Karolina Mazur, Procurement Operations Lead in Krakow, is living proof that Shell is the place to fast-track your career as a leader.
Meet Karolina. #EmpoweredtoLead
I have been with Shell for seven years. I started my career in Shell as Senior Buyer managing Research & Development deals for Projects & Technology. It was only one year before I became Global Category Manager for Technology Equipment and Services, working globally with colleagues in Shell Technology Centers and shaping commercial strategies e.g. for fuels engine and vehicle testing services.
From 2016 to 2017, I progressed from managing ten buyers to leading a global team of 40 Contracting and Procurement (CP) professionals in far-flung locations across Krakow, Canada, Brazil, France, Malaysia and the Philippines. Team responsible for developing and executing sourcing strategies to set up the best commercial deals, maximize bottom line impact and deliver value for Shell. Now I’m a Leader of Digital System Process & Innovation, Procurement of Goods & Services Process Experts team in EMEA region, involved in ensuring process integrity, development and deployment of digital solutions for Shell Businesses.
I owe my fast career progression to the many inspiring leaders within the organization who felt really engaged in my development and in my growth. They are great at giving you new challenges: not telling you what to do, but asking you the right questions, so that you come up with your own solutions and learn along the way.
It’s not just one person either. I have met so many different people here, what with the changes in my role and having a new team almost every year. What I saw across all my leaders was their passion and commitment to coaching – and a willingness to provide sincere feedback that helped me get better every day.
Challenges & Achievements
One of the most interesting challenges is learning to work effectively across regions, each with their own local challenges and requirements. It really takes great collaboration skills to get to know the needs, discuss what value means for them and how we can work together to achieve it. It’s important to ensure that everyone on the team has the same vision and understanding of where we are going and that we are all agreed on ‘what good looks like’.
Trying new approaches, sharing learnings, leading change and driving business value through continuous improvement and customer focus are essential to power progress together. Now, I feel like my team and I have reached that goal and the sense of having achieved a shared purpose is incredibly valuable.
No matter where you work or who you collaborate with, you recognise eagerness and passion in everyone at Shell.
What motivates me is when I see how quickly people are growing in their roles and becoming better CP professionals. It’s really great to see how they improve based on actions that we took and challenges that we faced together.
The three pillars of my leadership style are honesty, free thinking and eagerness. I think nothing of value comes without the effort, so I set up stretch targets but also empower and motivate the teams to meet those targets.
I really believe in coaching and empowerment. I believe that every one of us is able to deliver this extra mile and my role in being a leader is to help each individual to grow and develop, inspiring each person to really maximise their achievements. I think it’s important that we face different challenges, because only then we do truly develop and grow.
Leadership it’s about the quality time that you get to spend with your team, it’s about being Leader as a Learner - inclusive, curious, embracing change, encouraging intelligent risk taking, innovation and learning from mistakes and successes.
Next Career Move
Within seven years at Shell, I’ve learned that the sky’s the limit. If you’re good at what you’re doing and you want to develop and grow, Shell offers great opportunities to work in different countries, in various interesting regional and global roles, and I’m really glad that many of these roles are now available for people like myself. I mean, I have a family, kids and I can also have a regional role from Krakow – this is a huge advantage!
The most important thing I’ve learned at Shell is that working in a team can really bring much more value than working as an individual.
As the saying goes “we are individually brilliant, but collectively unstoppable.”
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