Love that phrase! But who would dare to stand up in a room and say they want to be maximally ambitious. Too, too ninja, as Lloyd Davis would say.
Too much ninja is not good
Too ninja is a problem, to be sure. Anyone who is very goal-oriented probably learned before they left high school that getting results may be fun but itis about as destructive as getting behind the wheel while drunk.
Working for results should always take place in a safe place, like a football pitch ,with a good referee and medics standing by.
But holding back on maximally ambitious is usually ‘an abundance of caution’
But we don’t hold back on pursuing maximal ambition because we might hurt others. We hold back because they might hurt us.
Minimally, we will be jeered. We will be cut down to size on the spot. Downunder, they call it tall poppy syndrome. Your success, your glee, your fun is harm to me even if none of the damage I described above has happened or is even remotely likely to happen.
Who is allowed to be maximally ambitious? It’s political, stupid.
We don’t pursue maximal ambition because the right to be maximally ambitious is hotly contested and savagely protected. Who has the right to be maximally ambitious, is a political question.
Yet, in stopping people being maximally ambitious, we cramp their souls to such an extent they feel deadened. And then we wonder why they are disengaged from work and the political process.
By destroying their sense of the possible, by taking away their sense of spaciousness, we create an environment that we don’t like very much ourselves.
In Lloyd Davis’ language, we have to let the ninjas out to get a bit a organizational yoga going. And the ninjas wisely don’t come out unless they know they will come out to a bit of yoga.
Designing communal space
Designing communal space is so important. Making space for the ninja of us all requires the soft cushion of yoga around us.
Maximally ambitious. Why not?
Provided we let the other guy be maximally ambitious too. What can we do together when we are all maximally ambitious?