General management: Strategies for career excellence in general management

General management career excellence is achievable with the right combination of insight, ambition and strategic planning. Do you aim to be the kind of business leader who seizes opportunities and makes a positive impact? Then you need to make sure you are prepared at every stage, from when you move from being a functional manager into general management - and then as you move on to more senior general management positions.

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Here are 3 top strategies for excellence in your general management career:

First off...

...Review your strengths and weaknesses

General ManagementGoing somewhere? Make sure you know where you are. You’ve already developed business acumen and leadership skills… but maybe you’ve got this far with an innate “sense” of what works. Moving forward in general management, however, it pays to fully understand your skill strengths - and weaknesses.

  • What are your top operational abilities – what could you develop further?
  • What qualities/style do you bring to your leadership (what would your team members say)?
  • How aware are you of the business environment, both in your field and in terms of global mega-trends?
  • What motivates your decision-making?
  • How do you benchmark against peers?

The answer...?

...Ensure your ability through business management education

General ManagementAn honest understanding of your strengths and abilities makes you better able to leverage the power of executive education to hone your strengths and build new ones. For best results, some of the things you should look for in business management training include:

  • A top business school: You’re investing in yourself – make it count. Independent business school rankings will help you identify the institutions with the best programs.
  • Innovative learning methods: Innovative hands-on learning, along with insightful teaching on critical business challenges, will help make for stimulating, eye-opening, and relevant learning that really sticks.
  • Relevance: make sure you choose a course that matches where you are in your career!
  • Immediate value: Look for a general management education program that uses your real-world challenges as the basis for learning – it’ll help you understand more quickly and your company will appreciate the immediate returns!

So take the next step...

...Build a concrete plan for action and prepare to make a difference

General ManagementGood leaders push the envelope, envision what could be better and map out the route to get there. You do this in project management – why not apply it to your career? Building a concrete plan to achieve your general management career goals enables you to concentrate your strengths towards a clear target rather than using them diffusely.

Your plan should include:

  • A specific, defined goal
  • Steps for achieving this: timelines, resources including your inner strengths and knowledge, and deliverables
  • Predefined benchmarks throughout the process
  • Evaluation and review
  • Redefinition of new goals

Approaching your general management career in this manner leverages self-awareness for greater success to go forward. Your results in your general management role come to the fore and you know exactly how every experience – on-the-job or educational – contributes to your ever-growing skills and knowledge. Leading with clear-sighted, ambitious strategies for excellence is the way to make an impact on your company’s performance and realize the career you envision in general management.