Lack of Ambition Hurts

Are you a leader? Would you consider yourself ambitious for yourself and your organisation? Of course you are!

Ambition is good. It drives us forward and stretches us so that we take on new ideas and experiment. It makes us do things. It makes us grow as people and those benefits accrue to the company we work for.

But what happens to an organisation whose leader(s) lacks ambition? This can occur when the company makes enough profit to satisfy the earthly needs of the major shareholders or when the effort to play on a bigger stage is considered to be a step too far (i.e. too frightening). The status quo is a safe haven.

This all too common phenomenon can have some serious drawbacks for employees and the economy as a whole. Innovation suffers as great ideas are discussed and then discarded (as in “put it on the back burner for now”). The effect on staff moral is huge if they see this happening. Most people, if they are honest, want to work for a “go getter” company. It’s cool, it’s fun and it gives you great bragging rights to your friends. How many people want to talk about their work if they think they are in a deadbeat company?

So if you are ambitious and find yourself working for such a company what happens? You’d get demotivated pretty quickly wouldn’t you? What’s the point of suggesting new ideas when you know they’re never going to see the light of day? So you either put up with it (unlikely, unless all your earthly needs and more are met) or you look for new challenges elsewhere. And this is where the economy as a whole can suffer. We need innovation spread across the whole economy in lots of company and not grouped into a few. This increases competition which increases innovation which increase competition and so on. All the while the economy benefits as the amount of business being carried out in the market increase along with the confidence that this brings. If also leads to an increase in tax revenue to fund social programmes etc.

As we enter what is being talked of as one of the worst recessions ever, lack of ambition will hurt us all even more.

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