The question is quite simple:
What do executives/senior managers look for and watch out for when nurturing / promoting / hiring candidates into mid-level management positions?
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Promotions / hiring for management level happen pretty much like any promotion / hiring. A boss / supervisor / higher level manager evaluates the candidate, and if:
then the candidate gets the promotion / gets hired. The criteria for evaluating the candidate are different, of course, but the process is similar.
"Nurturing" is a kind of a pre-step, related to a promotion, when the potential candidate is not yet ready to get the promotion, but shows signs that they might be suitable for the role.
What do executives/senior managers look for
The exact criteria depends highly on the specific company, work-place, the manager who provides the nurturing / promotion... The candidate must usually show a mix of technical skills (management, economics, ...) as well as interpersonal skills (communication, negotiation, conflict management, ...).