LocLife™ Recap: Taking the opportunity to lead

What’s the key to taking the next step in your career and becoming a leader? For many, it’s seeing an opportunity and taking it. This and many other insights came out of the last LocLife™ episode of 2022.

The road to impactful leadership brought together four influential localization leaders, along with tons of LocLifers eager to take part in the conversation. Acclaro’s brand champion Javi Diaz kicked off the fun, with a panel featuring:

  • Valeria Balitsky – head of localization at Fiverr
  • Christiane Bark – head of localisation at Busuu
  • Hristina Racheva – head of localization at Skyscanner
  • Richard Varga – head of localization at Expandeco

From personal experiences to actionable advice, each of these successful leaders shared their journey and a wealth of knowledge about what it takes to thrive. The chat forum and Q&A were buzzing with activity throughout the 90-minute event, and special guests brought some thought-provoking questions.

Missed the episode? Need a refresher? View LocLife™ on-demand here!

Notable Takeaways

When asked how they ended up in a leadership position, all four panelists shared that it was essentially a happy accident. For Hristina Racheva, who’s been with Skyscanner for seven years, it’s a matter of taking initiative. When things weren’t working well on her small team of three years ago, she came to the table with solutions instead of questions.

She shared, “Maybe you see an opportunity for something to be done differently. Maybe you see that nobody is taking ownership of something, or you have an idea of how to do that better differently. I started identifying opportunities, and when a more senior person left, I was seen as someone who could start owning and leading the space.”

Establishing competence and trust is also key to the leadership path in localization—an industry where it’s often difficult to get buy-in. Valeria Balitsky shared, “Localization doesn’t bring money in the beginning, and it’s super hard to influence the mindset of the company that they should invest on promises. Bringing examples from companies like Apple and Nike can help change the mindset of management.”

On the subject of how to set expectations for first-time managers, Christiane Bark noted, “Expectations come from KPIs and business needs, and then I adapt them to seniority and experience within the team.You have to be careful not to coddle or micromanage people who have a lot of experience and make sure to leverage it.”

Oftentimes as a localization leader, you don’t have extensive knowledge of a subordinate’s area of expertise. This, according to Richard Varga, is when you have to have trust. “You should not be afraid to be ‘managed up’ by a member of your team. Let them teach you.”

Wrapping up the session, the panelists shared their advice on how to step up when the time comes. “Leading is not given, so don’t wait for someone to tell you or to give you the opportunity. You take it,” Hristina stressed.

After another successful year of LocLife™, we look forward to seeing you again in the new year! In the meantime, join us over at LocLife™ Community to engage with other LocLifers about this week’s topic and weigh in on what topics you’d like to hear about during future episodes.

Power your strategic growth

Go beyond tactical localization with tailored, strategic solutions that resonate locally and drive growth globally.

Get started