We asked Kate Mansfield, Career Coach who specialises in supporting executives with the transition from corporate life to working as interim managers, what she believes are the hallmark traits of a great Interim Manager.
As well as having broad skill-sets characterised by change and project management across a wide variety of sectors, Kate believes that there are a number of traits unique to successful interim managers.
Interim managers are generally at a point in their career where they are very comfortable in their own skin; recognise the value they bring; not afraid to challenge constructively and more interested in success of the organisation collectively than individual goals.
LACK OF STATUS OR EGO
They are interested in making their clients look good. They are motivated to help the organisation to succeed and less interested in what this means for their own position or status. Theyare not political players and are prepared to be hands on and get stuck in.
VERSATILE AND FLEXIBLE
Goalposts may shift – this is part of organisation’s life – an interim needs to adapt and flex with this.
ABLE TO ENGAGE AND DEVELOP OTHERS
Interims take those in the organisation with them – they don’t upset the apple cart but equally aren’t afraid to challenge constructively. They see the benefit of developing and empowering others.
CLEAR ON PLANNING & VISION CREATION
They have the foresight and planning ability to be thinking about how they will make their legacy sustainable once they exit the organisation. They are skilled at simplifying complexity and taking others with them.
AUTONOMOUS & INDEPENDENT
Interim Managers manage the assignment and set objectives – they don’t assume the client will – the best interims often need to guide them. They tend to be independent in career terms.
Generally balanced by the ‘roll sleeves up’ attitude! Interims are clear about why they are there and how they want to manage their career.
An interim needs high levels of energy, as often they will be seeing teams at their most vulnerable, sustaining others during periods of change.
It can be lonely. People can often be skeptical, so resilience is key.
SELF-DRIVEN AND SELF-MOTIVATED
Both in terms of career management and how they operate on assignments.
Kate has an extensive background in HR recruitment and interim management. She built up a strong reputation as a leader in this industry, with a deep expertise and knowledge in HR related careers. Having undergone extensive coaching herself, she recognised that her true passion lay in helping to enable and empower individuals within their working lives, and she refocused her energies into becoming a Career Coach.
Kate works with a variety of clients supporting them with career change & job search strategies, helping them to find the clarity that they need to move forward. Kate has a particular interest in the career issues facing those leaving corporate life and making the transition to working independently either as Interim Executives or running their own businesses.