Publicador de contenidos

Back to Ambición en positivo

Alberto Fernández Terricabras, IESE, University of Navarra

Positive ambition

Fri, 08 Jul 2011 08:59:40 +0000 Published in ABC (Catalonia)

In a recent interview I was asked what differentiates Spanish entrepreneurs from those of other countries. It is difficult to generalize, but a common characteristic in the business plans of Spanish entrepreneurs is the lack of ambition. We approach business creation as a formula for self-employment and earning a living rather than as a way of creating value for our clients and for society, as well as generating jobs work.

I went to the dictionary of the Royal Academy and was disappointed. It defines "ambition" as a burning desire for power, wealth, dignity or fame. Ambition gets a bad press, but it has a good dimension; it must be the "dignities" that the dictionary says. Ambition is synonymous with greed, but also with aspiration, longing, desire or dream. Here, when we think of someone who is ambitious, we think that maybe he is going to earn a lot of money and we are envious or we think that he is a madman or, even worse, a thief. We think about how rich he is going to be and not what merit he has. We do not think that if things go well, the entrepreneur can reinvest the profits, generate employment and create other companies.

Why, then, are there cultures in which entrepreneurs set themselves more ambitious challenges? It is a question of Education and of individual and social attitudes towards ambitious entrepreneurial initiatives. Entrepreneurs who believe in their product, who believe that there is an opportunity to give their customers something good, must have the ambition to grow and must provide the means to do so. Let's think of ambition as challenge and that achieving it is good for society, let's think of ambition as something positive.