Thu, 22 Sep 2022 08:00:02 GMT
Michelle Kaczor is the director of offline and studio services at Harbor. Based out of New York, she started at Harbor as a Client Services Associate and now oversees Harbor’s offline editorial department and has grown the Studio Services team across NY, LA, Chicago, and the UK.
Recent credits include Better Nate Than Ever, Fire Island, Confess Fletch, Armageddon Time, and SEE Season 3.
Michelle> My first experience of leadership was when I went from being a member of a team to taking over from my manager to head the department which you can imagine was an adjustment.
Michelle> I have always tried to observe and learn from those around me, trying to emulate the characteristics that I admired in my colleagues and managers, and avoiding those that I felt were not productive.
Michelle> When I was first promoted into a leadership role, I went from being a friend and colleague to becoming those same people’s manager. It was a big moment for me to learn how to prove myself as a manager, while maintaining respectful and healthy relationships with my colleagues.
Michelle> I have always been a natural leader in my academic and personal life, but didn’t expect to have the opportunity to take on a leadership role in the workplace so early on in my career. It was initially intimidating. But, as I saw myself enacting positive change in my team’s performance and output, I was more confident in my capacity for success in the role. I believe leadership is a learning journey that never ends, and I still learn from those around me.
Michelle> I think it can absolutely be learned, if you have the drive. I’ve seen so many different personalities succeed as leaders; I don’t think it’s a one-size-fits-all answer.
Michelle> My biggest challenge is working with so many different types of personalities and identifying ways that different types of people respond to your leadership. For example, I always try to make sure my team members feel empowered to try new ideas, speak their mind, and be creative, but I’ve worked with people who needed more structure and guidance to succeed. I try to adjust my style of leadership according to my employees’ needs.
Michelle> I don’t like to use ‘failure’ when it comes to human behaviour, since it mitigates the opportunity for future growth and personal development. When something goes wrong, I look at what happened, what caused the issue, and what could be done differently now, and in the future, to ensure a better outcome.
Michelle> I live by the motto of being as transparent and honest as possible with those around me. Anyone who knows me knows that I am an open book. However, some matters are delicate or private and should be dealt with on a “need to know” basis. I think a good leader can ride that line, where their team members feel included and informed on important matters, yet not bogged down with matters that don’t serve them or empower them to succeed. I always want to be open with my team, so that they feel that they can be honest in return when they need my support.
Michelle> I try to learn from everyone around me, both personally and professionally. My mom has always been one of my top examples of strong leadership – she runs the show at home and at work. She treats everyone with kindness and respect but pushes you to be the best version of yourself. Those who have helped me grow at work always stick in my mind as amazing mentors, but I also learned a lot from those who I didn’t agree with who showed me what won’t work for me, which is equally if not more important!
I don’t think there is any one answer to being a successful leader, so when I have someone who is aspiring to that, I share my experiences (both good and bad) to help them learn from my life lessons.
Michelle> I think it’s been a very challenging couple of years, but I think it’s always important to keep a positive outlook. Recent times have been difficult for all of us, and some of us may feel burnt out, overworked, confused, etc., but on the flip side, I consider myself to be a stronger and wiser person thanks to those experiences. And I hope to impart that positivity to my colleagues. I like to frame it as: if we can get through everything that has happened recently, what can’t we do?
Michelle> I always enforce the expectation that all my team members and all my peers treat everyone (staff, clients, and vendors) with the utmost respect and kindness. I think respect opens the doors to more opportunities for everyone. It allows for people’s voices and viewpoints to be heard and fosters an environment of growth and diversity that we all benefit from.
Michelle> Our company culture is #1. I consider it to be an honour to be in a role where I can foster that culture and make a direct impact daily. Ultimately, open and honest communication is the most important thing when it comes to maintaining a positive and healthy workplace culture.
Michelle> I know I sound like a broken record, but I continue to learn by being observant and open minded to everyone I encounter. When I see a successful leader in another department of my company, or even on the client side, I always try to think deeply about what it is that they are doing so well, and how I can incorporate that into my actions and mindset to grow my leadership skills.view more - Bossing ItHarbor, Thu, 22 Sep 2022 08:00:02 GMT