5 essential skills to be a great Interim Manager

Stephanie Teale our consultant managing the role

Embarking on the journey of becoming an Interim Manager demands more than just a stellar resume or a history of accomplishments. It's about possessing a unique blend of skills that sets you apart in the fast-paced world of interim management. 

Five key skills stand out as crucial for success in this dynamic role. Let's delve into these skills that make an Interim Manager not just proficient, but exceptional in navigating the challenges and opportunities that come their way.

1. Excellent communication skills

Mastering effective communication is a cornerstone for success as an Interim Manager. The ability to express thoughts clearly and concisely to diverse stakeholders is not just important—it's a game-changer. 

This skill is especially crucial when challenging established attitudes and systems. 

As an Interim Manager, you'll encounter various scenarios, requiring resilience while understanding the intricacies of human dynamics. Achieving this balance allows you to earn respect from your team and the broader organisation.

2. Flexibility and adaptability

The ever-evolving nature of business landscapes demands a capacity to seamlessly pivot and adjust strategies. An Interim Manager, often parachuted into diverse organisational environments, must navigate through uncertainties and unique challenges. 

Flexibility allows for the swift integration of diverse working processes, from the conventional to the unconventional, ensuring a harmonious alignment with the specific needs of each assignment. 

Moreover, adaptability extends beyond the professional realm, encompassing a willingness to travel and work away from home. Being a chameleon – agile, resourceful, and resilient – is a prerequisite for success.

3. Change management & process re-engineering

If you find yourself discontent with the status quo, constantly seeking ways to go above and beyond, generating fresh ideas, and embodying an innovative spirit, then you possess the attributes of a truly impactful Interim Manager. 

Given that improvement and change constitute integral components of many interim assignments, those who challenge established norms within an organisation, including behaviours, attitudes, and operational methodologies, tend to achieve greater success. 

However, the pursuit of improvement must be balanced with the ability to positively influence and motivate individuals towards change, avoiding the pitfalls of causing resentment. 

4. Blue-sky thinking

As a permanent professional, you will always be thinking “Strategy, Strategy, Strategy”, looking holistically at the business and considering the best approach to achieve the desired outcome.

Whilst as an Interim Manager the key is balancing the “Strategic Thinking” with the speed of delivery and execution, as you will need to apply your skills with speed and urgency to a range of often time critical scenarios. 

Those who are often highly the most successful and sought after in the market are those who can deliver time and time again in a range of different industries and commercial settings.

5. Strategic leadership 

Strategic leadership is another indispensable skill for an Interim Manager. Beyond managing day-to-day operations, Interim Managers need to provide strategic direction. 

This involves aligning their actions with the broader goals of the organisation, making informed decisions, and inspiring teams to achieve objectives. 

A strategic leader in interim management sees the bigger picture, anticipates challenges, and formulates plans that not only address immediate issues but also contribute to the long-term success of the organisation during its interim tenure.

Elevate your interim management journey with Marks Sattin

Excelling in communication, embracing flexibility and adaptability, mastering change management, fostering blue-sky thinking, and possessing strategic leadership are the cornerstones of a truly impactful interim career. 

To support interim managers in landing their next role, we offer unparalleled expertise and resources. 

With a deep understanding of the dynamic interim landscape, Marks Sattin provides personalised guidance, connects managers with top opportunities, and facilitates career growth. 


Elevate your interim management journey with Marks Sattin today.



31/01/24
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