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5 Character Traits That All Successful Interim Managers Should Have

An interim manager is not, as is often assumed, just somebody who is brought in when things are looking bleak for a business and they need somebody to inject some life into it. But that’s not necessarily the case. Particularly in today’s post-lockdown world, where major split-second decisions need to be made in order to stay afloat in an uncertain economy, there has never been a greater need for outsider voices to step in and guide companies through the murky waters.

But if you’re currently in the market for an interim manager, what traits should you be looking for and why is interim management in such high demand in 2020?


Optimism – You could say it’s becoming increasingly difficult to feel optimistic in 2020 but that’s why the power of positive thinking has never been more vital. An optimistic outsider voice will filter down throughout the business, even if times are tough. Confidence is key and optimism inspires confidence.

Time-management – It’s easy today you’re organised and can plan your time well but actually coming through with it is a different thing entirely. In an environment where time is always of the essence, interim business managers need to be able to prioritise their time and the time of their workers in order to get the best possible results.

Empathy – It can be difficult for some employees when a new temporary face comes into the office and starts telling them what to do. In such a situation, these managers need to remain empathetic to the regular staff, as it’s the only way conflicts will be resolved and tensions will be mitigated. A lot of this comes down to being open and able to help others without a second thought.

Adaptability – Being an in-demand interim manager means you could be working for one business in one sector one moment before being thrown into a completely different sector at a moment’s notice. That’s why it’s important for them to be able to see the common denominators in every business while also being aware of what makes each business so unique. It’s a difficult balance to find but then nobody said being an interim manager was easy.

Enthusiasm – Finally, and perhaps most importantly, there is absolutely no way that a company is going to be able to get behind even a great interim manager if they don’t show any enthusiasm for the business or its staff. Find yourself an interim manager who not only has the right experience and qualifications but one that is genuinely invested in your company and its workers. Because it’s very easy to fake everything else on this list but genuine enthusiasm is almost impossible to fake.

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