I am a customer-facing programmer who is growing in a commercial direction. In the last 34 months I have been very successful at bringing opportunities to the company, often doing the job of the only salesperson I support. I brought millions over the years, directly responsible for several new customers in my territory.

I asked to have more formal responsibilities for the territory I cover. My manager is being pressured to hand me over to some other manager. The head of sales wants me to join him as technical support. Both moves will bring more structure and lower decisional power. In other words, without commercial managers I have been doing so great on the commercial side that now commercial managers want to manage me.

Meanwhile, the CEO asked me to create a full plan for the territory for next 12 months, putting together all my knowledge of the upcoming opportunities, with detailed estimates. I know I can pull this off, because I know well customers, product and market.

However, there is no committment by the CEO or the company to give me a bigger role, and it's possible that even after I do this my work will be handed over to somebody else.

Managers argue about giving me a more structured, smaller role; the CEO wants me to complete a major project; in either case, there is no promotion in sight, and I never had one in almost three years.

My question is: should I accept a project well above my pay grade from the CEO, without rewards in sight, ignoring all other managers' requests for "surrender"? Is it realistic to expect that a big success with the CEO will override all other crap about my role? Or am I wasting my time?

closed as off-topic by Jim G., gazzz0x2z, jimm101, IDrinkandIKnowThings, Jenny D Oct 12 '18 at 15:19

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  • 1
    I don't know if this applies to you exactly, but please do not fall victim to Imposter Syndrome – corsiKa Apr 23 '18 at 21:44
  • Thanks @corsiKa. In this case I don't feel down, but I see that despite the millions I actually brought there are no plans for me. – Monoandale Apr 30 '18 at 8:35

Probably, yes.

The CEO by definition has the final say in what happens in their own company. If the CEO is pushing for something, probably best to agree to it unless you yourself have reservations.

From the looks of it, the only reservations you have is that other people want you to do something different. IF you agree with them then by all means push back against the CEO. But otherwise it sounds like you'd prefer the work the CEO wants to give you?

To your actual question

My question is: should I accept a project well above my pay grade from the CEO,

yes, unless you don't want to do it. CEO generally has final say in any company.

without rewards in sight,

hard work is its own reward. Also, you get paid what you're worth - when you prove you can do more, you can reliably expect to be paid more

ignoring all other managers' requests for "surrender"?

Yes, I don't think their concerns override yours, or the CEOs

Is it realistic to expect that a big success with the CEO will override all other crap about my role?

Generally, yes. Although anything can happen! But generally, yes.

Or am I wasting my time?

Sounds like you've done a great job in the last few years, I'm unsure why you seem so hard on yourself?

  • 2
    for now I just want to say "thank you". I needed this. – Monoandale Apr 23 '18 at 21:28
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    If OP lets managers push them around and not get the credit they deserve, or pass up opportunities to shine for the CEO, then I'd say absolutely they are wasting their time. – corsiKa Apr 23 '18 at 21:43
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    you can think of this as a test by the CEO to see if you are ready to take on more responsibility, if you succeed in this then you can expect the promotions and rewards to follow – mgh42 Apr 23 '18 at 23:09
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    In theory you are right the CEO has the final say, in reality how much discussions would you expect the CEO to do on this before delegating to one of the managers to move this forward? And usually delegation means “look into this and let me know if you see any issues” – smith Apr 24 '18 at 9:15

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