The skills of an effective interim should be implemented throughout the tenure in order to ensure maximum impact and to deliver results at a critical time for a business. As an interim leader there can be a significant amount expected from what the role entails, and it is vital to ensure that this position is filled by an experienced and focused candidate.
There needs to be an understanding of the values and missions of the business, particularly as interim work usually only encompasses a short period of time.
Being a brave leader means taking a step into the unknown and making decisions before a plan has been fully established. By recognising this, interims can make key decisions, therefore propelling them forwards in the role. This will also allow interims to deliver results under pressure and work efficiently in time sensitive situations.
Equally, it is important to be prepared to be disliked or experience some hostility when entering the position. However, becoming part of the team and having the right attitude can set apart good interims with brave and successful ones.
Understanding and engaging with the team that interims work within is imperative to strong people management. There can be no reliance solely on being business efficient if an interim can’t approach and engage with the workforce too.
To manage stakeholders effectively, an interim leader should strive to create an honest and open culture which encourages consistent improvement in the team. This also goes a long way to recognising skills gaps that can be filled and enhanced – all integral to the role that interims must fill.
Without people management skills, interims will not be at the top of their game.
It may be the case the workforce who are receiving an interim leader may feel apprehensive about what this means for them. It is therefore imperative to be a visible and present senior figure, who is open to engaging with the team.
Communication also includes listening, not just talking. Interims can build trust, show support for the team and understand and share a common goal within the business in this way.
Having this trait holds the need to interpret communications into results for the business, with collaboration across multiple functions enhancing the offer they can give to the role.
A clear strategist
Being able to bring clarity to the role and demonstrate a clear strategic plan is key for an interim placement. A strategist will pinpoint places to improve and enhance the business, whilst bringing new ideas and challenges to the company.
The goal is to leave it in a better place than when they were appointed.
A successful interim and strategist shows a clear pathway to achieving results and how they will do this..
Being ambitious in the role of an interim can set them aside from the rest of the competition for these positions.
An effective interim will have their own vision for their contribution to the role, but also too, a vision for others to seek and implement changes to bring out the best in each member of the team.
Importantly, combining personal ambition together with the team to create a collaborative goal will see results and instil motivation.
Prepared to make yourself redundant
Companies take on an interim for a reason, they have a problem that needs solving. The best interims focus on the most comprehensive and straight forward way of fixing the issue, regardless of the consequences for them personally. It might mean some contracts end earlier than they might have done, but you will always be the first person a client will think of when they next need an interim.