“There’s no telling how far a person can go if they’re willing to let other people take the credit.”
~Robert Woodruff, (1889-1985),
President of The Coca-Cola Company
In organisational settings achieving what the above quote suggests is perhaps much easier said than done. But, of course, depending on our family dynamic or who we’re friends with, we can be just as likely to come against ambitious types or struggle with coveting ambition ourselves.
I find it astounding that a chief executive like Woodruff could say such a thing.
Surely he had to ‘burn’ a few people to get to where he got. (Or perhaps not.) Without any knowledge of him, however, we know implicitly the moral value of this sort of outlook. Achieving it on the other hand is a step change in our typical approach to life.
Ambition or Faith?
Surely ambition and faith are juxtaposed. Certainly with the worldly view on the word “ambition” it reeks of strong desire, perhaps to the point of retrieving undue credit, which is neither a popular nor a wise thing to do.
But faith is something—as a quality—that relies on external sources for its delivery. It takes nothing into its grasp that doesn’t belong directly to it.
However, it’s also diligent enough to take what’s on offer. Faith doesn’t need to fear for the credit. Even if what’s due doesn’t come, faith knows that the truth always presents eventually.
The Magnanimity of Faith
Faith is alluring for the simple fact that the ambition of greed can’t give us the bliss-felt joy of a God-blessed reality for giving things away as opposed to taking what we can, and worse, taking more than we deserve.
Taking what we can is valueless. There is no spiritual blessing in it. There’s no feeling of inspiring love in it. It’s so-so.
The best of faith is its magnanimity.
It has no need that clamours over anyone. It is found patiently smiling for what is—it accepts ‘what is’.
A Better Faith – An Ambitious Faith
Combining the best qualities of ambition with faith sees a sort of faith on anabolic steroids... a superabundant faith, perhaps.
What could we possibly achieve, for ourselves and others, for actually diverting credit away from ourselves and onto others?
What an ambition that would be.
Our faith, then, has the resolve to go past our innate needs, and so we allow God to fill these needs of ours for us, as God’s nature is to bless the ambitious faith.
© 2010 S. J. Wickham.