What is the role of the G.M.?

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Do you have a General Manager (GM), or are you thinking of hiring one?

Last winter, I held a seminar in Chicago on this topic, The CEO-COO/GM Partnership, with guest speakers Frank Mariani, Paul Fraynd (Sun Valley Landscaping) and Chris Imlach (Swazy Alexander Landscaping)…and their COOs and GMs.

Here are some key learning points…

The role of a COO vs. GM are similar, depending on the size of the company. We explored the role of the COO/GM from the very-large company angle, and from the medium and smaller company angles as well.

Ashly Neneman (GM from Sun Valley Landscaping) has agreed to explore the topic further with me next month, via a free webinar on September 18th, register here. (Sponsored by Greenius and Spring-Green)

The role of the G.M, (from my extensive research) constitutes these 7 critical roles.

Smaller companies may give their GM more operational responsibilities, trading off some of these higher level roles, but it’s best you understand the full potential of this role, so you can aim high and expand the role as your company grows.

  1. Issues and priorities – figuring out what to work on next to build the company.
  2. Alignment – ensuring vision, values, goals and compensation are all aligned.
  3. Trains and Budgets – making sure the trains run on time, and operations are tied into an accurate budget.
  4. Talent trainer – making sure the bench is being filled.
  5. Continuous Improvement – what ever the GM touches should get improved.
  6. Fill the gaps, when high level positions are temporarily open.
  7. Strategic Planning. Ensuring the plan is refreshed each year, and bought into by the team, and ultimately executed in the day to day activities. Caveat, this may be the CEO’s role, so it depends company to company.

There is also a special role the GM plays “in partnership” with the Owner (CEO.) We will discuss that during the webinar.

Join us in September to learn more about the role of the GM, and how you can apply it to your company situation.

For another great story on the power of a General Manager, see this month’s Landscape Management cover story, of Drost Landscape.

Regards, Jeffrey!

P.S. We will be running the CEO-COO Partnership again this coming January in Atlanta, with new powerful speakers and a facility tour, we will have details soon.

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