Need advice about GM position

D Evans
Reply Tue 3 Dec, 2013 05:12 pm
I cannot talk to anyone I know without possibly affecting the reputation of the business owner in this scenario, which at this point I would not like to do. Here is my dilemma:
I was invited by a longtime friend and colleague to become the general manager of their quickly growing and successful business overseas. I have more than 15 years of management experience, mostly in small businesses (250-600K), in the administrative as well as financial realms of management. I agreed and started eight weeks ago.
On arrival, with no training at all, the job was dumped in my lap because my predecessor was burned out. It should be explained that this person is the significant other of the owner and founder, a good friend. Initially despite the very clumsy beginnings, things were moving in a better direction; I was in the process of creating many necessary new systems greeted positively by the owner/ex-GM. Suddenly after recovering from burnout a month later, the prior GM began to rescind my decisions and micromanage, put me on several projects which took me out of the office (working independently) for several weeks, and retook the reins, all while claiming we would begin training in earnest upon completion of those projects. Now upon completion, today the ex-GM said the training is not important and that we can do it next year, while they are overseas (an extended trip planned long ago to last several months). In the meantime, they have buried me under a to-do list several pages long.
I came here with a big salary cut on the premises of assisting in a semi-startup phase and with promise of doubled salary with good results. I didn't come to be someone's team leader/admin assistant - I could be doing that in my home area for three times the salary (without the salary, visa, and other limitations dictated by my residency). I also came because I believe in the owner's vision but like this I could be freelancing from elsewhere and still contributing (and at three times the salary).
My question: I need to confront the owner and ex-GM and get answers on the level. To me, the situation has seemed to result from a lack of trust (though the owner and I have known each other and worked in management side by side more than a decade and I'm an extremely trustworthy, reliable person) or unwillingness to give up the position/control on the partner's side.
An objective viewpoint would be helpful. Thanks if you can offer impressions from this description.
Reply Tue 3 Dec, 2013 05:24 pm
@D Evans,
My objective opinion is to look for another job as soon as you can. I don't honestly think this can be salvaged.

After all, you took it under pretenses that turned out to essentially be false ones. You've been undercut, and your concerns have been dismissed as somehow being unimportant.

I know the job market stinks, but if I were you I'd be planning and executing my exit strategy from this clusterfuck.
D Evans
Reply Tue 3 Dec, 2013 05:50 pm
Thank you for your input - I appreciate it.
0 Replies

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