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Chapter 5. From Functional Manager to Business Manager

Chapter 5. From Functional Manager to Business Manager

Many top executives look back at their experiences as heads of businesses as the most enjoyable in their careers. As business managers, they have accountability for both making a product or creating a service and for selling it. They manage cost and revenue. There is a tremendous sense of ownership. At the same time, this first business manager position represents a huge challenge—probably the biggest challenge of all six leadership passages. It's not simply a question of learning new skills or reallocating time. Business managers actually have to change the way they think.

Anyone transitioning from functional management to business management is in for "leadership shock." A business manager is in a much more visible position and is closely watched by all his functional heads as well as senior management, Wall Street, and other constituencies. Many business heads also feel that they're "going it alone"—they're receiving much less guidance from their boss than they did when they were functional managers. In addition, there's enormous complexity at this leadership level. Building business strategy and integrating functional work requires connecting lots of dots. And of course, there's a huge value shift: from valuing one's own function to valuing all functions appropriately.


  

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