This article is a year old, but I found it appropriate in talking to clients and friends trying to either improve employee engagement or move out of their current role.
Career ladders and job hierarchies are traditionally structure to assume everyone, if they do awesome, should be on a path to leadership or managerial work, eventually. This is how I see many ladders arranged in health systems– that likely haven’t updated their position concepts in 15+ years. (e.g. telltale sign — HR says you can’t be a Director unless 10+ people report to you.)
This article addresses how people leave their bliss zone due to external pressures to always keep climbing. Yet there is little in place development-wise for people who can lead, but are best remaining on more of the tactical side of work. I used to call them ‘closers’.
Closers can make good leaders and managers, but they may not be happy in those roles. Managing staff is tough and takes a completely different skillset. One can be outstanding at individual contributor work (and we need that!), but a terrible manager. At that point, everyone is unhappy! But this happens literaly all the time.
I think we need to change what it means to climb and make career paths in healthcare that really embrace the value of someone who is a thought leader and architect, but doesn’t have a dozen staff members reporting to them.
In our consulting practice, we help organizations who are willing to figure out how to do this for analytics teams transition the old-school career ladder into a highly matrixed career lattice that recognizes where and how people work the best.