What happened to me was I was a developer happily coding away at my assigned project, writing a new system for Marketing to collect data, create reports, select segments for mailings, and so on. I had my dark cube, my radio, great friends, and spent half my time diving into the system libraries to enable my programs to do stuff no one else's could. It was great. Then, I demonstrated the system to the VP of Marketing, who told me it was great, but he had no one who could use it - would I like to become a manager in marketing, running a small data entry team, but mostly analyzing our promotions? Heck yeah, I was making $21K and this was a huge leap.
That's not scalable, unfortunately.
First choice is to think about leadership positions and if they are right for you. Here's what you get: you get everyone's problems. Easy stuff they just take care of. You get the ugly stuff. You get the political problems. You get your next higher boss who may be paranoid of your success. You get HR issues, like firing people, giving reviews to slackers, and so on. You have to fight for budget and tell your team you failed when a companywide cutback affects you. They don't care about that, they just hear your news that you can't replace the guy who left, and we all have to pick up the slack, and blame you, whether they say so or not. And if you do your job right, no piece of work goes out with your name on it - you lead your teams to create the work and their name goes on it. They make the presentation to exec, not you. And you get to spend hours in really boring meetings.
The leap to the first management position is the most abrupt and painful one possible - you have to leave behind everything that made you successful, and just manage and coordinate. No more coding. No more analysis. That is a leap many don't make successfully. It's really hard. Every instinct has to change.
That being said, here's what you get (besides money): you get to bring on good people that make a difference when you hire them. You get to steer your people down more productive paths by being a second pair of eyes. If you do it right, you'll never suggest that path - only ask leading questions to make them see the option themselves. You are teaching them to fish, not handing them a fish. And when it works it's the most rewarding thing ever. You get to shine the spotlight on your team and see them reap their just rewards. You get to set direction and avoid mistakes of the past, as much as possible. You get to build bridges to other groups to make working with them easier.
The net? Hotshot coders (or analysts, or whatever the team does) generally hate management. People who are ready to teach, to lead, to take a backseat and know you are nudging them to greater good, blossom in management.
So if it's right for you, how do you get there? Become known. Try to attend presentations. Make them. Learn to communicate, it's the number one skill. Be the one who doesn't mind public speaking. This all gets your name out. Build relationships with your boss' peers and their boss. But not behind your boss' back. If your immediate manager isn't evil and will try to hold you back on purpose (it happens), tell them you are interested in learning more about management and just want some mentors. This builds name recognition. When you go to the meeting with those other bosses, bring your work (to show what you can do) and ask their advice in how to socialize that work with other teams. They'll love that. Ask about their projects and if possible, offer to help. Volunteer for things that involve other teams and other departments. Not necessarily the United Way drive or whatever, but real multi-team projects. Build your brand.
How do promotions happen? Your boss goes to meetings and presents your name and gathers reactions. (nb: I've worked at many, many places, from startups to Fortune 5 companies, and it's the same everywhere). If the reactions are positive, you go on The List. Which may be written, or not, but they know you. Good things then happen. You're building your brand.
Is your immediate boss evil? Change teams and take a 1-2 year setback while you prove yourself. Are they all evil? Leave when feasible.
How do those things sound? Like something you want to do (mentoring, personal brand building, public speaking)? If not, leadership isn't for you. Test number one! :-) Sound OK but a bit uncomfortable? That's OK. You're flexing new muscles, there's always some soreness early on.