Lack of interest in managing is not the same thing as being on a gradual growth trajectory, just as interest in managing is not the same thing as being on a steep growth trajectory. Management and growth should not be conflated. Imagine if Albert Einstein had been told, just as he was developing his theory of relativity, that he needed to stop spending so much time alone with his work and instead take on management responsibilities for a team of people. The result would have been a frustrated Einstein, a demoralized and poorly managed team, and a great loss to humanity’s understanding of the universe. Yet a version of this happens all the time. The careers of many great engineers and salespeople have foundered when they are promoted to manager. Why does this happen? Because there’s no other role to promote them to that acknowledges the kind of growth trajectory they want to be on.
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