General and Operations Managers

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Also known as:
Department Store General Manager, General Manager, General Superintendent, Manufacturing Operations Manager, Operations Manager, Radio Station Manager, Television Station Manager

ABOUT GENERAL AND OPERATIONS MANAGER CAREERS
Video transcript

Chief executive and general managers are at or near the top of the chain of command; and while they may ultimately report to a board of directors or the stockholders, they have a great deal of power within their organizations. With power comes a tremendous amount of responsibility.

People in these positions are expected to provide both a vision of the future and the leadership to achieve it. If they succeed, they may be richly rewarded. But if they fail, they often lose their jobs. People become top executives by working their way up, either in a single company or by holding jobs of ever-increasing responsibilities in a variety of firms.

Like politicians preparing to run for office years in advance, it is not uncommon for individuals to begin grooming themselves for positions while still in college. Not everyone can handle the pressure and the high-risk/high-reward nature of these positions. But those who can, usually find their jobs to be among the most satisfying in the business world.

SNAPSHOT
Plan, direct, or coordinate the operations of public or private sector organizations, overseeing multiple departments or locations. Duties and responsibilities include formulating policies, managing daily operations, and planning the use of materials and human resources, but are too diverse and general in nature to be classified in any one functional area of management or administration, such as personnel, purchasing, or administrative services. Usually manage through subordinate supervisors. Excludes First-Line Supervisors.
Leadership
HIGH
Critical decision making
HIGH
Level of responsibilities
HIGH
Job challenge and pressure to meet deadlines
HIGH
Dealing and handling conflict
LOW
Competition for this position
HIGH
Communication with others
HIGH
Work closely with team members, clients etc.
HIGH
Comfort of the work setting
HIGH
Exposure to extreme environmental conditions
LOW
Exposure to job hazards
LOW
Physical demands
LOW
Daily tasks

Plan or direct activities, such as sales promotions, that require coordination with other department managers.

Establish or implement departmental policies, goals, objectives, or procedures in conjunction with board members, organization officials, or staff members.

Perform personnel functions, such as selection, training, or evaluation.

Direct or coordinate financial or budget activities to fund operations, maximize investments, or increase efficiency.

Prepare staff work schedules and assign specific duties.

Direct and coordinate activities of businesses or departments concerned with the production, pricing, sales, or distribution of products.

Monitor suppliers to ensure that they efficiently and effectively provide needed goods or services within budgetary limits.

Review financial statements, sales or activity reports, or other performance data to measure productivity or goal achievement or to identify areas needing cost reduction or program improvement.

Direct administrative activities directly related to making products or providing services.

MAIN ACTIVITIES
Making Decisions and Solving Problems Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
Getting Information Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Coordinating the Work and Activities of Others Getting members of a group to work together to accomplish tasks.
Interacting With Computers Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
Guiding, Directing, and Motivating Subordinates Providing guidance and direction to subordinates, including setting performance standards and monitoring performance.
Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
AREAS OF KNOWLEDGE
Administration and Management Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
Customer and Personal Service Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
Personnel and Human Resources Knowledge of principles and procedures for personnel recruitment, selection, training, compensation and benefits, labor relations and negotiation, and personnel information systems.
English Language Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
Mathematics Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
Clerical Knowledge of administrative and clerical procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office procedures and terminology.
Sales and Marketing Knowledge of principles and methods for showing, promoting, and selling products or services. This includes marketing strategy and tactics, product demonstration, sales techniques, and sales control systems.
Economics and Accounting Knowledge of economic and accounting principles and practices, the financial markets, banking and the analysis and reporting of financial data.
TOP SKILLS
Active Listening Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Speaking Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Coordination Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
Social Perceptiveness Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
Monitoring Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
Reading Comprehension Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
Critical Thinking Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
Time Management Managing one's own time and the time of others.