Monday, May 22nd marks the start of an incredible 15 day long season. No, not spring turning into summer, but rather the Roland Garros tennis tournament, widely known as the French Open.
This is a 2 week long party for tennis lovers. One of the characteristics of this tournament is the surface the players are on. Indeed, the courts are made of clay, which is made of several layers of materials, finished with a layer of crushed brick that covers the court with an ocher colored powder.
What makes playing at Roland Garros so particular?
In contrast to the very fast games on the grass courts at Wimbledon, clay courts are quite slow. That being said, clay helps when players use topspin and others shots, and reveals their mental and physical strength.
Many great champions have shined at Roland Garros : Gustavo Kuerten (3 time champion at RG), Björn Borg (6 time champion at RG), and (obviously) Rafael Nadal (so far 9 time champion at RG). However, they usually excellent on one or two different surfaces. Rare is the players who is comfortable on all 4 surfaces of the Grand Slam : Plexicushion (Australia’s Open), Clay (Roland Garros), Grass (Wimbledon) and Decoturf (US Open).
Adaptability : the Interim Manager’s watchword
It is absolutely necessary for tennis players to know the different facets of his or her style of playing. To know how to adapt in order to have THE perfect game according to each surface is something else. Each court, each surface, and each setting has its own advantages and difficulties.
“Interim Managers are constantly changing surfaces”
Interim Management missions usually last several months (up to a year and a half for the longer ones), and they are never the same. Going from industrial to service companies, accompanying the development of external growth, strengthening a start-up, working alongside multi-cultural teams…interim managers are constantly adapting.
The Key to Adaptability?
The Key to adaptability is to quickly get to know your environment. Interim Managers are experts at that. The first days of each Interim Management mission and the first hours with the teams are very precious moments, centered on active listening and clear communication. To know the teams well, the missions and the goals to reach as well as the economical and structural development of the company is the knowledge the Interim Manager needs to master his new “surface”.
Next, the Interim Manager’s experience is also vital to fit the setting of the new mission. How quickly they act is determined by the concerns of the mission. Interim Managers never force decisions that go against the company or its teams, but combine the art of putting into place new business methods with sympathy and kindness.
For the few remaining days of the tournament, Parisians and tourists will have the pleasure to live Roland Garros. One of the main lessons we can learn from these champions is that it’s not enough to know your “surface,” you have to master it.