Three Men & A Temple
Truly powerful ambition, in an individual, carries others along with him. Ambition comes from a unique perspective on life. In some, it is limited in horizon. While some others can have a large-hearted, all-inclusive ambition. What is your type?
About 1000 years ago, a sage was drawn to a construction site. He watched from the edge of a clearing in the forest as the workmen bent over their individual tasks.
Finally his curiosity drove him to one workman at the edge of the site, whom he asked "What are you doing, my good man?" The workman looked up briefly and went back to his work "I'm working" he said curtly.
Not satisfied with the answer, the sage approached a second workman to ask him the same question. "You can see I'm breaking stones" he replied.
The sage was made of stern stuff and he wasn't leaving without an answer, so he walked over to a third workman with the question. "I'm building a temple" replied this workman smilingly.
The incident opened the sage's eyes, because all three of them were breaking boulders into smaller stones, but in their minds they were not doing the same jobs.
The third workman was working for a cause much larger than himself and it showed in his approach to work.
You can just do a day's work, or build a career, a team, an organization, or a nation
An individual's overpowering ambition can be the glue that holds together and powers forward a team, an army or a country.
This has been proven time and again by various leaders from history. Alexander The Great and Gandhi are just two names from the past.
If we look at corporates today, examples abound of ambitious leaders who built great institutions. Narayana Murthy of Infosys enjoys creating millionaires in his organization. When he could have focused on making himself a billionaire and then a trillionaire.
Those who share your ambitions should share its results
In the movies, treasure hunters and bank robbers fall out at the end, and one of them tries to make off with all the loot. The corporate equivalent of this goes on all around us.
The reward of a whole team’s work gets unfairly distributed. A leader, who's in the business for the long haul, makes his people shareholders in the fruits of their efforts.
Today, that seems to be the only way to build a lasting institution. Grow people at a rate that keeps them from striking out on their own.
Expand your ambition and your horizon
Grow the small pictures that others see, so your big picture gets progressively even bigger. You can choose your perspective and your role in life. Be the one who builds the temple.