A drive to succeed.
Knowing what you want and that nothing will stop you from attaining it.
These are the hallmarks of the ambitious, high achiever.
They are our future leaders, be it media, government, sports, or business. They come to conquer.
Both Respected and Rejected
And in today’s media they are both adored and despised.
You see it every day on the celebrity-focused TV shows. Money and fame puts people on pedestals…until they fall. And like a great NASCAR race where everyone puts down their drinks to watch the restarts…for the crashes, so it is the same with those who acquire wealth and prestige. People can’t wait to see them fall. Or tear them down to make it happen faster. It’s part of a jealousy culture that pits rich and famous against the ordinary person.
Entrepreneurs Are Value Creators
Achieving any level of success is not easy. It takes hard work and dedication and a never-say-die attitude. And that is the attitude that many entrepreneurs – the doers in this world – bring to the table.
And that dedication, to do whatever it takes to succeed, is often created from a childhood frustrations or feelings of lack or being misunderstood. A childhood where they didn’t fit the mold. Often failed by a school system designed to create “good workers” instead of successful outside-the-box thinkers destined for greatness. And so they find themselves pursuing a different path. One where society can’t dictate how they should behave and what they can achieve.
Ambition: Leading With Gratitude
And that is the experience of Seth Buechley, author of the new semi-autobiographical business book, “Ambition: Leading with Gratitude.” In the book Seth explores his journey from living in a commune in rural Oregon to joining his father in business building cell towers, selling the company, becoming a multimillionaire, and then having to deal with what to do next with no road map to guide him.
You may find yourself on a similar path. You may have achieved some degree of success and then wondered, “What’s next?” Or wished you could have the things that only more money could buy. And if you were able to acquire them, you then found yourself still comparing yourself to those with more and ending up with a perpetual feeling of lack. So you keep driving towards that next adrenaline rush – that fix you need to satisfy your yearnings.
So on this Thanksgiving Day, before you turn the football game on and grab that beer. Or before you start in on that bird, check out Seth’s book. It is a quick read with some awesome insights into the world of entrepreneurship, the struggles within, and a roadmap that guides you to achievement through ambition and gratitude.
Some of the lessons I learned from the book include…
Wisdom of Counselors
One of the best ways that ambitious leaders can manage the downside of the expectation trap is to intentionally develop relationship with wise counselors who understand their gifts, passions, and capabilities. To go even further, when those counselors can encourage you toward your calling and purpose, things get really good.
Seek Out Wise Counsel
Over the years I’ve surrounded myself with both high achievers and deep thinkers. This included a very close friend Timothy Adams. He was a Kodak executive who always loved reading and learning and exploring the meaning of life and business. Some of my greatest insights into my own purpose here on earth have come from our long conversations and email exchanges. We often take opposing views and through that challenge, and and openness to learn something new, attain new perspectives and understandings we would not have received in our respective personal spaces.
My father and mother also provided similar guidance over the years. Whenever there was a need for guidance and support after a particularly challenging experience, our talks often provided the clarity I needed to move forward.
Reach for your potential
Impact Your World
Leave A Legacy
Other-Focused ==> Gratitude ==> Happiness
By focusing outside yourself, and being other-focused, the stress and worry drift away. And your achievement begins to have much more meaning – as you develop your purpose.
Having spent decades achieving and learning and using that knowledge to achieve more, I came to a point where I wanted to use that knowledge to help those going through similar challenges. And like Seth, help others achieve their goals and dreams in a healthy environment.
Whether that was developing positive, team-building, not team-breaking cultures that attracted top people rather than pushing them away. Or using that passion and wisdom to inspire and guide other leaders and future leaders. I found that being other focused made me more effective, gave my life a higher purpose. And the gifts that God gave me are given the space to flourish.
As you invest in your future, as you set off on your entrepreneurial or other achievement-based journey, recognize the opportunities and the responsibilities that are joined together. Find the wisdom and knowledge that others who have gone before you have uncovered and shared. And use that to achieve even greater things. Using the gifts that are uniquely you.
And so on this Thanksgiving, enjoy your family, friends, football 🙂 and your downtime to do some reflection. Acknowledge and appreciate the abundance that surrounds you and immerse yourself in the gift of gratitude.
As as you work on uncovering your purpose, here are some other posts you might check out.
What Does Your Brand Say About You?