Sharing my learnings from the book, Return on Ambition by Nicolai Chen Nielsen & Nicolai Tillisch
Return on Ambition by Nicolai Chen Nielsen & Nicolai Tillisch
Nielsen and Tillisch have first-hand experience from some of the most ambitious environments in the world, having worked at McKinsey & Company and with over 30 Fortune 500 companies. Return on Ambition reveals their insights and includes tips and lessons learned from Elon Musk, Arianna Huffington, Pharrell Williams, and Axel Hedfors, among others.
- Ambitious people tend to struggle because they don’t understand the nature of their ambition. For starters, they often brush up against the restrictions of social norms as they strive to walk their own paths. And they also want to be good at everything – both professional and personal.
- Getting specific about the nature of your ambition will help you pinpoint the size of your aspirations, the intensity with which you need to achieve them, and the direction you want your life to go.
- Whether you want to follow a prelaid path or carve out your own, keep in mind that the higher your ambition, the harder it’ll be to feel fulfilled. That’s because a very high ambition requires a greater return.
- To maximize returns on ambition, prioritize your growth or well-being. when it comes to ambition, well-being, growth, and achievement are so important that you can think of them as a tripod. If one of the legs collapses, the whole structure comes tumbling down. So it’s important you maintain a balance in all three areas.
- All of us have had times when we worked so hard that we blew off social engagements or postponed workouts. ignoring the other aspects of your life will eventually lead to burnout.
- just as bad as burnout is the feeling of stagnation. To avoid stagnating, foster a mindset that’s geared toward development.
- consider whether you have a clear list of achievement-based priorities. Do this by setting specific goals and having a plan for reaching them.
- Most of the time, your ambition will serve you well, steering you in the right direction and driving you to get the job done. But at the same time, certain aspects of your ambition might make you trip up, and could even cause setbacks.
- Ambitious people tend to be independent, adaptable, and competitive; they persevere in adversity, forgo convention, and act with boldness. And above all, they’re driven.
- But all of these positive traits also have a dark side. That strong drive that propels people forward can also make them move too fast to see mistakes or to consider their coworkers’ feelings.
- Going too fast will make you lose sight of the way. When your ambition is out of balance, you’re more prone to making mistakes, alienating others, and ultimately, losing your sense of self.
- boldness is the trait that often leads ambitious people to dive in before they’ve gathered all the information or all the skills they need. While they may succeed at first, a time will probably come when their ambition outpaces their skills. And when that time does come, it’ll be tempting to take risky shortcuts.
- Ambitious people also tend to be lone wolves, preferring to work independently because other people just slow them down. While independence is a great strength, the flip side is that they don’t know how to ask for help and they’re extreme perfectionists.
- ambitious people are competitive. This not only gives them the determination to keep going but also the insight to understand who and what they’re up against. But the dark side really emerges when they become driven by the need to be better than others.
- learn to moderate your competitiveness and appreciate the value of interdependence. And when it comes time to measure your achievement, compare yourself to who you were a year ago and not to those around you.
- achieving your goals will take a lot of hard work and ambitious people seem to thrive on pushing themselves. But perseverance can become a problem when it takes a toll on the body. And when you’re too tired to think straight and it’s hard to string a coherent sentence together, you’ll see diminishing returns.
- If you’ve ever lost the thread of why your goals are important to you, then double back and reflect on your philosophy of ambition. Based on your defining principles, your philosophy will help to evaluate your success and guide you as you continue to grow in your career.
- goals are just end results that you’re working toward;
- your philosophy guides why you do the work.