Spotlight on - Darius Matusiak
At Spotlight, we got the opportunity to talk to the Regional Managing Director of recruitment agency Macildowie. Talking about gaining experience, being open-minded and seeing the opportunity in every situation.
A background into you and your business?
I have a background in creating and running some of the key components of our value proposition - The HR Academy, Success Through People sessions and EVP workshops.
I have been working with Macildowie for the past 10 years, I am responsible for the profitability of the Finance, HR, Sales & Marketing, Business Operations and Support, and Procurement divisions and the development of the careers for those that work within them. I chose recruitment because I like people, I want to help people achieve their potential and I’m motivated to understand why people do what they do. Recruitment provides a platform for me to be able to satiate all of the above.
What has been your biggest challenge or setback during your career?
The current climate is providing a big challenge because there are so many moving parts. We’ve had to learn and adapt to customers’ needs quickly, become more of a listening brand, and operate with great levels of compassion for many of our customers who are going through such a difficult time. We’ve essentially been reacting to the changing needs of customers but anticipating where the opportunity will be because of the changes in ways of working. We’re overcoming them through having open minds, by working harder than we’ve ever worked and really listening to our customers' pain points so that we can help them.
What is an important initiative that you feel passionate about in your role?
Our vision statement is #BuildingGreatFutures and I feel passionate about helping our customers and employees to fulfil their potential. Our mission is to build lifetime relationships and as such, I really do believe that it is critical that we do operate with honesty and integrity so that we create trust. This is the foundation of any relationship.
What do you think gave you the drive and determination to succeed?
Growing up, external influences like Michael Jordan and Ronaldo (Brazilian) blew me away and something that came through as a clear requirement for elite performance with them both was the requirement for an unbeatable work ethic. In addition to this, I’m 2nd generation Polish. My family were given a 10-minute window before being kicked out of their houses by the Russians and spent the next 6 weeks on a train to Siberia before eventually settling in England via a labour camp. To see my grandparents become successful in their respective fields, having come here with literally nothing has always been at the centre of what motivates me not to give up in tough times, to delay gratification when I’m feeling impatient and to recognise that our family always outworked themselves in order to achieve success.
What is the biggest lesson that you’ve learnt along the way?
A growth mindset and an insatiable appetite to learning have been key to my success. You learn so much through your failures but it is also important to focus on how you succeeded when you did. All too often there isn’t enough analysis done on this to help drive improvements and growth of people and businesses. To anyone thinking of starting a career, I would say chase experience, not money, be open-minded, outwork your competitors, learn from your mistakes and see the opportunity in every situation.
What is your advice to people who are wanting to start a business?
It will be the hardest and most rewarding work you do so find something that you believe in and are passionate about. Look to solve problems for people or improve efficiencies and understand that in order to grow trust, you need to develop your customer relationships by giving. Good things will come back to you in time but it has to start with you.
What is the best bit of advice that you have ever been given?
People are often unreasonable, illogical, and self-centred;
Forgive them anyway.
If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives;
Be kind anyway.
If you are successful, you will win some false friends and some true enemies;
If you are honest and frank, people may cheat you;
Be honest and frank anyway.
What you spend years building, someone could destroy overnight;
If you find serenity and happiness, they may be jealous;
Be happy anyway.
The good you do today, people will often forget tomorrow;
Do good anyway.
Give the world the best you have, and it may never be enough;
Give the world the best you've got anyway.
You see, in the final analysis, it is between you and God;
It was never between you and them anyway.
What advice do you have for people aiming for leadership positions?
It’s about them, not you. You are there to serve them, not the other way around. Your responsibility is to build people, not ‘edit’ them, help them go further than they would be able to without you. Throughout my career I have learned many things; talent wins games, teamwork and intelligence win championships – Michael Jordan. Earn the right to be successful and recognize that the team is greater than the sum of its parts, if intelligence is applied.
What would your advice be to someone managing a team?
Build a unit of people that bring a diverse set of perspectives, experiences and thoughts. This will help you generate more creativity and minimize ‘collective blindness.’ Trust exceeds talent in the unit so create a safe psychological environment where it’s ok to fail, let the best ideas win through thoughtful disagreement and catch people ‘in,’ not ‘out.’ i.e. Catch them doing the good stuff! The best part of my job is the pleasure I get from helping other people be the best version of themselves, seeing them improve and grow as individuals and having the opportunity to keep learning every day.
Do you believe there is some sort of pattern or formula to becoming a successful entrepreneur?
I think the formula varies from person to person but I think the fundamental requirements are a passionate curiosity, a strong work ethic and a values-driven approach that means that you truly understand the importance of creating customers for life.
What has been your strategy for your business during COVID-19?
To remember that people will remember how you make them ‘feel’ during this period. Remembering to behave in a considered and relational manner. Protecting the relationships we have with our developed relationships ensures that we create customer affinity by providing webinars, market insights and other initiatives. Ultimately we want to support the wellbeing of our employees and to empower them to be CEOs of their own Desks.
What top tips do you have for businesses struggling with remote working?
Use your networks to find out what’s working for other people. We are all in the same boat because we are all navigating our way through new territory. You AREN’T ALONE!