MIT Sloan Management Review Article on How to Manage 'Invisible Transitions' in Leadership

  • 4m
  • Gianluca Carnabuci, Ingo Marquart, Nora Grasselli
  • MIT Sloan Management Review
  • 2021

Leadership transitions are either formal, with a change in job title and sphere of authority, or informal. Examples of formal leadership transitions include vertical transitions (promotions to a higher rank), lateral transitions (moving to a different part of the business), and geographic transitions (moving to a different country or market).

But managers often go through invisible leadership transitions, with additions to the nature or scope of their leadership roles without any changes in their official positions. This has been especially true during the COVID-19 crisis, with organizations under immense pressure to launch new business models and leaders taking on new tasks and obligations. Job transitions have skyrocketed, and, for many, substantial role changes have taken place without changes in their job’s title, description, or authority. Transitions have become increasingly informal and invisible.

About the Author

Ingo Marquart (@ingomarq) is a Ph.D. candidate at ESMT Berlin and the Berlin School of Economics.

Nora Grasselli is program director for executive education at ESMT Berlin.

Gianluca Carnabuci is a professor of organizational behavior and the Ingrid and Manfred Gentz Chair in Business and Society at ESMT Berlin.

Learn more about MIT SMR.

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  • MIT Sloan Management Review Article on How to Manage ‘Invisible Transitions’ in Leadership