Leading a department can look very different depending on where you are, but you will likely spend part of your year defining a strategy and getting buy-in from leadership. Once you do so, you'll be responsible for hiring and managing a team to execute on the vision. Your day to day will involve both managerial work (e.g., hiring, coaching your team to help them prioritise) and strategic/execution work (e.g., preparing strategy, reporting to leadership). Expect a lot of meetings to make decisions, give advice and review.
This is an amazing role if you want to take charge to shift from advisor to decision maker, honing your leadership skills. Few people get these opportunities and so the skills are in high demand.
If you don't love the idea of managing lots of people, like to control the quality of your work and often think "it'd be easier if I just did it" this may not be a fit for you. Ownership and accountability will also be higher, so you will need to be prepared to be the one to come with the answers.
This role can vary a lot so make sure to understand which senior stakeholders you'll be working with, your peers and what the scope of responsibility actually looks like (e.g., your decision rights vs. theirs, what resources you have control over vs. shared). Sometimes the title doesn't match the job.
Equity in the business that typically vests over 4 years with 25% per year.
This will unlock doors to more senior VP-level roles within the company, or senior roles at other places.
Leadership skills are useful everywhere and it's often hard to get opportunities to practice them.
Leading a business unit will require you to work across the organisation and with leadership where you can build meaningful professional relationships.
Running a business unit or department is a high-accountability role. Typically, you'll find yourself working a lot to meet targets and deal with fires. However, if you have a very capable team and the right resources, it could be more manageable. Keep note it'll be hard to take extended holidays as the business needs to keep moving.