do it all alone and needed to hire help even if it was only for a few tasks.

In your experience, which aspect of running a company tends to be most underestimated? Can you explain or give an example?

In my experience the most underestimated aspect of running a company is the amount of money you need. Most say you can bootstrap your business which is true to certain extent but I order to scale you need resources and help of others.

Ok super. Here is the main question of our interview. What are your “5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Began Leading My Company”? Please share a story or an example for each.

  1. Be Upfront / Be Open / Have The Servant Leadership Mindset / Listen / Deliver

I would want our Police leaders to connect and engage with community members in a more transparent manner by allowing them to provide feedback about their interaction with the responding officer(s). Building trust and nurturing legitimacy on both sides of the police/citizen divide is the foundational principle underlying the nature of relations between law enforcement agencies and the communities they serve.

2. Self-Care

As founders, we need to take care of ourselves. We need to develop good habits including fitness, a healthy diet, and talk long walks just to clear our minds. I have noticed practicing these things has helped me a lot.

3. Make your own path

I often see others trying to copy others in terms of marketing and features. We need to develop our own paths and stick to our visions even if others are scaling. You will end up losing that battle. Take it slow but be consistent.

4. Be honest

You must be upfront and honest with your team members and your clients. Your honestly will take you a lot further than you think. Even if you have to turn clients away it is better to do that than fabricate and lose them forever.

5. Help others and Pay it forward

Help others even if you can’t earn their business. We need to get rid of the “what’s in it for me” mentality. If we pay it forward it will come back and reward you 100x in return. Always give more than you take.

You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

I would want our Police leaders to connect and engage with community members in a more transparent manner by allowing them to provide feedback about their interaction with the responding officer(s). Building trust and nurturing legitimacy on both sides of the police/citizen divide is the foundational principle underlying the nature of relations between law enforcement agencies and the communities they serve.

How can our readers further follow you online?

www.linkedin.com/in/mudassarmalik1

This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for the time you spent with this!

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