One of the most difficult managerial transitions is moving from functional leader to enterprise leader. Preparing people for these top jobs needs to start early. Give potential candidates experience on cross-functional projects. If you run a global business, be sure to give them international assignments as well. As their leadership promise becomes evident, give these high potentials positions on a senior management team and exposure to external stakeholders, such as investors, the media, and key customers. Before promoting them to the enterprise level, send them to a substantial executive program that addresses organizational design, business process improvement, transition management, and other capabilities. When these rising stars are finally ready to take the reins, place them in units that are small, distinct, and thriving. Surround them with an experienced and assertive team who they can learn from.
Adapted from “How Managers Become Leaders” by Michael D. Watkins.