Leave a Legacy to be Successful

From the first day you start an interim assignment you are already working towards your exit. This may seem a little strange to consider at the outset of an assignment but it is imperative that an Interim Manager gives due consideration to the legacy that will be left following their departure.

In order to do this it is vital it is understood right from the outset what the clients’ expectations are with regards to legacy.

Paul Wilson, Aster Interim’s Managing Director and a longstanding Interim Manager himself, takes up the story.

“I think it is very important to understand what the client requires not only in terms of role, objectives etc but also from the perspective of what they would like to happen after the assignment has been completed. For example:-

  • Does the client want you to help recruit your successor?
  • Does the client want you to help coach your successor from within the organisation?
  • Are you providing a ‘safe pair of hands’ whilst a member of the team takes a period away from the business?
  • Is no successor required as you are there to provide extra resource to help complete a set of one time objectives?

I know when I first started out in interim management in 2002 I was given the role of coaching an existing member of the team to help him step up into the role I was occupying on an interim basis.

I was acutely aware that the success of my first assignment would measured not only on how I performed whilst in my role but also how my student performed after my departure from the company. The better he performed, the more likely my assignment would be considered a success. Several years on and I have been back to the same company in different roles on two further occasions. Leaving a legacy that satisfied my clients expectations resulted in them offering me additional work”.

Successful Interim Managers understand that leaving a legacy is very important to an assignment being considered a success.