My professional objective to be achieved in the next 2 years is to become General Manager of Grantfen Fire Security Ltd. As this role does not currently exist within the company I have researched the role of a General Manager.
1.1 - General Manager Person Specification
A General Manager has to be an enthusiastic leader with a demonstrative personality, conduct and credibility to set, maintain and exceed consistent high quality standards commensurate with organisational expectations. They need to have sound analytical and computer skills with an ability to communicate at all levels. This person would also need to be target driven - with the ability to work to, and set, timely performance goals/targets and clear objectives with a motivational and supportive management style. All in all would need to be a strong individualist and decision maker with high determination to succeed.
1.2 - General Manager Job Description
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The role of a General Manager would include but not be limited to the following responsibilities
Reporting on long / short term plans
Research / analyse proposals for long / short term plans
Development / Training
Operating WIP Reports
Oversee Management of Individual Projects
Management of Sub-Contractors
Application of Specifications and Standards
Marketing and PR
Manage Advertising Opportunities
Oversee Content, Publication and Distribution of all Marketing and Publicity
Manage Press Development
Provide Recommendations regarding Investment / Cash Strategies
Oversee Preparation of Annual Budgets.
Provide Vision and Advise regarding Overall Financial Health and Long Range Fiscal Planning
Ensure Accurate Quality Control through ISO9001 Procedures / SSAIB / BAFE
Oversee High Standards of Health and Safety
Assist in Development of Quality Processes and Procedures to Ensure Continuing Efficiency
1.3 - Ideal General Manager Competencies
The role of General Manager takes responsibility for all areas of a business including the revenue and cost elements of the business.
I believe to be able to carry out this role effectively I will need to posses the following skills and competencies.
Leadership Skills - To be able to guide the company towards a united goal and provide our clients with a quality service.
Organisational Commitment - To be 100% committed to the company and its goals in order to motivate the company and provide leadership.
Conceptual Thinking - To find new and innovative ways to develop the business and provide new services and experiences to clients
Self Control - To aid in decision making and executive functions
Developing Others - To ensure that the company succeeds in all endeavours and breeds loyal and determined staff.
Energy and Passion - To drive a team and motivate them to carry out duties to the best of their ability.
1.4 - Ideal General Manager Competencies
The qualifications required for the role of General Manager would be as below, this is not an exhaustive list but I believe that these qualifications and experiences are vital to carry out this role successfully.
Preferably a degree in Business Management or equivalent level of experience.
A minimum of 5 years business experience. Demonstrable record of success at a senior level within a general management role in a comparable organisation, preferably including the management of conservation and technical staff.
Wide commercial experience, including finance, business management, human resources and IT. Proven IT competence in financial packages i.e. Sage
Strong interpersonal skills, with the ability to manage and develop staff creating good team work.
Ability to develop, implement, manage and monitor effective business and financial systems and procedures
Experience and understanding of human resource practices, policies and procedures
Previous experience of Health and Safety policies, procedures and practices
2 - Professional Competencies Development
I have provided below a competencies matrix that identifies areas in which I have proved I meet the required competencies for the General Manager Role. I have also identified gaps that will require attention and action before
2.1 - Competence Matrix
Situation / Action / Outcome
Further Actions Required
Always on Time
Marked to Standard
I have over 200 security and fire systems that require maintenance and reactive works. A part of my job is to oversee the planning of these works and make hourly decisions on which calls are reacted to first due to urgency. We recently had a situation where a building had been struck by lightning and this had effectively blown up the fire alarm system. As the building was a health centre with 24/7 residents this proved a health and safety emergency as without an operating fire system the building would have to be evacuated. Checking which staff were on shift I re-routed engineers over to site, this had to be completed in relay due to the length of time it took to fix to ensure that engineers did not compromise their own health and safety. Completing works like this encourages my staff to work effectively as a team leaving the site with as much information as possible for the next engineer to take over. Whilst completing these emergency works we also have to cover any other calls that arise throughout the day, so on this occasion I made the decision to employ temporary sub-contract labour to carry out works to ensure continuation of service. The health centre fire alarm system was fixed within 24 hours with residents of the site not being aware that there was ever such an issue and other customers were dealt with efficiently with the production of sub-contract labour.
