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Tim McDermott “Top Three Jobs as General Manager”


Your top three jobs as General Manager


I got a call this morning from a great friend asking me to help him know what his top three job responsibilities were as General Manager of his radio station.
Without pause I told him –

  1. Connect with major donors and influencers
  2. Work with the board to create strategies
  3. Love the staff well


Now I know there are others, but for me, these three are the top ones.  Let me explain in more detail.


  1. Connect with major donors and influencers. You may have people on your team who do this and that’s okay to some extent.  But there are major donors and influencers in your area who want to meet the top person in the organization.  They won’t feel as connected in meeting the Community Relations Director.  At my last job, we even changed my title to include President in it so the donors would know they were talking with the top person.  A manager to them was the person running the local burger joint, but the President – now that’s the top.  You’ll probably have to be proactive to do this.  Start with the big givers on your list and invite them to lunch.  Successful people like to be with successful people.  Don’t wait for this happen or say you don’t have time to do it. It’s your job to do this and in the long term it will pay off for your organization.
  2. Work with the board to create strategies.  As a leader, you need to be looking down the road to where your organization is headed.  What are the big dreams?  What are the big strategies you need to have in place to get there?  What are the obstacles?  Who do you need on your board to help you get there?  And, if your organization is really hitting on all cylinders, then you need to ensure everyone in your organization knows the strategy and how their job fits into it.  The strategies should all flow out of your mission.  Do you know your mission?  Is it clear?  Does the staff know it?  Are you living it?  Do you remind the staff of it often?
  3. Love the staff well.   I don’t know if we as leaders realize how much we have.  We have the position, the power and influence in the organization.  We also have privilege.  It’s inherent.  So what do we need to do?  Give it away.  Empower people.  Go with their recommendation (even if you think yours is better.)   Spend time with them.  Give them some of the privileges you enjoy.  Eat lunch in the break room with them.  In other words, let them know you care.  I Corinthians 14:1 says it the best “Pursue Love.”  When you make your people your priority, they will follow you anywhere.


Tim McDermott has been in broadcasting for 38 years, the last 27 of which leading KSBJ/Houston.  He ​loves helping​ radio stations and nonprofits ​ grow their revenue, audience and impact​

.  He can be reached at tmcdermott.cpa@gmail.com or his website timmcdermottconsulting.com.