Mind the talent gap:

Strategies for growing and retaining high performing General Managers


Published on: June 2024

Written by: Lynn Collins, Alex House, Keni Putterman

Mind the talent gap: strategies for growing and retaining high performing General Managers

Do you have qualified successors for General Manager roles within your organization? Are you nurturing high potential employees for future General Manager positions? Do you have a clear understanding of the critical leadership qualities for a General Manager? Are you preparing the right future candidates to step into this critical role?

If these questions spark unease, rest assured, as a talent leader you are not alone in facing these challenges. In today’s rapidly evolving business landscape, the role of a General Manager (GM) is one of the most critical for determining an organization’s success. GMs are the backbone of any organization due to their pivotal role in steering strategic direction, overseeing day-to-day operations, and ensuring financial stability. They act as central figures in aligning various departments with the company’s goals, managing resources efficiently, and driving innovation.

Yet many organizations find they don’t have the right people for the right role, when they need it, and end up filling this critical role with people who are unprepared or under- prepared to step in, with adverse consequences for the business.

No one feels the pain or challenge of this conundrum more than the talent leaders who are at the front lines of trying to fill this gap, struggling to find and keep the high caliber talent the GM role requires. When we talk to talent leaders, it’s clear that the problems run deep all along the critical role development and succession process, compounding the challenges to grow and retain GMs.

The good news is that drawing on our extensive expertise partnering with GMs across organizations, we have identified the prevailing pain points and challenges that companies and GMs face across industries and regions. By addressing these challenges directly as part of a GM-focused critical role strategy, you can enable your organization to rapidly improve your GM pipeline and your current and future candidates’ ability to lead the business and ensure your organization’s long-term success.

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