Whilst being an effective leader I find I am still sometimes intimidated when confrontation arises with engineering staff. I have put this intimidation down to a limited technical knowledge and this should be improved.
I recently changed the way our service department runs. We used to operate engineers within core business hours 08:30 - 17:00, with an emergency service to cover outside these times. It became apparent to me that due to the nature of the businesses we operate within that our core hours needed to change to suit, with engineers start and finish times being staggered. I spoke to my engineering and office staff as this would not only effect the engineers we would also have to change our office hours (including mine). After explaining to everyone the nature of the sites we looked after and the operational difficulties they incur I was pleased to note that everyone was very willing to enter into discussions regarding a change in working hours. These changes have had positive and negative effects on the lives of my staff but I was pleased and proud to note that they were all willing to co-operate and move in a new direction with the company. This resulted in the company being able to adapt to new business and provide an extended service where required.
I find that there are no gaps within my organisational commitment. When employed by a company I am extremely loyal and put all effort and energy into making the company a success.
As the companies ISO9001 internal auditor it is within my role to complete a full set of procedure and process audits every 12 months. There have been a lot of changes within the company over the last 12 months and this has led to the re-evaluation of our company procedures. I believe that processes and procedures are implemented to assist a business in running with professionalism and quality, not a hindrance. I try to instil in the departments that I audit that these procedures are not set in stone and if they don't work for the company then we should find something that does. With this in mind I started the audit procedure for this year, we looked at the current processes and procedures within the department and I sat down with the Project Managers that have to work to the procedures and asked them how they felt the procedures aided or hindered them. They mentioned that the procedures within their department worked well but the quality of information they received through from the sales department hindered them in completing their job. I asked them what further information could be provided to alleviate this and we came up with a list of additional information. In this case the best option was not to change the procedures for the installation department but to change the procedures for the sales department. I created and implemented a checklist of information that the sales department must complete before a job can be passed for contract review. In this situation I understood the problem the installation department had by identifying patterns or connections, and addressed the key underlying issue. Conceptual thinking includes the integration of issues and factors into a conceptual framework using inductive reasoning that lead to solutions or viable alternatives that may not be obviously related or easily identified.
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I feel I am comfortable with this part of my role and pride myself on seeing resolutions through conceptual thinking. The failing I have at this point would be that I am quite protective of the quality system as I built and monitor it. Therefore any criticism of the system I take personally and drop everything to assess whether the criticism is validated or not. The quality system has been in place for 5 years and is audited and reviewed for its effectiveness every year.
The business I work within is largely customer service based and whilst my frontline staff will deal with issues that arise initially if customers or engineers are not happy with a situation then the issue gets passed to me. I was walking through the office when I heard one of the customer service girls dealing with a complaint. I heard the gentleman on the phone screaming down the line at the girl who was becoming quite upset. The girl told the customer that she would put him through to her manager and put the call on hold. She informed me that the customer had his system installed over 6 years ago and had a fault with it. The girl told the customer that she could organise an engineer and there would be a cost as the system was no longer under warranty. Once the customer realised that he had to pay for an engineer he started screaming at the girl telling her that he shouldn't have to pay anything and we should fix the fault for free. I picked up the line to the customer and asked how I could help, he informed me of the same information my staff had and told me I should fix his problem for free. I brought up his details from the database and saw the age of the installation and that there was no maintenance contract in place. We offer a 12 or 18 month warranty period with any installation we provide so this installation was certainly out of warranty. As previously the gentleman started to scream down the line about how he expected better aftercare than he had received. I asked the gentleman to calm down and advised that he would not obtain any resolution whilst shouting at my staff and being abusive. We had no obligation to this customer and it would have been very easy given his manner to ask him to go elsewhere and refuse to serve him. However, I do not like customers leaving us with a feeling of ill will so I advised the customer that there was no maintenance contract in place and if he would take out a maintenance contract with us I would send an engineer to complete the maintenance and look at the fault at the same time which would mean no charge for the fault. The customer was happy with this outcome and agreed to take out the maintenance contract, he then asked to be put back through to the customer service girl and apologised for the manner in which he spoke to her. This was a situation where my response to the problem could have made the situation worse but by exercising a little self control we obtained a small but long term customer.
