Regional Director of the VY Group, Linda Rode, became Interim Leader of the Year 2019

The remarkable thing about interim leaders is that they can go from industry to industry and succeed. The winner of the 2019 Interim Leader of the Year award, which was announced at the Grand Hotel, Oslo on January 28th, is an excellent example of this. Linda Rode has entered a tough and masculine industry characterized by several significant changes and delivered results from day one.

Many talented and highly qualified candidates

The jury had no easy job when we met for our first nomination meeting, Are Skeie, Magne Amundsen, Hege Sundquist and I. We had eight highly qualified candidates on the table, all of whom were great examples of exceptional interim leaders, with brilliant mentions from clients and other relevant relationships. After good and thorough discussions, we left with four candidates who joined the next round.

ALSO READ: Leadership in times of crisis: Think calmly, act methodically

Interim Leader of the Year 2019: Linda Rode

Women are poorly represented among interim leaders. Vegard Rooth, CEO of the company Interimleder, reported that 27 per cent of their active interim leaders are women. It is therefore extremely gratifying to announce the first female winner of this year's Interim Leader of the Year – Linda Rode, who has excelled in her interim management assignment as Regional Director in the VY Group, one of the largest transport groups in the Nordic countries.

Public transport is a tough and masculine industry characterized by several major changes. Rode has had two major assignments related to the Railway reform, where she has achieved excellent and fast results – despite her relatively limited experience from the industry. Her leadership ability, however, is clear to see from the many impressive references she was given, some of which I shared during the awards ceremony at the Grand Hotel in Oslo:

  • Rode is a great example of what interim leadership entails, with many good and different assignments in her portfolio. She has always created value for the customer.

  • Rode spans a wide range of areas of expertise and is quick to embrace and understand new disciplines.

  • Rode has the ability to take the helm, secure results and bring everyone along. She is often at the forefront of development and potential challenges.

  • The references describe her as pleasantly confident, socially intelligent, delivering value and momentum from day one – with quality and structure. She is both pragmatic and focused on what is critical to achieving the goal, quickly gaining respect both professionally and by virtue of how she exercises the leadership role.

Rode may have a slightly different profile than the "traditional" interim leader. In my opinion, that helps strengthen the discipline of interim management, recruitment to the industry and the future of the industry. On behalf of the jury, I am both proud and delighted to have nominated Linda Rode as Interim Leader of the Year 2019, and I believe that she is a good role model for many other interim leaders.

Cecilie Skarphagen is the Jury Chair of the Interim Leader of the Year Award 2019. She has 23 years of experience from various top executive positions across several industries and also has experience as board secretary at corporate level. Cecilie is currently Head of HR Staff in The Norwegian Tax Administration.