What Is Your Ambition Based In?
I think most of us accept that ambition is a necessary ingredient for success.
Whether we’re growing a business, launching a new initiative or pushing forward on a creative project, ambition is needed to not only get the project going, but more importantly to take it to fruition. It’s a foundational requirement for creating lasting, meaningful change.
So the important question to ask is not whether we have the ambition needed to succeed. That’s a hygiene factor - if we don’t, there’s no point even getting started.
The more important question: what is the underlying driver behind our ambition? Why are we ambitious?
Are we focused on achieving a simple set of numbers? Is it just revenues we’re after?
Or are we trying to effect some type of change? Are we trying to achieve an enduring result, something that will sustain itself long after our “project” is done?
There’s actually a difference and certainly you can achieve the former (revenues) without having the latter (vision).
You can hit your revenue goal in a given year in any number of ways - discounts, giveaways, etc. - but are you laying the foundation for future sustainable revenue growth based on an underlying vision of why you exist, of the underlying change you’re trying to make?
(Similarly, you can hit cost targets in any given quarter by putting in place a travel ban, a stop on all corporate expenditures, etc., but is that really enduring? Is that going to sustain itself on an ongoing basis in future years?)
The point is, ambition needs to be grounded in vision, in a meaningful need for change, in effecting some type of real, tangible goal for a specific group. It cannot be about “getting rich”, or “hitting a revenue target”. That’s simply greed and it rarely wins out.
So the question to ask is, not whether we are ambitious enough. Rather, what is behind our ambition? What is it rooted in?
I think we’ll find that, if we can answer that question appropriately, we’ll find that we are ambitious enough.