I'm currently a software developer (not managing people, aside from occasional juniors on my projects). When I last switched jobs (for a higher-level dev job) I got a lot of similar comments from my former coworkers and managers, saying:
- "Btw, you should know you'd make a great manager if you decide to do that one day"
- "Let me know when you become CTO or start your own company"
- "Keep me in mind when you become CDO at some major corporation"
Although I certainly felt flattered, I have no ambitions of going into management currently & I frankly wonder why people do it.
This other answer made a comment like:
As a project lead or CIO, your day will be meetings. Meetings , meetings, meetings. The time in between will be spent reading the meeting minutes and preparing for the next. The most technical you will get is opening Outlook to check your next meeting and reading email.
And when I've asked this questions to senior colleagues or managers, the answer always seems to boil down to career & money. In short, it seems that most upper managers or C-Suite tech execs have to deal with lots of headaches (from having to deal with the big issues), have lots of meetings, less work-life balance, and nothing fun (such as coding) - all in exchange for lots of money & the ability to drive the direction of a business.
I'm NOT asking if I should become a manager or for career advice. This is more of a general question:
Why do upper managers or executives find it worthwhile (especially if they used to be developers)? Is it purely because of money, or are there other reasons that are less obvious?
Note that I'm not talking about small team leads or techs who are involved with coding but also manage people. I'm asking about the true upper managers or executives who are 2 or 3+ levels removed from the actual coding.