An expert examines the role of interim leaders as an important part of business strategy.
In this debut book, Grant draws on both research and case studies based on his own professional experience working with a variety of companies to make the case for the value of interim executives, or “gig leaders.” The author distinguishes between these interims and acting or consultant executives, seeing the former as high-level workers with specific skills who are hired under short-term contracts to accomplish certain corporate goals, a highly paid professional tier of the broader gig economy. The volume guides readers through evaluating the need for interims using Grant’s copyrighted SCILL model, which describes the five “attributes” of these executives (Savvy, Critical, Impact, Leadership, Legacy). And the author shows how to assess those leaders through GREAT (Gravitas, Resilience, Engagement, Attitude, Transformational) competencies. While the book largely discusses these roles in general terms (“An interim makes the most impact, however, when intentionally hired to deliver specific results that require a leader with experience and dynamism”), case studies offer more concrete examples of the positive use of interims, from refreshing a company’s technology infrastructure to implementing turnaround plans without the complications of long-term employee politics. Grant is clearly experienced and knowledgeable, and makes a compelling argument in favor of employing this short-term workforce to execute clearly defined goals. The title’s intended audience is corporate decision-makers who will hire interim leaders. Although readers looking to follow this career path will read glowing descriptions of interims (“An interim has battle scars from crisis management and like a first-responder in a disaster zone, is objective, decisive, and has emotional stability shaped from years of being in the front line”), they will not find guidance on pursuing this road. But for its target audience, the volume is a useful tool for appraising the need for interims and establishing a framework for their success. Although recent research suggests that gig employment is less widespread than previously thought, the author presents a context in which it can be fruitful for both employers and employees.
A thorough and coherent discussion of how companies can make effective use of interim executives as part of the broader gig economy.