Self motivation had never been an issue for me!
What a pleasure of speaking to an Interim Manager, as experienced as Krzysztof Lobert.
Since 2005, you have been walking the professional path set by interim projects. What made you choose this option for building your career?
My strong need is to explore, which in turn is related to another: the need to escape from routine. The variability of challenges, and at the same time the conviction that certain processes are independent of the industry, made this path seem most appropriate and natural at a certain stage of my career.
How do you maintain a level of commitment, a fresh mind, alertness, attentiveness, moving from project to project - how do you continually motivate yourself?
I’m fortunate that I don’t need external stimuli to maintain my motivation level. The most important elements to keep an open mind are flexibility, not focusing on building your own relationships internally, not getting emotionally tied up, but fully concentrating on the task at hand and using your potential to become a real help to the organization. I tremendously like to see the results of my work, I do not accept inaction - self-motivation is therefore not a challenge for me.
When, in your opinion, should we definitely not consider taking on the role of an Interim Manager?
The most sensitive area in this context, is mental construction. If we value stability, regularity, continuity and lack of variables above all - this path may not be for us. The emotional sphere is also hugely important - there is no room for building close relationships on the path of fulfilling the tasks of an Interim Manager. It is necessary to avoid involvement at the level of emotions precisely. The third pillar that we should verify before making a decision is the substantive aspect. When we limit ourselves to one industry - it may be easier for us. However, as I mentioned, some processes are the same for many sectors, and then we have to decide whether we are open to risk more and test our competence in an area that we have not been close to before.
Is there a constant threat to succeeding and completing the mission, regardless of the industry?
By far, the strongest threat may arise in the context of the ownership structure of a company that has asked for help from an Interim Manager. When the company’s Board of Directors is in charge of the process from the company level, there is a good chance that the process will become dangerously protracted. When we have involvement from the ownership level, it is more efficient to work out an agreement and generate strong statements and willingness to implement change. The long list of so-called brakers and lack of support are significant risks. After all, it should be remembered that simply inviting an Interim Manager does not equal magic - harmony, understanding and support from those responsible for management are essential.
Does the Polish market differ in any parameters from other markets that make the Interim Management formula not yet so popular?
Based on my own experience, I can say that the main inhibitor to fully opening up to this format is the fact that boards tend to personalize problems. They forget that there is a PROBLEM to solve. Instead, they bring to the forefront actions pointing out a specific culprit for the situation in the first place. Openness, shying away from personal threads, a willingness to step out of one’s comfort zone, building strong and credible communication with employees - all this can definitely increase the chance of more and more Interim projects appearing on the Polish market.