I’ve been hearing quite a lot lately about the desire to be Number One. “My goal is to get to the top” or “I want to be number one”. Ambition can drive us to achieve remarkable things both in leadership roles and in our personal quests. What comes first: the goal to get to the top or the the desire to achieve or do the things that can make a difference at the top?
I was fortunate enough to be at a function recently where graduating students were having their final celebrations. Prizes were awarded for top marks. Speeches were made about achievement.
I have goals, both personal and professional and those goals help to guide my actions and, I hope, the meaning that my actions bring. Striving to achieve a goal can bring real focus and attention to what matters, not just doing the “things” that need to be done.
If my only goal was to be “number one” for whatever that means, now might be a good time to pause and reflect on what it will mean to be top dog; who is it for; and what purpose can only be achieved by getting to this place.
I might also think about who I’m wanting to be Number One for. And think about who is watching and why I need them to notice that I’m going for the top.
Not much was said in the achievement speeches about doing what has purpose and making a difference through new skills. Or leading others to grow. I left with a feeling that what was admired was the pursuit of going to the the top over and above what that might mean.
Being number one. We already all are in our own world. Wise leaders know that and use what they bring to add meaning and purpose to those around them.
Without worrying about what others are thinking about position or title.