GM Success Profile

GM Success Profile

  |  January 29, 2016

Increasingly intense and sustained competition in our market is shifting the landscape in which co-ops operate, putting a premium on certain key competencies and skills in management. At the same time, other factors are making the GM job more complex and demanding, including: pressure on prices and margin, increasing costs of real estate and development, and calls for a living wage at a time when slow growth makes it ever more difficult to increase labor costs.

National Co+op Grocers and Columinate drew on the experience of both organizations to develop a profile for general manager success. This profile will be particularly useful for:

  • Boards hiring new GMs
  • GMs planning to develop their own successors
  • GMs who want to close their own skill gaps
  • Individuals who want to develop their skills to become future GMs

The thinking behind the GM Success Profile is that leadership is not innate but can be developed. Personal attributes and experience, while valuable, are not enough in themselves to lead to success as a food co-op GM. If a new GM starts without all the needed competencies, the co-op will need to ensure a road map for developing those that are lacking. If existing GMs find their jobs increasingly challenging, they can create a development plan to help them achieve the needed competencies.

Getting regular, positive and constructive feedback from experts is critical to perpetuating a cycle of good performance from food co-op leaders.  That’s exactly why GM’s, like their boards, need support to be the best at what they do at all stages of their careers. Read the full article below and to find out more about Columinate’s General Manager Success coaching program, contact Marilyn Scholl at or call 802-387-6013.

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