I feel that this is the area in which I need to develop the most as I sometimes find it hard to express myself with understanding and sympathy. this is mainly with employees rather than customers and clients. Further HR awareness would be beneficial.
We believe in training our staff to aid them in their career development. We take on staff as apprentices and train them throughout their employment at Grantfen. For example, as my personal career and training progresses their cannot be a whole in the company, someone has to be trained to complete the job I am currently assigned to. With this in mind along with the directors we have chosen the person to develop into my role and she spends time alongside me learning the role and identifying areas in which training is required. We have invested time, effort and money in this person and have put her through numerous NVQ's. I believe that investing in people and their development helps the company from a skills perspective but also provides the employee with a sense of loyalty towards the company Whilst at present the thought of taking over my role is quite daunting to her I am confident that once all training is complete she will be a very capable manager.
I am sometimes uncomfortable giving employees appraisals and find myself singling out the employees that I feel are more committed to the company and will produce long term benefit through training.
Energy and Passion
I love the company I work for and am constantly striving to ensure that our service department is amongst the best in the country. I believe that one persons energy and passion to work can be infectious and if you have the right team of people they can feed off of each other's energy. With this in mind I set myself a goal for the current financial year that we increase the turnover for the service department by Â£200K. This was a new area for me as my role has not been specifically sales oriented in the past. If this goal is reached this means the service department will require another engineer and customer service administrator. I have communicated this goal to our team and everyone is on board and motivated to succeed, everyone has expressed a want to be involved in a developing department as this creates new career opportunities for everyone within the department. As we are still within the financial year I cannot tell whether we have succeeded but I will state that we are definitely on target.
Again I do not think I require development in this area as a am very self motivated and believe in the abilities and goal of the company I am employed by.
I include below a self-analysis that identifies the areas in which I find myself strong and the areas which will require further attention as well as opportunities and threats that this role will provide me with.
Good at Working Alone or in a Team
Can Become Obsessive Over Certain Tasks
Wider Career Prospects
Male Dominated Environment
Lack of Personal Confidence
Less Experience of Business Management
Excellent Communication Skills
Can React Emotionally to Work Related Issues
Current Staffing Requires Re-assignment
Well Thought of by Stakeholders
Impatient / Want Resolutions Quickly
Multitude of Every Day Demands
Passionate About the Job / Company / Goals
To Learn From Others in Similar Roles
3 - Professional Knowledge Development
I have been working in the Fire and Security industry for 10 years and have obtained an extremely good working knowledge of the industry including a working technical knowledge.
Over my ten years I have been in numerous job roles and have complete tasks that did not necessarily fall within my job role. I feel confident that I can complete most tasks within the business which makes me a good candidate for the role I wish to obtain. But even with this in mind I feel that I would need more experience in certain areas before I felt comfortable taking a General Manager role.
I am on my way to completing a degree in Business Management and then will consider whether if it would be beneficial to continue on to obtaining an MBA.
I feel that I need to obtain further understanding in the financial field and whilst I have completed the AAT Levels 2 and 3 in Accounting I would benefit further from a more in depth knowledge of management accounting.
I also identified a requirement for further Human Resource training to enable me to deal with staff effectively and fairly.
4 - Professional Development Plan
To achieve the right level of competencies and qualifications for the role of General Manager I have completed an action plan detailing what activities I will need to undertake to address all gaps that have been identified
Areas for Development
How Area was Identified
Action to be Taken
Short Term Goals
1. To improve technical knowledge
Feedback from peer observation.
To spend time with engineers on site fault finding
2. To become more empathic with employees
Through discussion with colleagues.
Complete more staff appraisals
3. To learn how to drive and motivate all team members
Through observation of directors.
Through further HR training
4. To gain confidence in personal skills and abilities
Through reflection in my completion of PDP
Through appraisals and ongoing practice of skills and abilities
Long Term Goals
5. To achieve a BA (Hons) in Business Management
After discussions with Directors of succession within the company
To carry on in the completion of course at MMU
6. To obtain further understanding of management accounting
Following completion of AAT levels 2 and 3 i identified that a further understanding of management accounts would be beneficial
To take finance as an option in my final year
7. To undertake further Human Resources training
We currently have a HR consultant and following discussions with him i believe further HR training would be beneficial
To approach the HR consultant and identify any training available to further enhance knowledge