I learn to be a CEO every year all over again. As a company, we are in constant flux. I do like it! Our team is growing, maturing. Roles fluctuate, scopes of duties change, too. People change. Our environment is as dynamic as ever, and it’s not only about the market. The legal frame is moving and so must we.
Being a boss is an extremely varied profession. Challenges do not wait for you to be ready. How to stay true to our values, but also be able to react toughly to troubles that pop out here and there? Who do I want to be to my team, and who is that my team actually needs? Defining your role easily and forever may be available for dictator-bosses only. Personally, I like this state of constant change. It forces me to learn, to test new approaches all the time.
Yearly summaries are a great opportunity to reset our minds, our perceptions and assumptions. To implement a lesson, you need to understand it fully first. As a chess figure, move to another square and reassess a bit before the next move.
But 2020 is racing forward – let’s not waste any more time. This is a brief summary of our 2019 – what we have learned, where we succeeded and what gave us a moment of pause 🙂
2020 Lessons Learned
- A Leader must be present and must make him/herself available. This is necessary to know the vibe of the team, to feel troubles ahead before they escalate – but also to let the team be if they will solve them 10x better without your intrusion. Simple? Hell no.
- The breakneck pace of growth may look impressive, but there is always a price to pay. Take a breath, count the losses, measure the progress, and circle the wagons before moving forward again.
- Want to finish the marathon? You have to build your oxygen base first. In business that means relationships – with clients and your team. Without this very soon you will lose your pace.
- Sharing responsibilities can be the hardest thing, but sharing this burden teaches your team responsibility.
- Short tenure at the company does not automatically make somebody’s insights worse. New employees bring fresh insights and perspectives. Ask them about their opinion often and encourage constructive criticism of the status quo.
- Keeping your internal and external communication is a never-ending process – but its core is promising carefully and delivering stubbornly against all odds.
- Unrealistic goals demotivate. That is a banality, but worth keeping in mind anyway. This year we did a pretty good job of setting our goals. We crafted them based on data, our needs, and experiences and it worked very well.
- Meticulous data collection and analysis (thanks to Michał, Maciek and Paweł for that) helps to separate your decision making from your emotions and prejudice. Really worth it.
- But on the other hand, analysis can be like quicksand – it can quickly become an analysis for its own sake. It must lead to action.
- Company culture needs care, but also a realization, that it will change and evolve with every new hire. Do not defend it against all odds – move on and adjust.
- Publishing our first book – “Powerful” by acclaimed Patty McCord, was an exhausting, fantastic fun!
- The reception we got for it was great, too – better than I ever expected (and the same goes for its sales numbers!). This suggests that the appetite of the polish HR market for the latest thoughts from industry thought leaders is quite high!
- At the start of the year, we thought we will open an office in Berlin – 300 km west of Poznań. And we opened the office in… Warsaw, where Piotr and Veronica are set up in the classy Hala Koszyki MindSpace. That’s only the first stage! We have some regular events lined up there for 2020 so… watch us conquer the capital! 🙂
Highlight of 2020
We kicked off an entirely new service for businesses – RPO (Recruitment Process Outsourcing). And we kicked it off strong – with 6 separate projects, and January opens up with even more! RPO is a complete outsourcing of recruitment, where our recruiter is dedicated to one client only – most often physically working from the client’s office!
Going this route was possible mainly thanks to the flexibility and skill of our recruiters, but also our business development crew and the whole team. After all, this is a significant change in how some of us work. This forced us to learn even more and even harder, but that is the price of becoming a trailblazer on our market.
We are currently running RPO projects in several cities in Poland: Warsaw, Cracow, Gdańsk, and Poznań.
We got some nice hardware this year! Among many, we are probably most proud of those:
- LinkedIn Talent Awards 2019 – Top Innovative Agency in Poland
- Perły HRu (HR Pearls, loosely translated) – Consultant of the Year 2019 for our Karolina Sokołowska
- Lider Przedsiębiorczości – laureate in Microenterprise category
2020 – privately
- Together with Maciej Kalkowski I organize Team Programming Championships – and it feels awesome to do something for the community!
- I took Piotr Płóciennik’s invitation and created Poznań chapter of IT Corner, as a “child” of its Wrocław organization. This led to dozens of great acquaintances – smart CEOs and Leaders all around. Thank you Piotr!
Hey, I like those summaries. Bird’s eye view is always so different to the way you look at stuff when the battle is still raging around. Although maybe details get lost in time, comparing your early vision to what actually happened is much easier. Was the past me right, or was she so, so wrong? Why?? Today I know more.
Bee Talents will be 5 years old this year. Those 5 years ago I could never imagine the road we would be on today – and I feel hyperexcited about what the next 5 years may bring. One thing I can guarantee – our story is not over and the next chapters will be even more thrilling!
To see what I thought about our 2018 – and see our collective evolution – check my last year’s summary too!