Why business leaders need to redefine ambition

Current perceptions of ambition are out of step with cultural shifts
There is a strong need for organisations to redefine ambition in their leadership view

Here are some stories I have heard in the past week. That’s right within only 7 days.

Jennifer became a Partner in a major consulting firm last year. She is one half of a high-powered dual career couple and has a two-year old daughter, Emily. The Managing Partner struggles with her leaving the office on time every second day to take her turn picking up her toddler from nursery. He questions her leadership commitment and ambition.

Tia didn’t share with her boss that at age 25 she had a son of 11 months. She didn’t want that to be a consideration and factored into the allocation of training opportunities to put her career focus under the microscope.

Aniya has a board interview for a residency in Pediatrics in an internationally renown hospital. She graduated in the top 5% of her class, and has already gained medical experience in post crisis third world countries. She is fluent in 6 languages, but despite this she will not wear her engagement ring at her interview. She thinks she will be judged as being less ambitious and serious about her career.

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