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Mentoring Managers

8 key attributes to look for when hiring an assistant manager

By Norm Spitzig

Great companies are populated by great employees. While a top general manager is necessary, it’s not sufficient for the genuine long-term success of any company or major operating division. Businesses that genuinely succeed and flourish over the long run have general managers who possess the vision, wisdom and courage to identify, attract, hire, and mentor great assistant managers.

Mark is an accomplished and respected general manager who, by and large, does an excellent job for his company. Like many, Mark also spends too much time on tasks that should be handled by assistant managers. Mark’s claims that he is “just too busy to hire and train an assistant” and “he’s better off doing it himself” are typical of those in his position. Yet by securing and mentoring the right assistant managers Mark will have significantly more time to do what someone in his position should be doing (e.g., strategic thinking, developing multi-year business plans, etc.). His business, in turn, will run more efficiently and profitably—and, equally as important, the next generation of senior leadership will be firmly in place. 

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