Meet a General Manager
We caught up with Ashley Cox who is General Manager for a start-up drone training company UAVAir. Ashley has established his career around connecting emerging technologies with skill sets to ensure long term employment and engagement for people starting new careers.
1.What courses did you study to become a General Manager? And tell us a bit about your current role?
To be honest I think studying is important but it is not nearly as important as hard work, commitment and proving to yourself and others. When I left school I completed a degree in Health Science. It’s a completely different area of expertise than what I do now but I learnt how to think and how to apply myself.
From there it’s how you perform in your job and what you learn about yourself that matters most.
2.What does a General Manager do on a day-to day basis?
Working for a start-up the answer is you do everything. You do the jobs that need doing. I’m a big believer in creating a workplace where job descriptions are not nearly as important as the ability to see what needs to be done and making it happen. To create that culture you have to live that way yourself. If the bins need taking out, I’ll take them out.
Generally, though I’m trying to build the best team I can and I’m trying to apply the strategy set by the board into tangible outcomes that will propel our company forward.
3.What do you think are the skills a General Manager should have?
I think the most important skill is the ability to read people. You need to understand how they function, what their strengths are and create the ideal conditions for them to thrive in. If you have great people that feel supported then you have a great chance of success.
You also need to see the big picture and make sure everyone around you sees it too. It’s natural for people to focus on what’s in front of them, their efforts need to be translated into the company’s vision and successes.
I also think it’s easy to believe as a GM that you need to be an expert at everything and understand everyone’s roles. The real skill is knowing how to place your trust in the people around you, treat them as experts in their field and identify times when they might need help.
4.What are your favorite things about working in Management?
It’s got to be the variety. You can go from moments of absolute focus on some critical aspect of the business, then into a sales meeting, taking a call from a key client then onto a recruitment panel. When the company is buzzing with activity, growing quickly and you’ve got a great team focused on doing great things it’s a good feeling.
5.What advice would you give students aspiring to work in Management?
The most important thing you can learn is about yourself, how you respond when things get tricky, what upsets you most of all, what drives you as an individual. You don’t have to be perfect at everything, I’m certainly not, but you do need to know where your strengths are and work to create an environment that supports you.
Thank You, Ashley for sharing your story with training.com.au