4 Characteristics of Good Interim Leaders

Good Interim Leadership

4 Characteristics of Good Interim Leaders

Leaders can make or break an organization, and good leadership can be hard to find. When unexpected changes in leadership happen, it can take a toll on your team-especially in a nonprofit setting when employees, volunteers, donors, and clients are all involved.

A good leader, even for a short period of time, is vital to keep the cause moving forward. Some top qualities The Third Sector Company values in interim leaders include:

1. They’re diagnosticians:

A fresh pair of eyes can be great for a nonprofit. If your team has been together for a long time and things have always been done a certain way, new leaders can bring new ideas to ongoing situations and add insight from their previous experience.
Being able to diagnose current problems, identify potential areas for improvement, and bring new insight are qualities that will help an interim leader succeed.

2. They’re not afraid to ask tough questions or facilitate difficult conversations:

There are upsides and downsides to being the boss. Being a good leader means you need to be able to tackle difficulties and move your team forward. Being a good interim leader means jumping into an organization, and figuring out what you can do in a short period of time.

Not being afraid to ask questions and work through difficult conversations about the future is a huge benefit: It will add to the overall health of the organization and maintain productivity, even during a leadership transition.

3. They know your organization’s goals, and make them a priority:

Having conversations and doing the research to build a clear, defined picture of the organization’s mission and goals is a key to success as an interim leader.
Goals can be moving targets, but understanding what this community-based agency is trying to achieve on a long term and short term scale is vital for interim leaders.

4. They can get things done and stay supportive and positive:

A good interim leader can “take the temperature” of an organization, identify strengths and weaknesses, and work with the team to make positive change. A not-so-good interim leader does those things without regard for other team members or without doing enough research as to why things are the way they are.

Especially when managing volunteers, its very important to be supportive and positive to ensure your team members keep coming back. A great interim leader can make positive change and motivate their team to do want to do it with them.

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Featured image courtesy of Pixabay.com.

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