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Being an Interim Manager

Published on March 9th, 2015 | by Lisa Bondesio


A to Z of Interim G is for…Gorilla-Sized Goals

As an interim manager much of what you do for the organisations you work with is help them fulfil their goals. But what about your goals for your interim business? In this post by interim consultant Lisa Bondesio she explores goal setting and why planning is important for success, and for facing unexpected eventualities.

If you can answer the question: ‘Where does a gorilla sit?’ then you probably get the reference in the title of this blog.  More on primate hierarchy later, but first things first...

This blog is about goals.  Gorilla-sized goals to be precise.  Big. Hairy. And a little bit scary.  Well, as an interim, if you don’t have a goal, how will you set direction for your business and set yourself up for success.  You may no longer work in a conventional sense within an organisation, but that doesn’t mean you should chuck out sound planning principles when you are no longer a corporate wage slave.

And that is exactly my point. Goal setting helps you to plan for a number of eventualities. Unbridled success (yes, it has been known to happen), a period of downtime, a sudden shift in your industry or working abroad. Having a goal and working towards it means you are more likely to succeed because every decision you make, and every assignment you take should move you closer to the realisation of that goal. More importantly it helps you to stay in charge of your own destiny, which is, after all one of the reasons you became an interim, isn’t it?

So here are my top tips for goal setting:

Focus feeds success.  Interim is your livelihood, so be clear and precise about what you want.  Yes, it seems obvious, but if you don’t set goals, how on earth are you going to know how to succeed and whether you have when you get there.

Big it up, banana!  Yes, really!  It’s perfectly possible to super-size your goal.  Whether that is to earn a six figure salary within twelve months, or to grow your client base by 50%, or network 10 times a month.  The type of goal (animal, mineral, vegetable) isn’t really important, the fact that it takes you outside your comfort zone is. As the late Steve Jobs, Apple CEO once said: ‘I want to put a ding in the universe’.  That’s a pretty ambitious goal by anyone’s standards, but if your own goals run to something a little more modest, that’s fine too.  It’s the stretch that matters.

Feed and water regularly.  The one thing I know for sure about goals is that they change over time.  What you might aspire to at the start of an interim career, can look and feel very different when you are more established. So it’s important to take your goals out of their cage periodically and examine them.  Are they still relevant to your industry, client base, lifestyle?  If not, there’s no shame in retiring them for a shiny new set.  Personally, I review my goals about once a quarter. Extended plane or train time usually works best for me.

And finally…for those of you wanting to know where a gorilla sits?  Exactly where it likes!  So, if you’d like to be king of the interim jungle, get busy with those goals.


About the Author

Lisa Bondesio is the founder of Chiridion Consulting. An independent consultant, Lisa works with clients to create strategic interventions that drive change and build engagement during times of organizational transition. She operates predominantly in the Financial, Retail and Professional Services Sectors. With a background in blue-chip strategy development and articulation, Lisa has extensive experience of implementing complex change projects at board level. Her earlier career was spent with Deloitte UK – where she was the architect of several strategic programmes focused on shifting organisational culture, delivering business growth, and implementing market-led change. Lisa has worked in several countries, including Sweden, Finland, and the US. Lisa holds a post graduate Business Degree as well as an Msc in Corporate Governance.

  • Charles Stuart

    Another great article in the A-Z series - thanks Lisa. Food for thought for all of us, even long timers, to review and freshen the thinking

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