The Death of the General Manager

The Death of the General Manager

Business, with the advances in and adoption of Artificial Intelligence, is shifting quicker than we have ever seen in history. CEOs are grappling with a slowing economy, accelerated adoption of new technologies, harder to come by ROI, and a continued talent shortage. All these factors have executives rethinking their business strategies and if they have the right leaders on their team to compete.

You may be surprised to hear there is still a talent shortage, given the number of layoffs, but to be more clear, what we are facing is a shortage in great leadership. Here’s why: Many leaders built their careers as generalists and there is now a demand for specialization which is being emphasized by the advanced adoption of new technologies.  Most leaders are too hands-off to understand how to invest in, implement, and deploy what can potentially be game-changing technologies and are grappling with how to reshape their organizations to quickly address the opportunity. In addition, many existing leaders are not experienced enough to lead in a downturn, as their careers quickly advanced through the bull market, and they have not been trained, mentored, or coached as they rose through the ranks.

As we face a struggling economy, and challenges to what felt like sure-fit business models, newly minted executives are grappling with how to compete. The greatest struggle many of these new leaders have seen was managing a remote workforce during the pandemic – and that certainly required leadership skills – but today’s problems are drastically different and demand critical thinking that comes through years of experience and mistakes. Companies are in desperate need of leaders who are specialized in their discipline, are hands-on with new technologies, and have the leadership skills that can transcend generations.

The role of the General Manager is becoming obsolete and in this new era of business, it is essential for CEOs and executives to prioritize their recruiting efforts around leaders who are specialized and experienced.  Potential candidates should be thinking about how this shift will impact their career opportunities and get closer to the technology and the day-to-day work.  In the months and years to come we will see a massive shift in what leadership looks like and how organizations orient themselves around new technologies.  Two things will matter most when it comes to recruiting talent:  Leadership and Specialization.