Airina Kacienaite-Krake: leadership styles and team motivation
Open-minded leadership and adaptivity to ever-changing market winds have always been a part of Magnetic Group’s DNA. Airina Kacienaite-Krake, the Head of Magnetic Trading, is one of our team leaders who have proven on multiple occasions that they share these standards. In this article, Airina shares some insights on her leadership style and what helps her team to stay motivated in a challenging working environment.
Hierarchical vs. Flat: the right organizational structure to withstand market turbulence
“Flat organizational structure is an efficient solution for smaller teams or businesses that have well-established processes that do not require substantial customization in every new project. However, larger teams or teams that constantly have to tailor custom products – they require a different approach, particularly if the whole market is experiencing severe turbulence,” shares Airina Kacienaite-Krake, the Head of Magnetic Trading.
Airina became the head of Magnetic Group’s Trading sub-brand just before the pandemic, meaning that the start of her leadership was marked with challenges. Challenges that required prompt adaptation, fast decision-making, and maximum flexibility.
“When I joined the team, there was a flat structure whereas all salespeople were reporting directly to the head of the department. However, while having its advantages, the flat structure didn’t provide enough flexibility and agility, since all key decision-making was linked to one person – the head of the department. That’s why we established a new structure with several sub-units led by team leads and clear areas of responsibilities,” explains Airina.
According to her, the change in the structure boosted Magnetic Trading’s performance: not only it allowed to solve challenges more promptly, but it also provided wider possibilities for internal career mobility. Various team members got the opportunity to rise to the position of a team leader, as well as to join the strategic decision-making process on the development of the department.
“Clearly defined areas of responsibilities may sound like a no-brainer solution, but in practice, it’s easier said than done, particularly in departments with functions that cover a wide scope of responsibilities. I’m very glad that we were able to regroup and thus not only improve our performance but also withstand the pandemic-related challenges,” adds the Head of Magnetic Trading.
Office or remote workplace? No need to choose!
Another case was the workplace model. Following the end of pandemic-related restrictions, many companies asked their employees to return to their offices. At Magnetic Trading, we decided to follow a hybrid workplace model that combines the best of office/remote work.
“Working from home helps save time and money on commuting, as well as provides lots of conveniences, particularly if there are things or people that you have to take care of at home. It also gives more flexibility to explore the world while ensuring that all your assignments are duly completed. In other words, it’s a source of additional motivation for the team. At the same time, some team members prefer to work at the office because it is a place where one can have more real-life networking, a more comfortable working infrastructure and simply just a change of scenery. In either case, we decided not to impose any strict boundaries and allow each team member to switch between office/remote workplace based on his/her needs,” shares Airina Kacienaite-Krake.
The hybrid working model is favoured not only in Magnetic Trading but also in the whole Magnetic Group and generally across the world. One of the recent surveys on the topic conducted by an employment agency Emplonet revealed that 70% of employees would prefer an employer that offers a hybrid working model (in 2021, only 47.3% of job seekers would prefer an employer with a hybrid working model).
Leadership that adapts
In terms of the leadership style, Airina follows one main rule – to listen. Hence, her leadership approach adapts to a specific situation and/or team members that are related to the situation.
“Each and every one of us is an individual who has an individual set of skills and characteristics that lead him or her to professional goals. Some prefer fewer meetings and more proactive decision making while others need to talk through and coordinate their actions more often. My role is to identify how each team member can maximize his/her potential and ensure that the person has the right environment for growth. To do that I have to be open to the team and their ideas, show transparency behind strategic decisions and be empathic – after all, we all are humans,” shares the Head of Magnetic Trading.