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Return on Ambition

Nicolai Nielsen and Nicolai Tillisch

How do you increase the speed and probability of success-given your ambitions? How do you live an enjoyable and fulfilling life? Most ambitious people strive in at least one of these regards. Return on Ambition gives you a holistic and practical model for thriving with both success and fulfillment.

Return on Ambition is itself the result of an ambitious effort to harness insights from recent research in cognitive psychology and neuroscience, and it recommends simple, yet powerful, practices including the following:

  • The 3 Truisms of Return on Ambition: aspects of an ambitious life that you must understand and accept to live with less regret.
  • The 4 Premises of Ambition: dimensions that help you contemplate what your unique, personal ambition is.
  • The Return on Ambition Self-Assessment: indicative measures of how well you are currently getting the return that you could.
  • The Interdependencies among Achievement, Growth, and Well-Being: research and wisdom show that compromises in any of the three elements will cause declines in the others over time.
  • The 7 Frenemies: descriptions of personal attributes that are your core strengths as the ambitious person you are, but that are also the biggest obstacles to your success and fulfillment in life.
  • The Return on Ambition Toolbox: 4 tools that will help you articulate and pursue your ambition, expand your self-awareness, and help you learn consciously.
  • 4 Self-Coaching Sessions: instructions for 30-60 minute contemplations stimulated by eye-opening questions.

Your ambitions are often the biggest investment that you make in life, yet managing the return in a deliberate and conscious manner can be challenging. This book will show you the way.

Rasmus Hougaard, founder and managing director of Potential Project and best-selling author of One Second Ahead and The Mind of the Leader

Return on Ambition helps readers answer three fundamental questions about their life: What is my ambition, what gets in the way of my ambition, and how can I improve my return on ambition? A must-read if you have pedal to the metal in life!

Dr. Chérie Carter-Scott, MCC, #1 New York Times best-selling author of If Life Is a Game, These Are the Rules and 20 other titles

Ambition can be a corrosive power that ultimately ruins our joys, or, with the help of this wise and practical guide, can be the fuel for forging beautiful lives of accomplishment and connection.

Jennifer Garvey Berger, cofounder of Cultivating Leadership and author of Unlocking Leadership Mindtraps and Changing on the Job

Return on Ambition reveals a truth about leadership—ambition can actually make it more difficult to succeed and, even as we do succeed, it can rob much of the joy from the effort. Return on Ambition can help anyone with big dreams achieve them and do so while enjoying the ride.

Bob Anderson, founder of The Leadership Circle and coauthor of Mastering Leadership and Scaling Leadership

With a beautiful combination of research, storytelling and practical tools, this book is a must-read for anyone open to a fresh recalibration of their lives.

Dr. Srini Pillay, CEO of NeuroBusiness Group, CMO and cofounder of Reulay, and author of Tinker, Dabble, Doodle, Try