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A general manager is a key player in maintaining the smooth and efficient operations of a business. A general manager’s responsibilities vary by company and industry. While each general manager carries an array of responsibilities, some basic responsibilities are common for all general managers.
A general manager is responsible for all aspects of a company’s operation. Companies that cover an extensive area with multiple locations require that each general manager be responsible for a portion of the overall area. The manager will plan, direct and coordinate various aspects of his operating area. He will ensure that operations run smoothly and according to company policy. The manager will ensure that vendors and suppliers are properly compensated and continue to meet the needs of the company. He usually reports to executive staff members such as a vice president, director or chief operating officer.
General managers often take on personnel responsibilities. The general manager will screen, interview, hire and train managers and supervisors that report to him. People who report directly to the manager are usually responsible for hiring their own crew. However, the general manager must provide the final authorization for any subordinates who are hired by the people under his purview. A successful general manager will provide the required discipline, evaluations and feedback required for his people to be successful.
Administrative services provide key support to a company’s operation. The general manager is responsible for ensuring that these services are completed and addressed in a timely fashion. Many of these services relate to daily paperwork and payroll matters. This information must be checked for accuracy, compiled and issued into a complete regional report. Accuracy is required. A successful general manager will thus be strong in areas of business mathematics and have strong analytical skills.
Policies and Procedures
The general manager is required to implement the company’s policies and procedures. He must also ensure that his managers and supervisors implement and support the policies with their crews. It is the general manager’s responsibility to ensure the policies and procedures evolve with the company, updating them as necessary. He must also be able to interpret the policies and procedures to cover any gray or unclear areas that might present themselves during the company’s operations.
The general manager position is one that requires a combination of skills, experience and education. A successful general manager will have superior leadership skills, work well with a team and have the ability to work independently with little or no supervision. The candidate must have superior decision-making skills, problem-solving skills and conflict-management abilities. He must have a thorough knowledge of the company, its culture and its products and services. He must also be able to work will all levels of management and have superior training and delegation abilities. Successful candidates should have a minimum of five years management experience and a bachelor’s or masters degree in a related field of study.
Writing professionally since 2004, Charmayne Smith focuses on corporate materials such as training manuals, business plans, grant applications and technical manuals. Smith's articles have appeared in the "Houston Chronicle" and on various websites, drawing on her extensive experience in corporate management and property/casualty insurance.
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