There are all kinds of skills that help an executive succeed. But according to the Harvard Business Review, there are seven in particular that can help those in the C-Suite thrive – including interim executives.
Boris Groysberg, Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School, narrowed down 7 skills sought by companies after surveying senior consultants in executive search.
Interim Executive Skills #1. Leadership
More valuable than technical skills are leadership skills. The ability to inspire and lead teams helps interim executives make an impact. Because they take control and have the confidence to achieve the company’s goals and vision, employees are motivated to work towards their collective goals.
Interim Executive Skills #2. Strategic foresight
Implementing a vision requires strategic thinking and execution. Interim executives who can think strategically and set a direction for the company are highly beneficial to companies in transition or growth.
Interim Executive Skills #3. Technical skills
In today’s day and age, it is more important than ever to be acquainted with technology making waves in the industry. Good leaders are familiar with the kind of work they manage. It helps them make better decisions based on their technical expertise and understanding.
Interim Executive Skills #4. Team building skills
Effective managers build effective teams. They don’t run a one-man show but instead run one where every employee is making a contribution. They focus on making every project or task a team activity by delegating tasks according to the strength and interests of individual team members.
Interim Executive Skills #5. Communication
Being able to communicate clearly and effectively is an important trait that every executive must possess. Interim executives who have exceptional presentation skills and are able to persuade an audience are better able to interact with stakeholders. Internally, they can steer the company in a unified direction while externally, they gather support for the company’s vision.
Interim Executive Skills #6. Change management
Leading organizations through change is a key attribute of interim executives that distinguishes them from other executives. Not only do they manage and drive change frequently, but they are at ease doing so. Conversely, managers that have been with the business long are less suitable in fulfilling this role. One survey respondent said, “Only an external hire can bring a new skill set that can lead to significant change and growth.”
Interim Executive Skills #7. Ethics
In modern organizations, leaders are under intense scrutiny. Inside, employees and stakeholders hold them accountable. Whereas outside, regulators, government agencies and investors keep a close eye. Therefore to avoid any scandal that can damage the company’s culture, values, and reputation, it is imperative that the person at the helm have high integrity and strong ethical values.