Since Sepp Blatter announced his resignation from the top job at FIFA, customers and professionals alike has been speculating about who will follow his 17-year tenure as president. But with the ongoing investigations and the election for his replacement not due until December, should they be thinking outside the box? Who could they call on to guide the organisation through this difficult period?

The answer could be simple; hire an interim.

It’s certainly not for the faint-hearted. They will have to find the root cause of issues quickly, instigating a great deal of transformation in a very short time. The chosen candidate would be managing an international, complex change programme amidst all kinds of expectation and criticism, but on the other hand, anyone who puts themselves forward will have already proven themselves to be a bit of a powerhouse.

Any successful interim leader will know that delivering a strategic vision is not enough. They will be prepared to roll up their sleeves and get on with it, especially when their role is often to challenge the board on what they may consider the root problem(s) to be. Interims live by the sword and die by the sword; strong leaders who form relationships quickly and are bold in a way that gives confidence to others. They are innovators, with a range of experience that means they can learn new things and successfully apply them, almost simultaneously, a skill that would likely have its uses within FIFA.

Head of Contract Delivery at RSG, Will Boney believes that; “interims at this level are rarely without that elusive ‘edge’ which makes them such effective leaders; efficient cost cutting, restructuring and merger management, for instance. There is a great demand for very specific skill sets at the moment; where once there was a need for a more general tenancy, now we are seeing a rising demand for those highly skilled, but highly specialist candidates. This approach is a big risk, but so would the rewards be.”

Although for the role at FIFA there can only be a small number of suitable candidates, the benefits to the organisation could be significant if they can successfully mend such monumental reputational damage. Luckily, this is exactly the kind of high risk, high reward lifestyle which might attract interims. The list of potentials would certainly make for interesting reading, should such a search ever be started.

As Attorney General Michael Laubar said, "the world of football needs to be patient. By its nature, this investigation will take more than the legendary 90 minutes."

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