Best piece of advice I have been given as a manager: Always be teaching others how to be you. Inspire them to be gunning for your desk and to become you. Humbly step aside when they replace you. Without them to replace you, the opportunities of your advancement decline.
Right after that tidbit of wisdom was imparted on me, I was asked to spear head a rather large project. Enjoying a challenge and wanting to prove myself, I drove in head first and with full gusto. Right before the project was to complete and after 99% of the heavy lifting had been done, I was asked to hand the project over to one of my subordinates. It was a gut wrenching overwhelming experience to transfer all that hard work and effort to someone else and watch them get the accolades. I was having a difficult time swallowing the advice I had been given and could not see the path that was being laid before me. With much power struggle, I finally gave into the advice with a “wait and see because I will just prove them wrong” attitude. A few days later and much to my surprise, I was promoted to not only manage our inside sales team but our outside sales force as well. This was a newly created position as the two teams in the past had separate management. By the way, crow is a little easier to swallow with some spicy mustard, a raise and a new office.
It is the human condition to engage in tactics of self-preservation. It is not our nature to build other human beings up to take our place in life, unless they are our offspring. It goes against our mammalian brain function that drives our survival motives. You might find this a challenge sales representatives to CEOs, but always be teaching others to be you. Inspire them to want your position and humbly give away this post when they assume your role. It might be an emotional stretch but you will always be creating the space for your own advancement to occur or maybe even your retirement.