How Do You Bring in a General Manager? Four Recommendations

Situation: A CEO has hired an individual who is currently working on projects for the company. The CEO likes this person and anticipates that he could eventually become General Manager. There have been a few rough spots but, overall, objectives are being met. How do you bring in a new General Manager?

Advice from the CEOs:

  • Transition the individual from their current responsibilities to GM in small steps. This will allow him to develop relationships and credibility with the rest of the team. These relationships and credibility are what he will need in the more senior position.
  • Coach the individual about any behaviors that you may observe, or which may be reported to you by others within the company, which are contrary to your culture. Understand, from the new individual’s perspective, what motivates these behaviors. Encourage the individual to develop alternative behaviors that are more consistent with your culture. Be open to the possibility that some of the behavior may be addressing flaws in the current culture.
  • Maintain open communication with your key managers who will be impacted as the new individual gains responsibility. As the individual gains authority within the organization, be clear that you support your new manager.
  • Your current culture is always in flux, and will continue to change as you bring in the new GM. This will create natural resistance as people adapt to the new situation. Be patient and stick with the plan. When others complain be honest and up-front that you support the new manager, and that everyone will have to adapt.

3 thoughts on “How Do You Bring in a General Manager? Four Recommendations

  1. Gordon Lester Aponso

    With due respect to the valuable comments of Mr Sandy, I personally feel it is important to decide whether the person concerned is suitable for a such a responsible position. Not only the qualifications and experience the adaptability for situations, values in life, past record are some we need to consider before we decide on an individual. Because the considerable portion of he future of the institution lies in his hands.

  2. Sandy Post author

    Thank you, Gordon.
    The points made in all articles published in come from a group of CEOs around a table responding to an issue raised by one of their members. They offer their advice based upon their own experience. With their permission, I publish these comments on so that others can add their own perspective, and thus enrich the discussion. Thank you for adding your comments.

  3. dave armstrong

    Mentoring might also be valuable. A current GM within the organization that has made the transition recently will understand the challenges, culture and steps necessary for success. Can share their learnings to help accelerate the transition while tailoring the ‘mentoring’ to the individual.

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