SixFigureStart is quoted multiple times in Simon Mortlock’s piece for eFinancialCareers: How to excel as an interim manager in the banking sector. Don’t let the title fool you: these tips are relevant to sectors well outside the financial one. Here are excerpts of my advice:
5) Set small goals
Make sure the goals you’re given are actually achievable. “You have limited time to get results and develop credibility, so focus on being efficient at these two things – this isn’t the time to wonder about what the broad departmental goals are,” says Caroline Ceniza-Levine, a career coach with SixFigureStart, a New York-based consultancy whose clients have included Bank of America, Citigroup, Credit Suisse, Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan.
6) Keep your team on track
Don’t ignore business-as-usual team objectives because you think your staff can achieve them without your help – it’s you who will be judged harshly if they can’t get the routine tasks right. “Are the team working on an ongoing goal, say a sales target, so you need to ensure they’re hitting their weekly or monthly numbers? Confirm exactly what needs to happen and how it will be measured so you can laser focus on that,” says Ceniza-Levine.
8) Avoid being a fixer
As an interim manager who was already in the team, you are not being parachuted in as a trouble-shooter, so don’t agree to any objectives involving solving deep-seated team problems. “And don’t try to change everything. You might think you know how to improve the entire company, but unless that’s your mandate, just stick to the current objectives to get some quick traction first,” says Ceniza-Levine.
13) Build trust in the team
Dedicate a chunk of every day to dealing with the concerns of your team. Your success will be measured not only by whether you achieved you goals but also by whether your staff supported you. If you can establish a reputation as an approachable, pro-active manager in the short-term, a permanent promotion may come your way in the future. “Pitfalls for temporary managers include not developing the trust of the team and therefore not being perceived as management material. If you’re going to take on a temporary assignment, make sure you can get the team behind you,” says Ceniza-Levine from SixFigureStart.
14) Highlight your achievements
Once your assignment is over make sure that whoever placed you in the role knows what you’ve accomplished. “Debrief with your team to get their feedback and document the positive comments to share with management. Even if there are no more opportunities to manage at this company, this stint gives you a great example to highlight at future job interviews,” says Ceniza-Levine.
Read more tips from other experts in Simon Mortlock’s piece for eFinancialCareers: How to excel as an interim manager in the banking sector.