Successful general managers stress the fundamentals that make a team a consistent winner. They are aware that one-shot improvements like restructuring, cost reduction or reorganizations cannot build a sustained superior performance. They focus on certain key tasks that ensure success. This helps them define the scope of their job, set priorities and see important inter-relationships within this area of activity.
Molding the Work Environment
Each company has its own legacy. Whatever the environment a general manager inherits from the past, shaping it is a critically important factor. This is regardless of the size of the organization. The three elements that define a company’s work environment are:-
- The prevailing performance standards
Performance standards stand out as the most important as they determine the quality of effort that the organization puts out. If high standards are set by the general manager the key managers will follow suit. Therefore, high standards are the principal means by which top general managers exert influence and leverage their talents across the entire business.
- The business concepts
General Managers have a broad overview of the fields they want to compete in and the way the company will succeed in the chosen fields which could be the role of line and staff, the balance between centralization and decentralization, the kinds of rewards that will motivate people to achieve their goals, etc.
- The people concepts and values
There are two questions that general managers frequently focus on. The first is what kind of managers are needed to compete effectively? Secondly, What needs to be done to attract, motivate and keep these people? This enables them to end up with high impact managers. General Managers are also deeply involved in determining their company’s values.
Creating a Strategic Vision
The best general managers are invariably involved in strategy formulation. They spearhead the effort. A general manager’s strategic vision, which takes into account industry, the customer, and a specific competitive environment, leads to innovation. General Managers regard competitiveness gaps, in products, features, services, as a crisis. Closing these gaps becomes their priority.
General Managers allocate resources to support competitive strategies, keep the company economically healthy and produce high returns. They concentrate more resources on situations that provide the opportunity to gain an important competitive edge.
Encouraging Star Performers
It is important to attract talented managers, develop them quickly and keep them challenged and effectively deployed. The best general managers make the tough calls it takes to upgrade an organization. Challenging job assignments are used to speed high potential managers’ development and eliminate blockages to open up spots. They surround themselves with achievers.
Apart from this general managers supervise operations and implementation. They push functional excellence across the business. Focussing on these areas will help any general manager become more effective. It would also be beneficial for a general manager to opt for general management certification. General management courses for senior professionals are also available at various premier institutes of the country. Talentedge offers several general management certifications in collaboration with prime institutions like IIM Raipur, IIM Kozhikode, XLRI etc. General management courses for senior professionals would be most advisable for improving the skills required to be a successful general manager.