Short-term leadership

Different times call for different leadership.

Most of my career, when I was in a leadership role, I worked to develop long-term relationships with subordinates and other staff members.

My outlook was more towards 3+ years if not longer as I was never the fly-in, fly-out type.

No matter what the issues, I worked to build trust even facing poor performance or even bad behaviour.

I also applied situational leadership to adapt to people, differing circumstances, and based on context.

Even in these instances, I positioned myself with a long-term relationship building mindset.

In the last few years, I have learned something new that I never thought to consider.

The possible need and value of short-term leadership.

What I am about to relay, might not resonate with everyone, and some people might downright oppose my offering.

I have come to learn, there can be instances whereby short-term leadership is needed without too much emphasis on 3+ years long-term relationship building.

Some of you might be familiar with fractional C-Level leadership roles, whereby a person takes on a CFO role with multiple companies.

This would be a contractual type of agreement, and in some ways a consulting agreement.

What I am proposing is somewhat different.

The idea would be that instead of a contractor, the individual would take on the role as an employee for as short-term duration with a specific mandate.

Depending on where the company is and what they need, the mandate can vary.

For example, you might bring on an operations expert to conduct an audit and create a 1-year operational plan to address deficiencies while building on strengths to move on opportunities.

You might bring-in a research specialist to look at your development process and make revisions within a short timeframe.

A financial expert might enable you to do a cost-analysis and do a deep-dive on your spending and implement changes to policies, pricing, promotion, etc.

If your organization has poor governance, someone with expertise in this area can come and implement changes immediately.

Lastly, a Human Resources specialist might work on your total compensation strategy and performance management, and if need be, some people may need to be exited.

With a specific mandate and knowing the role will only last a short-period, the focus would be aimed at an objective evaluation and implementation, not just a consultant providing recommendations.

Naturally, this individual would need strong backing from the Board with the authority and support to take such decisive action.

I realize this may not be a popular idea, yet I do believe there may be a place for such instances of short-term leadership.