Disorganised Manager

Dear Doc

My business has thirty two people, either in the office, in the workshop, on site or delivering goods.

My General Manager is always busy but never seems to get anything done. All around is chaotic activity and people are getting frustrated. I know that he is knowledgeable and gives the information to people, but it is always at the last moment. Orders are prepared late, raw materials are never ordered on time and our deliveries are behind schedule, so my nerves are getting to breaking point. How can I get the GM to be more organised, or do I have to get a new GM?


“You are more likely to overcome challenges, if you have learned in advance what is expected and how to respond. That is why training at all levels is critical to the success of any organisation.” Allen Sheppard

You are expecting the GM to know what to do. Did the job description have a documented succession plan and business structure so he knew what he had to do, or was he supposed to make it up as he went along?

Ask your GM if he knows why he is there. If he answers that it is “to assist the organisation to achieve its objectives”, then you are half way there. All you need to do then is document those objectives and how to achieve them and you should be able to start getting your enterprise back on track.

Can he sit down with you and put in writing what his actual job is supposed to be? Your GM has to learn to plan and you must explain this to him. I would imagine that the reason he doesn’t plan, is that he doesn’t know what to plan. He has to learn that doing a task is not the same as doing a job.

Perhaps if you and your GM both work on the plans together, you can work cooperatively towards your objective of a focused culture within the organisation all working for the same end.

In fact, have you documented everyone’s job activity and description? At the end of the day, it comes back to you as the boss. If you cannot document what people are supposed to do, how can you expect them to second guess you?
Being organised will help to achieve those objectives and having a plan is the first step on the way to that achievement.