Why do employees typically stay on a silo-bound career path, moving ever upward in the same function or business unit? To start, managers may not want to lose their most talented employees to other parts of the business, and they can be reluctant to take a chance on someone from another division, even if the individual has a great reputation. Employees, too, are often skeptical about a new boss who arrives without the “right background” for the job and “without a clue” about how things work around here. Ambitious, high-potential managers tend to see a direct upward trajectory as the shortest route to the executive suite; lateral moves into other functions or to take on special projects seem like unnecessary detours.
Cynthia D. McCauley, coeditor of "Experience-Driven Leader Development," introduces a career development lesson from "It’s Not the How or the What but the Who" by Claudio Fernández-Aráoz.