Inspiring success stories – Interview with Zuzana Motyčáková for Magazine

Our colleague, Zuzana Motyčáková, Partner, Accounting from Mazars in Slovakia together with Ella Chilea from Mazars in Romania and Aneta Jurkiewicz from Mazars in Poland talked about their habits, priorities and values in an interview for the Magazine. Below, you can find Zuzana’s interview.

The COVID-19 crisis has become a real stress test for each leader. While facing the challenges of a changing world employees do need steady leadership and support. What can leader do to stay sharp, drive action and inspire the team during this difficult time.

Zuzana Motyčáková leads the accounting department at Mazars in Slovakia. She went from being a junior accountant to manager and partner of big international company. During 13 years of being Mazarian she observed different management types and developed her own approach of motivating employees and building successful working relationships with them.

Being a leader requires a lot of energy. What are your personal habits which drive your success?

The first point: I don't drink coffee in the morning. What drives me is socializing and communication with people in the office. I'm quite a sociable person. When I come to the office, I really like to see my team’s smiling faces which give me an energy boost. 

One more thing that makes my day is running. Because of my pregnancy I stop doing sport for some period. I used to run two or three times a week. When the weather is good it’s a great start of the day which gives you the energy and ability to solve the issues without pressure.

And what about your team rules and messages that you deliver to the employees?

The things I really like and support among the team are honesty and transparency. We follow these principles to cooperate effectively, go on the same wave and reach common goals. I try to have as much personal communication with my team members as possible. This special assistance makes them feel as part of the team and builds the transparency and the sense of loyalty. At Mazars we followed this approach in the past and we would like to continue, because the team’s feedback is very positive.

Can you compare the management experience at your previous work places and at Mazars. Is this your personal management style or did you learn it from some other leaders? 

I have no such experience at other companies because I started at Mazars just after the university, so I'm purely Mazarian. We call it “baby Mazars” when a person grew his career in our company.

I believe that this is my personal management style. When I was an assistant, some managers were not so open, which I found quite strange. When I became a manager five years ago, I started to implement another kind of behaviour to strengthen the team spirit and to make people feel as unity. It is important for me to have some informal, kind of personal communication with colleagues, not so strict and corporate. I really like to have a chat over a cup of tea about family, hobbies, and things like this.  As for my team, this approach works well.

How did COVID-19 crisis change your management style and how do you manage to maintain stable communication in your team?

With COVID-19 crisis my management style has remained the same. The only thing that changed is the way of communication, but not the communication itself.

Unfortunately, because of the COVID-19 situation we cannot arrange personal team meetings so often. Despite this, we still may have some conversation through chosen communication platform, and everyone likes it. There were a lot of pressure in recent months, because we had to quickly solve some work issues, to change paperwork with digital work, to ensure that the high level of our services is provided on the normal basis etc. Thanks to modern communication technologies we’ve always been able to get in touch.
There are four Mazars offices in Slovakia and accounting department is the only department which members work at all four locations. One of the offices is more than 400 km away from Bratislava and I usually visit it only once or twice per year. That is why we are quite used to cooperate in such way, which works great, by the way.
What is the schedule of your meetings? 

We are still in the daily contact with the team members. There are a lot of individual meetings on which we solve specific issues. Before the crisis we hold the weekly meetings for all seniors of AOS department and at least one monthly meeting for all members of accounting and payroll department. These calls were intended to communicate on some general topics, share the news, visions, updates regarding new projects etc. Because of the COVID-19 situation we decided to hold this kind of meetings on weekly basis for all members of AOS department.

Due to the fact that our team members are not able to meet and to speak informally, we held a couple of additional calls after the working hours. The idea was to take a cup of coffee or glass of wine and have a chat about some topics like holidays, new pets, what children did and things like that.

Do you have some other tips or advice regarding management style?

Communication is the key. It's really important to have the right personalities in the team who are on the same page. Otherwise you are not able to meet the goals and explain why you would like to do it this way and not another. What I learned from this crisis is that well organized teams with good team spirit can deliver and to go through each crisis.

women leaders