SEVEN TRANSITIONS GOOD LEADERS MUST MAKE
Moving from a functional leader to a general manager
By Professor Michael D. Watkins - June 2012
There's no doubting the significant transitions that leaders go through in taking new roles. And the most challenging transitions occur in moving from being a functional leader to being a general manager, or business unit leader, or enterprise leader for the first time. But what hasn't been clear is the nature of those shifts.
By interviewing more than forty senior executives to gain first-hand qualitative research we looked at the nature of transitions in leadership. From this rally came the notion of seven major shifts that leaders go through as they move from functional leadership to enterprise leadership.
These seven shifts in changing from functional leadership to enterprise leadership are crucial to the success of the transition. But, important to keep in mind that the biggest reasons why leaders fail in such transitions are because they don't go back into a learning mode. Nothing fully prepares someone for becoming an enterprise leader for the first time but there is a lot that can be done in preparation and by knowing what the shifts entail, leaders will be better prepared to undergo transition.