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Introduction to Level 4 of the L&M Pipeline

From Functional Manager to Business Manager

This transition may be the most challenging of the six leadership passages, because these professionals have to change the way that they think. When you're managing a business, complexity is high, the position is very visible, and many business managers receive little guidance from senior leaders.

Business managers oversee all of the functions of a business, not just one, and this requires a shift in values and perception.

Navigating This Transition

New business managers have to adjust their thinking to focus on future growth in all areas of the organization. They need to understand each function of the organization and know how these functions interrelate. Without this understanding, business managers will likely only focus on one or two functions, which could damage the organization's growth.

Encourage new business managers to get to know their functional managers well – for example, by talking with them and taking them on important trips; this will allow them to get to know the decision makers in each function and help them understand each function's value to the organization.

This group needs to know about the organization's core business processes, and understand where the profit lies within these processes. Without this knowledge, business managers can make costly strategic mistakes.

To see an example of the knowledge and skills which should be acquired at Level 4, click below.

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