[Blog] Why hire fractional leaders? They must deliver what they promise

Fractionals, even more than other professional service providers, have aligned incentives with clients only to promise what they can deliver.

[Blog] Why hire fractional leaders? They must deliver what they promise

Note: This is part of an occasional series on fractional work in the service of innovating corporations in time of change.

It takes a different angle on "Credibility" than I normally do and aims at a broader audience of professionals, beyond full-time innovators. But I hope you still find it interesting and relevant.

Reminder: Fractional work is a new-ish way of working that differs a bit from consultants, outsourcing, temps, interim leaders and other professional services.

According to Fractionals United, fractionals are:

πŸŽ›οΈ part-time,

πŸͺ΄ fully-embedded

πŸ”­ leaders and experts,

♾️ (usually) with no end date.

🎀 They also may represent the company officially.

We discuss many benefits of hiring fractional leaders: Saving money vs. full-time hires, focus on key deliverables, extra expertise, and more.

But in addition to all of those, there's also something more basic: You can trust that if a fractional leader promises something, they can also deliver it (rare bad apples and incompetents aside, as in anything).

It's in fractional leaders' interest to be certain that they can deliver the value they promise you

It's simple really. Fractionals do the work that they promise themselves (or they personally lead your team that does so). They are on the hook themselves. Fail to deliver, and they look like schmucks!

Yes, consultants, trainers, advisors, coaches, and others also do their best to give you accurate projections of the value they will give you.

But those other service providers don't have the added, clarifying benefit of actually being accountable for the results that they promise:

Once a trainer has trained your team, it's on you to ensure that anyone uses the training.

Once a consultant recommends improvements, it's on you to make them happen.

A fractional leader is different. They must get it done themselves. And let me tell you, it sure makes an extra difference for triple-checking that you only promise what you can achieve.

Fractionals have the authority to make things happen

A side effect of fractionals doing work themselves (or leading your team in the work) is that they also have more authority than consultants, trainers, or others.

Sure, they are not dictators. But they are truly part of your leadership team, not outsiders. That means that they have formal authority to make things happen or ask for them to happen.

If not, they will be sure to speak up, just like any other leader in your org.

That's simply not a right that other professional service providers have.

In short

Fractional leaders are more likely to be accurate in being able to deliver the value that they promise you because they:

- Are on the hook to do it themselves
- (Must) have the necessary authority to get it done

Of course, just like with anything new, there still are bunches of hucksters and snake oil salespeople out there. πŸ€·β€β™‚οΈπŸ˜  So the principle of "buyer beware" still applies. But by and large, you should find great people among fractionals ... and maybe even great help for your needs!

Shameless plug 😁

Might fractional support be right for you?

If so, let's talk!

I may not be the right person for your needs. But I may well know someone who is.

My focus is on helping you to see (and secure) business value in times of great change, as fractional Chief of Staff, COO, and Strategy leader.

I specialize in crafting and activating the "first" version of what your business needs to become (vs. fine-tuning businesses that already work pretty well). So we are most likely to be a fit if your org is a SMB (small or medium-sized business), young-ish startup, or part of a big corporation that has to solve significantly.

How? Email me at hi@customlightning.com.