Offering Perspective on Progression

Why The Higher Up We Go, The Further Out It Gets

Earlier in my career I had the distinct pleasure of being recruited by and working for John Dobbertin. John was and is a maestro at management, bringing years of experience managing teams in the hundreds, across a variety of highly complex companies.

One day, as I was sharing some frustrations with John about the slow progression on a project, he shared:

“The higher up you go in an organization the further out the horizon line gets”

What John shared was as simple as it was profound:

  • As your career grows, you will take on larger and larger roles

  • These larger roles are more often than not higher up the organizational hierarchy

  • The higher up you move, the further out you see

  • The further out you see, the less you engage in the day-to-day operations and the more you focus on month-to-month, quarter-to-quarter, and eventually year-to-year

What this ultimately means is that as your career grows the types of projects you participate in will have longer timelines and further out horizons.

John was essentially telling me that the project I was frustrated about wasn’t necessarily moving slowly, it just appeared to be, because my position within the organization had changed.

And that is a lesson I’ve carried with me ever since:

As our careers grow, our perspective on progression must grow too