Dubai graduates urged to follow their ambition – but not to be ruled by it

Bayes Dean Professor Andre Spicer had an uplifting message at the 2024 Dubai graduation event

Dean Professor Andre Spicer extolled the virtues and value of well-directed ambition at the May graduation ceremony for Bayes Business School’s Dubai students.  (The full speech is available here.)

Ambition drives effort, attracts potential funders, partners and colleagues and focuses the mind on spotting opportunities, Professor Spicer said.

“The ambitious tend to look for larger opportunities and they also tend to scan the landscape of opportunities more thoroughly. They don’t limit themselves to the obvious places. This means they are likely to spot opportunities that others ignore.”

However, he also cautioned that untrammelled ambition carries professional risk and can adversely affect our quality of life.

Keeping ambition in check

“Although ambition has its upsides, it can also have its downsides. One is of these is that ambition can blind us. Being overly ambitious can mean we ignore many of the real practical problems and risks which come with any venture.

“The other big problem with ambition is that it can make us feel like we don’t measure up. People with big dreams often feel like they have achieved little – and they beat themselves up because of it. This can lead to a misplaced sense of failure. It can also mean that they ignore their many successes and only see their few failures.”

In a ceremony attended by the Governor of the Dubai International Financial Centre, His Excellency Essa Kazim, Professor Spicer concluded his speech by reminding the new graduates to embrace the global network of “more than 60,000 fellow ambitious Bayes graduates around the world”.

“They have all achieved many things – great and small. I would encourage you to keep in touch and help to foster others ambitions as they might foster yours.”

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