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 five years. I started my career as Senior Buyer supporting Research & Development contracts. It was only one year before I became Global Category Manager for Technology Equipment and Services, where I was responsible for engine and vehicle testing services, shaping Shell’s strategy for fuels.
From 2016 to 2017, I progressed from managing ten buyers to leading a global team of 30 people in far-flung locations across Krakow, Canada, Brazil, France, Malaysia and the Philippines. My team is responsible for developing and executing sourcing strategies to set up the best commercial deals, maximize bottom line impact and deliver value for Shell.
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 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 requirements. It really takes great collaboration skills to get to know their needs, discuss what value means for them and how my team can contribute.
But the biggest challenge of all is making sure that everyone on the team has the same vision and understanding of where we are going. It’s important that we are all agreed on ‘what good looks like’.
Now, I feel like my team and I have reached that goal and the sense of having achieved a shared purpose is incredibly valuable. My team is motivated, inspired and confident that we, as CP professionals, generate value by putting the best commercial deals in place.
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 efforts. I think it’s important that we face different challenges, because only then do we truly develop and grow.
Management is about so much more than filling in pieces of paper. It’s about the quality time that you get to spend with your team.
Next Career Move
Within five 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 exceed your targets, Shell offers great opportunities to work in different countries and to work in more senior roles, and I’m really glad that many of these roles are now available for people like myself. I mean, I have a family, two kids and I can also have a global 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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