Home The GM's Job Managing the Transition About this Site Search
The material in this site was collected from a series of interactive discussions with over fifty Harvard Business School alumni who recently made the difficult transition into general management. Comments from the discussions were reviewed and then organized into two broad categories, which are displayed here.

The first category, The General Manager's Job, describes the main tasks of general managers. Each of these tasks—for example, integrating, balancing, decision making, etc.—is then divided into additional categories. They in turn are further refined and supported by excerpted quotations from the practicing general managers.

The second body of material, Managing the Transition, is organized in a similar fashion, with multiple subheadings and categories. The primary difference is that this topic area looks more explicitly at the shift from functional to general management, using such themes as managing yourself, managing your career, managing others, managing the organization, and managing start-ups. These categories also contain specific questions that students asked of alumni during the dialogues, followed by the alumni's answers. While the material in each of the two sections is therefore somewhat different, a few critical quotations appear in both.

If you would like to contribute either a video clip or a comment to this "live" website, please contact Professor Ben Esty (by phone at 617.495.6159 or by email at besty@hbs.edu).

Navigating the Site
Navigation through the site is straightforward. The tabs at the top of each page allow you to jump to either of the two categories described above. From there you can choose topics from the first subcategory on the left-hand side, or navigate to other subcategories from the top menu. You can also search for a particular idea or topic by clicking the Search tab and typing key words into the Search box.

Video Clips
In several places, you will see a video camera icon indicating that video material is available. Several of the alumni who participated in the exercise joined us on campus for an in-class discussion. Afterward, they were interviewed by students and their responses were videotaped. These comments are now available in short clips distributed throughout the site. To access the video material, you must have the Adobe Flash Player plug-in (version 8 or higher) installed on your machine. Please note that some companies disable Flash Player. You may need to speak to your IT administrator about allowing Flash content, or you may need to view the videos at home.

If you'd like to see the entire list of video clips, click Video Links.