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“You can call me Al”

I arrived at my desk last week and noticed I had a parcel waiting. It's always good to get a parcel, I am sure this feeling comes from childhood. Suffice to say – it was a good start to the day.

My parcel was a new book – The Interim Director by Alasdair Drysdale. I was delighted to see that its author had been kind enough to write me a note on the inside page. I was equally delighted to recall my memories of meeting Al. It was 1996 and I was working for another recruitment firm in Leeds. Back then I was involved in placing temporary accountants. I had met the odd FD and the idea of Interim Management was just emerging for me. 

I recall my first meeting with Al. (He didn’t say “you can call me Al” – but I couldn’t resist the Paul Simon reference). Al was well-travelled, having worked in the four corners of the world - often in some pretty inhospitable environments.  

He had even been a qualified diver alongside being an FD. I can only describe him as Sean Connery – had he chosen to become a Chartered Accountant, as opposed to James Bond. 

Over the years, as I got to know Al I was lucky enough to introduce him to a number of our clients. He always did a great job, was frequently extended and often became friends with a number of those within the client company, even when he was introduced to wield the axe.

He has now written an excellent book – The Interim Director - where he reviews some of his exploits and provides sage advice to those who may want to follow in his footsteps. Alistair's book covers many of his assignments - from his time in metal bashing businesses in Yorkshire to working with a software company in California. He follows up each section with his lessons learned, later sections include his do's and don'ts and practical advice on getting started. It was also fun reading about the assignments I knew about... in particular, Case study 35: How not to do it! 

I would recommend this book to everyone in our Interim Community. Great if you are starting out and in need of inspiration whilst establishing yourself and equally great for those who have been in the market a long time and wish to empathise with some great war stories.

The Interim Director by Alistair Drysdale, published by Management Book 2000Ltd, is available on Amazon. I am happy to put you in touch with the author should you wish to buy one directly. 

Doug Baird is the Chief Executive of Interim Partners. 

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