The Benefits of Hiring Executives From a Project-to-Permanent Basis Part 2 – Interim Executives Show Their True Leadership Skills Through This Process

After working together on a project basis, the executive and company may realize there is a good longer-term fit. That’s a win-win for everyone. But if it’s not a good fit long-term, not to worry; the executive still achieved the goals, and everybody parts as friends.

Along those same lines, we often see organizations that use a project basis to permanent basis model end up with a higher-caliber executive than their original compensation package would have permitted. After spending some time getting to know the company, the people, the situation, and the culture, an executive is sometimes more willing to work within organizational financial constraints. Since they now have hands-on experience with the opportunity that exists, additional compensation elements, i.e., success bonuses, can also be better discussed.

Interim Executives Have Goals and Deliverables Rather than a Job Description

Rather than starting with a job description, project-to-perm executives start with a Statement of Work (SOW) compiled by both the executive and the company. This document details goals, how they will be accomplished, and the timelines in which they will get done. This helps focus everyone at the beginning on accomplishments and results rather than roles and responsibilities.

Leading Without Direct Authority is Not Easy

If you want to see someone’s leadership abilities, watch how he or she performs in a volunteer role. When someone is leading people who aren’t being paid but rather share a common mission, that is when true leadership skills show themselves— for better or for worse. The same can be said when bringing in an executive who is tasked with accomplishing a project and leading a team without having the direct authority to manage the team.

Does the team want to help the executive achieve a common mission without traditional carrots and sticks? Can the executive build consensus and buy-in without an overarching “I have to do it because my boss is telling me to”?

As millennials and even their successors, Generation Z (or iGen) continue to saturate the workplace, this type of leadership—enrollment rather than enforcement—will become critical in every organization.

An easy place to start is with the strategic plan. Which key priorities are going to be the most challenging to accomplish, seem to be dragging on, or have not even been started? Such engagements often have minimal potential to disrupt the current team, show a range of expertise and skills, and provide a critical outside perspective.

You can find part 1 here.

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