Steve Jones is generally speaking on track with what he said. Having spent 15 years in management roles and 35 years in technical roles I can say I have seen both sides of the issue. That being said, the editorial yesterday relative to career vs. vocation makes all the difference in the world. When I was young and relatively stupid in the ways of the corporate world, I thought moving into management was the best thing for my career. I did well in some environments and poorly in others but it was always career focused. During that 15 years I was miserable as a person.
Nineteen years ago I changed hats and went back to technical work, my vocation. I have never regretted it.
Managers receive better compensation than their technical people for the simple reason they are accountable to senior management to meet the goals and objectives of the business organization. Technical people are the tools/resources they use to achieve that. Our work is not in a sports arena but rather an manufacturing organization. Yes, we are the talent but our talent does not bring in revenue for most companies; normally we reduce costs; sports team talent brings in the bucks. There is a reason sales people get paid so much; they bring in the revenue.
We as technical talent can steer the manager in the right direction through constant feedback in a one-on-one meeting. By this I do not mean being obsequious but rather providing sufficient information to help the manager succeed. Managers hate surprises; we can keep them informed and prevent issues by providing feedback.
I was on a project where a deadline was set by upper management but the UI designers took three months longer to get the design to us than planned. Senior management was never told of this delay until it was used as a reason for not delivering on time. Team leadership never told the development management team of the delay and as a result everyone had egg on their face.