In my experience, a minority of people--fewer than hold the position(!)--are talented managers.Not only that, but as someone who moved up the management chain, I found that the higher I moved, the more I did not like the people I worked with. When I was an individual contributor, I actually liked a lot of the engineers, technicians and operators I worked with. I enjoyed doing things socially with them occasionally. As a level 3 executive, I was surrounded by asshats. I avoided those greedy, lying, backstabbing careerists like the plague. I can look back now and see how it all happened. One day I'm working on a project and realize that my manager is not really doing a good job allotting resources. I can see that our organization is getting a lot less accomplished than we could if we had someone making better decisions. Because my motivation is more actual accomplishments, I think that if I accept that job, we'll do better. After some adjustments to the new position, I do achieve more, but I realize that we could do better if our next level manager were replaced by someone with more of a clue . . . Before long you are rubbing elbows with asshats and you finally realize it's this way all the way to the top. And once you get to the top, you have to deal with investors and shareholders who are even more clueless.Whenever I hear tea-baggers extolling the virtues of for-profit organizations over government, I always think that they clearly never worked for a large corporation - or they weren't paying attention when they did.
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