Being young & ambitious!
Growing up in a business-oriented world leads you towards a certain set of aspirations. Career, money, and status become your top priority, whether you realise it or not. You strive for performance goals and you take pride in the organisational hierarchy. When you progress in life you tend to succeed, accomplishing goal after goal. So where does that leave the unambitious?
The question I ask myself frequently, and yet wonder, ‘is it wrong to be young and ambitious?’. I have noticed, during my school and university years, that ambitious people are often celebrated and encouraged. However, when you mention that you value money or want a high paying job, society tends to have a more negative connotation towards this specific ambition and associate it with greed. Andrew Yang wrote an article for IDEAS.TED.COM where he talks about how ambition is related to hope and how they influence the socio-economic environment (Yang, 2018). This is an interesting characteristic of ambition because it means there is the potential to enhance an economy through breeding ambition in the early stages of youth. Enhancing the future of a society generation by generation.
I’ve always thought ambition was a fantastic quality to have and to utilise effectively to pursue my goals. However, I’ve noticed a trend amongst those in society who thrive on feeling powerful and love a hierarchy. These individuals, whether they are aware or not, demotivate others leading to diminishing ambition. So, what causes this need to deplete ambition? I believe we all secretly enjoy power and authority but not all of us have the insatiable need to have it constantly. This leads to a select group of power-hungry individuals who will leave a wake of destruction in their path. The truth is that there is the potential that the ambitious will thrive on ambition, whether it be their own or not. Usually, you will notice this with those that are close to you, a brother or best friend is common. However, by learning to embrace ambition as a life skill you can start to bring out ambition around you. This becomes a loop wherein embracing ambition you are creating more ambition around you leading to increased internal ambition in yourself, I call this the ambition loop.
Once you have learnt the skill of embracing ambition and creating the ambition loop you will realise that you and those around you will begin experiencing shared benefits from being around one another. It is interesting to see how these dynamics transfer to the business and educational frameworks where, working in teams is standard practice. Adelia Cellini Linecker lists ‘Foster collaboration’ as a way to boost ambition in a workforce (Cellini Linecker, 2016). I found this interesting because I have personally had many experiences where members of my team seemed to be discouraged by my ambition at first and so I had to adjust my approach and embrace ambition in the team to generate a productive environment. This led me to think that as a manager, one would have to purposefully ensure they instil the skill of the ambition loop in their team leaders to create a truly productive and effective business unit.
Ambition is a fantastic quality to have, its something that can really put you onto the path of success. I truly believe that it is a reality. It is something I, as a leader, will always aspire to achieve in any team I am a part of. Being youthful and ambitious is a gift, spread it and watch your life change.