How to get more out of your ambitions


Event Key Takeaways

Nicolai Tillisch is a co-founder of Deliberate Development and is an executive coach associated with Cultivating Leadership & Nicolai Chen Nielsen is an associate partner at McKinsey & Company, where he advises clients on leadership development, culture change, and agile transformations.

Today, they’re here to teach us about the ROA – Return on Ambition.

Did you know that 59% of ambitious people struggle with balance their personal achievement, growth and wellbeing? That’s 6/10 people.

And at the same time about 40% More than 40% genuinely doubt whether their efforts will pay off. So when we think of ambition, we think of it as in many cases your biggest investment. 

When we think of ambition, the team at c recommend you think of it as your biggest investment.

Whether that means it’s resources or time or money or energy, you know, we’re all putting so much into what we’re trying to do in life, our ambitions, Deliberate Development have found that so many people are struggling, and so many people actually doubt whether they’re doing the right thing. They found this quite concerning.

They also found that reflection really helps having a structured way to think about your ambition, makes a big, big difference.

Recognisably, it can be hard to do that in practice, especially as a busy entrepreneur and the fact is that four out of ten people don’t actually make the time for reflection and this is purely because they’re extremely busy. 

Think about your day to day life, it’s hard to really take time out of your schedule to spend on reflection 30 minutes, one hour and so forth. Many people didn’t really have a methodology or structure to do it, they didn’t quite know where to start if they were to spend time reflecting on their ambitions. 

Finally, the ones who do spend time and reflect:

  • Are much more intentional about their ambitions
  • Have a much lower degree of stress. 
  • Feel like they are able to balance their priorities in a much better way.

So there is definitely something quite clear science behind managing your ambitions in a better way and instead of letting it manage you.

For ‘Deliberate Development’ recently published book ‘Return on Ambition (Fast Company Press)’ they looked at three big questions.

  • Number one –  What is my return on ambition.
  • Number two – What gets in the way of my ambition,
  • Number three –  How can I increase or improve my return on ambition. 

For this blog post, we will focus on what you’re getting out of your return on ambition.

Entrepreneurs define ambition is defined as a powerful yearning and drive to attain a future state that is different from today, and challenging. 

One of the biggest takeaways from the talk was that when Deliberate Development looked at people who were really successful over time and also for living a fulfilling life was that there were three aspects that they nurtured consistently:

Their own achievement – which is for a lot of people what they associated with in terms of being ambitious,
Very conscious at nurturing that personal growth

Very conscious about their well being.

We saw this pattern quite consistently. We did quite a number of in-depth interviews and we saw across the people who consistently made various successes  and made new successes at the same time

On the other hand, there were many cases where people had ignored the above 1 or 2 of the above 3 points and over a period of time, what you see is suddenly that the two other elements of this trinity start slipping.

This live Home Grown session continued to provide practical tools to get the most out of your ambition and be fulfilled and successful. 

We welcome you to watch the replay here where you will learn about:

  • The trinity of Achievement, Growth, and Well-being
  • The 7 Frenemies that are core strengths of ambition but can also be your biggest obstacles
  • The Return on Ambition toolbox to measure and manage your return on a regular basis

Nicolai Tillisch is a co-founder of Deliberate Development, and is an executive coach associated with Cultivating Leadership & Nicolai Chen Nielsen is an associate partner at McKinsey & Company, where he advises clients on leadership development, culture change, and agile transformations. Their recently published book Return on Ambition (Fast Company Press) sheds light on the behaviours and thoughts patterns of ambitious people who are successful and fulfilled.

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