What’s needed to walk the way from manager to executive?

Luckily it is a way that can be pleasantly when jointly between the company and the manager.

When thinking about the implications of moving a high performing manager into an executive position it is interesting to see that the better the planning, for the company as well as for the professionals involved, the more chances to be successful on the transition.

Why? As Harvard business review article recommends there are specific points to take into consideration for each party. Let’s explore them in-depth.

A recipe for high potential managers – Follow this (simple?) steps and be as prepared as you can for the uncertainty.

  • The specialist who became a generalist.
  • The analyst who became an integrator.
  • The tactician who became a strategist.
  • The bricklayer who became an architect.
  • The problem solver who became an agenda setter.
  • The warrior who became a diplomat.
  • The cast member who became the leading role

A recipe for organization – How enterprises generate new leaders?

  • Give them on cross functional projects, international exposure to a broad range of business situations.
  • Give them a position on senior management, exposure to stakeholders, appoint them to lead an acquisition or integration.
  • Send them to executive program that would help them build their capabilities and external network.
  • Challenge them but assign them to thriving business units, staffed with experienced teams he could learn from.


It’s a typical complementary scenario in which each part depend on the other: great organizations need great leaders and great leaders what to feel part of great organizations. Despite the fact that sometimes it looks like a chicken and egg dilemma, it is not.

As one of the great thinkers of the XX century once said:

“your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living by the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary”


  • This post was motivated by Marcel Planellas and Alberto Gimeno, and based on the article of Harvard Business Review.
  • These are my opinions and my ideas, and do not reflect the view of my employer whatsoever.