‘I like to have impact’. An interview with Magdalena Wieczorek – General Manager of Henkel Consumer Brands, Hair Professional Poland

‘I like to have impact’. An interview with Magdalena Wieczorek – General Manager of Henkel Consumer Brands, Hair Professional Poland

You have recently become the General Manager of Henkel Consumer Brands Hair Professional Poland, achieving an impressive success. Could you describe your career path at Henkel and tell us what has contributed to such a significant promotion?

I have been working at Henkel for more than 15 years and have consistently been involved with marketing. When I started as a Senior Trade Marketing Manager, there were actually two people in the marketing department. During this time, we were rapidly growing, building a stable position in the professional hair cosmetics market. And this required operational alignment, so the marketing department grew in strength and competence to meet these challenges.

When I was promoted to Marketing Manager, our team had already grown to a total of eight people. During this time, my competencies also developed, and I assumed a role of a Key Account Manager, which meant looking after key clients.

There are several factors that I have managed to consciously influence my career. I have always been involved in additional projects. I started from the local level, with a vision of working in global structures. I began pursuing it already during the pandemic, building my visibility and confidence in my competence. And I have to admit that several of my important projects have been recognised globally. Among them, I would highlight those related to sustainable marketing, as well as the creation and launch of a fully digitised loyalty program on the Polish market. It was also important to manage the process of building a common go-to-market communication concept in several countries in our region for one of the brands.  

Of course, in all these activities I was supported by my mentors, who have been involved in my development over the years – first and foremost about Paweł Zaorski, my direct supervisor, but also about Karolina Szmidt, CEO of Henkel Polska, whose mentee I was in the program created by our organisation.

However, I think that determination, goal orientation, strategic thinking, good cooperation with the team – these are the qualities that have brought me where I am now.

Motivation is the key in being a leader. What kind of leader are you and how do you motivate your employees to achieve goals and set new standards in marketing and management?

I motivate my employees in a very intuitive way. I simply cheer them on. In their actions, in the new ideas they want to introduce, in their enthusiasm. I believe that people thrive when they have a sense of independence and responsibility. That’s why I give them a lot of confidence and try to create an atmosphere of creative thinking so that we inspire each other and stimulate our creativity.

Also, openness and transparency. We talk about conflicts and problems until we manage to understand the other side and find a solution to a difficult situation. I think that creating such a working environment is the best motivation.

As a mother and a business leader, how do you deal with the challenge of balancing work vs personal life? Could you share your strategies for maintaining work-life balance?

Every parent faces this challenge regardless of their professional position or role in the family. I dedicate a lot of time and commitment to my team at work. I try to lean into every problem or challenge that people come to me with, because I want every employee on our team to feel supported by me.

It is this kind of deep commitment at work that requires a special ability to balance business and personal life, so that the former doesn’t dominate every day. I try to find time for my passions, such as writing – it allows me to keep a proper distance from what I do professionally. I’ve recently started playing tennis, I sometimes jog, I listen to podcasts. My children cheer me on in my career and are happy when I achieve success, although, like any child, they would sometimes prefer me to stay at home and focus 100% on them.

Are there any specific career goals that you would like to achieve in the future? What motivates you to continue your own development and achieving successes?

I am fascinated by management in business and influencing the market through well-designed strategies. I look at marketing, which I was previously involved in, as a way of managing an organization. Inspired by this approach, I try to share it in my lecturing job when I teach strategic marketing. I also love learning on my own, as it provides a creative counterbalance to standing still, which I don’t like. Education, curiosity to explore new areas, and the desire to apply my experience and knowledge to new realities motivate me to change and grow. I like to have an impact. 😊

At the moment, however, my focus is on my organisation and my team. I would like to achieve good results, grow the business by implementing innovative initiatives and take my organisation to an even higher level of development and efficiency in Europe. One of my goals is also to discover and effectively utilize the potential of my employees, develop them through collaboration and build their sense of responsibility and independence.

As a strategic advisor and a lecturer, you are probably aware of the importance of continuous skills development in a dynamic business environment. Based on your own experience, what advice could you give to those striving for career success in the FMCG industry?

First and foremost, you always have to remember to continuously develop your competencies. And it won’t always be about adding another skill to your portfolio after you’ve completed yet another course. I think it’s worth taking care of your own education and awareness in the business. Read and learn a lot, be open to different ways of thinking, new solutions, challenge the status quo, talk to people who have a vision and their own opinions. Don’t stand still.

I am convinced that everyone can have their own individual career path and have their own unique ways of getting professionally to where they want to be. For me, in addition to my own work, it was also important to develop my team – that they achieve a lot and find satisfaction in what they do. I think that through their successes, I have been able to prove that I am an effective leader who leads employees to achieve the common goals of our company.

Magdalena Wieczorek – General Manager of Henkel Consumer Brands, Hair Professional.  She started her career at Henkel in 2008 as a Senior Trade Marketing Manager, from which she was promoted to a Marketing Manager. She holds a Master’s degree in Foreign Trade and Marketing, as well as a postgraduate degree in Economics. She is also a lecturer in the areas of strategic marketing and analytics.

Last Updated on June 20, 2024 by Anastazja Lach