By Gene Garner, February 8, 2021
What do we need in a General Manager?
It’s difficult to discuss the characteristics we want in a General Manager without sounding trite, hackneyed, or obligatory; you choose the adjective. But there are some traits I think are essential when dealing with our problems and the Property Owners. I’ll try to list the ones I believe are most important.
- Good Communication Skills—the ability to listen.
- Understanding Human Nature—the ability to see other points of view.
- Humility—willing to ask questions.
- Responsible—accepting ownership of successes and failures.
- Team Player—actively helping for a shared goal.
There are more I’m sure, but I’ve chosen these five because they were so lacking in our last four GM/CEOs. Every effective leader that I’ve worked with, in the military and civilian world, had these traits and I think that’s why they were successful.
The biggest problem with my list is there’s no reliable way to measure these qualities until you can observe the candidate for a reasonable length of time. Resumes have been overblown and unreliable for many years and talking with a potential candidate may showcase their technical abilities but not the leadership skills we need.
Perhaps at the end of the first year there could be a consensus of the BOD and Property Owners on how compatible the “fit” would be. Also stressing the qualities we need to potential candidates would give them a road map of where we want to go. The ability to keep their bosses (the POA & Owners) happy is more important than knowing how to repair a street or replace a culvert. There are Property Owners that were former HR specialists that could assist in the interviews, in my experience they have a better insight when hiring than most operational managers.
If we must have a GM we need to invest in the extra effort and planning because without it we’ll be back to where we are now—at a loss for what went wrong.
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We would love for you to chime in and let us know what you think would make a great General Manager for Hot Springs Village. When posting comments, please use your first and last name. Pseudonyms and anonymous posts are not being accepted.
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