Like one of the 4 Scenarios of Life where we make choices before reaching age 7 (cfr. Transactional Analysis, E.Berne, C. Steiner), an Interim Manager can choose a "mission scenario". In order to be successful, you will need to adapt to the client company’s culture, people and policies. Of course what will make the difference is what makes you so unique.
Nevertheless, compatibility is necessary even for a temporary assignment. Moreover, we would highlight that emotional intelligence is crucial to adapt to the client whilst maintaining a “smart distance” needed to deliver your project. The winner-type Interim Manager knows that she/he has a great expertise and that she/he can solve a lot of issues and be of help to the client. She/he is able to detect gaps in processes, structures in the organization and what remediation is needed to solve the issues based on her/his previous experience.
The Interim Manager can implement the changes and improvements that she/he is suggesting and adapt them to the client. Change cannot be forced, so you will need the collaboration of the company’s employees. Should an Interim Manager be in a “not-so-positive scenario” where she/he thinks that the company’s environment is not great or does not have the potential to be great, then problems can arise. Indeed, in that scenario, the Interim Manager will start to criticize the company and its employees at the same time (who continue to work in that “bad organization”).
Some of them think that because they do not criticize verbally, no one can see or blame them. Watch out, your body language and your attitude can betray your real mindset. Because this scenario has such an impact on the collaboration that you will get and the success of your assignment that you want to achieve, it is important to bear this in mind and act consistently. It is not paradoxical to have a critical mindset. Indeed, you can observe things happening with a critical mind and distance, believing that people around you are good and have potential. In other words, this is benignity. So a winner-type Interim Manager considers the others at the same level as her/himself. This is the best way of working in a constructive and positive way.