This is a question that’s worth addressing, even if the answer is not made public.
The reason some people move through their careers a surgical focus is quite often because they have made a conscious decision about their career’s trajectory.
That is, by virtue of the fact that they’re moving with a particular goal in mind, they’re able to make strategic steps (and even sound decisions “on the fly”).
If you haven’t decided that you want to be the best at something, or that you want to be influential in your space, or that [insert a clearly defined and ambitious goal that you’d be thrilled to accomplish], then how can you make meaningful progress?
You will probably be just fine in the long run, but who wants to be “just fine?” Making it up as you go is a fine plan for some, but there are no laws against stacking the deck in
“I just wanted to be in engineering only – I never wanted to run a company, never wanted to run things, step on other people – Steve very clearly did, and wanted to be a top executive and a really important thinker in the world.”
“He was always focused on ‘if you can build things and sell them you can have a company’ and ‘the way you make money and importance in the world is with companies’,” Wozniak said. “He wanted to be one of those important people in the world.” (via)
– Steve Wozniak, co-founder of Apple