What sets apart a good interim manager from a great one

24 October 2023

In our fast-paced world interim managers play a key role; stepping in to steer the ship through tumultuous waters, transformations, and crises. A good interim manager will complete an assignment, but a great one will leave a lasting legacy.

At NSCG we know a thing or two about what sets the great ones apart. Here, we share our top three standout qualities…


Adaptable approach

Good interim managers will complete an assignment as per the brief but a great one won’t just follow a playbook; they’ll rewrite it when needed. Unforeseen challenges are often par for the course and great interims will embrace them head-on. These interims have a knack for keeping an open mind, exploring innovative solutions, and customising strategies to match the unique needs of the organisation.


Impactful communication 

Good interim managers manage well, but the great ones are masterful communicators and have the ability to build solid relationships in a short amount of time. They understand that success isn’t just about numbers; it’s about getting everyone on board.

Great interim managers are not just the curators of solutions but have the ability to communicate complex ideas in a way that makes sense to everyone. They foster an environment where communication flows freely, where ideas and feedback are not only encouraged but celebrated. (You can learn more about this is in our Psychological Safety whitepaper)

They invest time to understand the organisation’s DNA, its people, and the dynamics at play. Building trust in a short amount of time is one of their key ingredients bringing alignment during periods of change.


Long-term vision on short-term assignments

Good interim managers are quick on their feet, achieving short-term goals with ease. But it’s the great ones who set an organisation up for success long after their assignment is over.

They don’t just check off tasks; they drive lasting, measurable improvements. They set clear metrics and key performance indicators, ensuring that everyone’s progress is on the radar.

But here’s the kicker: they balance short-term successes with a vision for the long haul. They aim to leave behind a legacy of success. How do they do it? By nurturing the team’s skills, fostering a culture of innovation and adaptability, and laying the foundation for future initiatives.


If you’d like to find out how our community of great interim managers can help your organisation deliver change, please get in touch.

Or, if you’re an interim manager looking to find out more about NSCG, explore some of our opportunities.

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