Interim Solutions Showcase – February 2019

Welcome to my Interim Solutions Showcase for February.

Two things unexpectedly coincided for me this month, which I thought worth mentioning.

The first was listening to Michael Caine’s wonderful autobiography “Blowing the Bloody Doors Off: And Other Lessons in Life”, which I thoroughly enjoyed and highly recommend.

The second was starting a new Career Mentoring session with a student at our local university, something from which I have learned equally as much as any undergraduate I’ve been entrusted with over the last nine years.

So what can be the link between the experiences of an 85-year-old actor who has lived in the glamorous world of Hollywood and someone at the very start of their working career?

Michael Caine quickly learned that to be a true professional he had to:

  • Turn up on time
  • Behave well, respect others, be a good team player, listen
  • Know his lines
  • Be patient and always prepared to learn new things
  • Be the best he possibly could at what he did

All good lessons, for anyone…

If he behaved in that way, the film would progress well and people would be well inclined to re-hire him for future productions.

That wasn’t all, however – as he grew older he had to “re-invent” himself at least twice, moving from being the (often romantic) lead, to more supporting roles (remember him as Alfred Pennyworth, Batman’s butler?) and more recently to smaller, yet still acclaimed parts. This was not easy.

The world of work has certainly changed since Michael Caine appeared in “Alfie” in 1966. Nowadays as well as learning all of the “good lessons” above, students need to be prepared to manage workplace uncertainty, to be adaptable, to be able to manage setbacks, change and work related stress. They also need to understand wellbeing and self-motivation. This is not ideal in my view, but it is reality.

So there we have the link – Michael Caine had to learn, quite painfully, to be resilient and adaptable, whilst nowadays our youngsters are wise to consider the need to flex, adjust and possibly re-invent themselves before entering the job market. They have to be able to withstand setbacks and job pressures (as do we all), but if they are prepared for this, surely it can only help. Perhaps this could also ease the fear of failure, which grips so many of us?

A successful professional Interim Manager must have resilience and adaptability in spades, just like Sir Michael. They would not survive without it…

Have a look at the profiles of a few great Executive Interims I am representing. If any could be useful to you, or if we could help with someone with an alternative skill set, do get in touch.