What is the Polish Manager like?
What is a Polish Manager like? Polish C-level Manager/Director/Board Member/Executive is a person raised in the last 30 years of the new economy – a 40-60 years old person. He has experience working in at least two organizations. However, there are also professionals whose careers are composed of, e.g. 6-7 companies. Such rich portfolios result from frequent job changes (each 2-3 years) at the beginning of their professional careers, which proved to be very beneficial in their further development. Those changes indicated that young professionals were coveted by companies just entering the Polish market regarding their qualifications, competencies or character.
Polish C-level Manager/Director/Board Member has usually been brought up by international organizations, which entered Poland in the 90s and later brought modern market solutions. As a result, he is most often a modern manager shaped by rapidly developing and ambitious companies which were expanding to the east of Europe and were not afraid of risk. He usually held many positions due to internal and external promotions and worked with expatriates – hence he knows his job thoroughly.
Polish C-level Manager/Director/Board Member came across various organizational cultures of Germany, France, USA, UK, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Denmark, Netherlands, Italy, Spain, China, Japan, Korea and many other countries. He can define the preferred organizational culture and provide reasons for this opinion. The Manager is characterized by high elasticity by being able to modify his team management style following the style present in the given organization. Furthermore, the Polish C-level Manager/Director/Board Member often has an experience not only in the area of start-ups, establishment and development of the company but also, he often observed or participating in mergers, company acquisitions (including direct competitors) or reorganizations. This C-Level Manager employed and expelled employees – he learned what it means to work in a global corporation, in which countries with better results transfer profits to headquarters, which takes responsibility for the company’s global results. He adjusted the regional strategies to the specifications of the Polish market and often delivered the best results in the Region.
Polish C-level Manager/Director/Board Member asks multiple questions in order to understand the strategy and his direct principal, and he wants to know “why” – understanding his company/division/department allows him to reach above-average results. He is creative and likes improving – one can count on his suggestions and ideas out of the box.
On the other hand, the role of submissive implementer does not suit him well – such tasks usually discourage him after some time, and he may become open to new, more exciting challenges. He is an energetic sparring partner for the Board, Owners both in the home country and abroad. He is most often fluent in English. However, there is also a large group of people proficient in German or French. He is a hardworking person who enjoys the action of building a project. He does not cope well with expelling the employees. He enjoys and needs to be praised, providing additional motivation to work harder. He is energetic and open to considering new professional challenges outside Poland due to the insufficient job offers in the national market. His willingness to relocate to Poland, even in the face of a good employment offer, is considerably limited. He likes challenges, is ambitious, enjoys learning, and is motivated by achievements. According to the Polish saying, he is keen on overcoming adversities, “the harder, the better”. He is fond of being appropriately paid for his work, and it has been a long time since he has been the cheapest manager in Europe, despite the fact the Polish market is regarded as the market with low employment costs (they are indeed low, but not necessarily in case of managerial positions).
One of my clients once said: “If I have an international project team, especially a project from the R&D area, I always try to have at least one Pole onboard. When adversity discourages the whole group, the same adversity is a catalyst for the actions of the Pole and, later, for the whole team. He will always ask why it cannot be done and always check all possibilities – there is a chance he will come up with something out-of-the-box. He usually is an optimist and tackles problems with an “everything can be done, and there is always a solution” attitude. It is up to us if we will make use of ideas generated in that way. The effect of adding more analytically oriented nationalities to such a team is outstanding”.
If you feel that your international boards lack creativity – maybe it is worth checking what nationalities you have onboard.
Ewa Adamczyk, based on hundreds of interviews with candidates and clients