An Intercontinental Hotel ad: “Ever heard of anyone dreaming of making it to the middle?” Nice copy.
The reality is – many do end up in the middle (and below the middle).
This aspiration is related to the same flawed belief that every business must grow ever bigger without end and without exception. When left to grow organically, most businesses will probably grow to the most appropriate, effective and sustainable size. Ego-stroking aside, being the biggest is simply not necessarily always the best.
I have come across many people who have abandoned their most rewarding jobs, the jobs that they most enjoyed, and were best at, because of this belief that they should always move up the pyramid. Many organisations have “move up or ship out” policies. For the majority of talent that is primarily interested in finding a position they most enjoy and therefore perform best at, this is hardly effective resource use.
Time to get our collective heads out of the sand, and look at what is truly important to each individual; rather than work to some simplistic belief about what EVERYONE wants.
(Image from Alain de Botton's Status Anxiety, ISBN 0-141-01486-5)