What is your reaction to that word?  

Some people see it as a negative word and associate it with other adjectives like ruthless, opportunistic, disingenuous, me first attitude…Some of you may recall the scene in Wall Street where the Gordon Gekko character says “greed is good” and associate that image with ambition.  These descriptives are actually the pitfalls that can be associated with ambition.  

Gordon Gekko’s actions reflect narcissistically driven ambition and can lead to the exploitation of others and sometimes corruption.   Healthy ambition incorporates a balance between advocating for and pursuing one’s own agenda while also keeping in mind and acting on behalf of the greater good and best interests of others (co-workers, team, family, friends, investors etc.). People with healthy ambition demonstrate drive, determination, vision, courage, and discipline to be successful while always being considerate of the impact of their choices and actions that are in the service of that ambition.  

There will always be some casualties of grand pursuits.  While healthy ambition involves understanding the effects of your actions on others, that doesn’t mean you will make everyone happy.  People are often jealous of those who chase their dreams passionately, so its important to keep your head forward and ignore the negativity of others.  Collateral damage is inevitable, but it is your responsibility to prevent as much of it as possible.

Key Thought:

Ambition is not a negative word.  Every good initiative has some ambition behind it to lead it to fruition.